Teaching culture in efl classrooms

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Writing task 3 – Final draft
João Henrique G. Moreira

Teaching culture in EFL classrooms

Culture relates to everythingthat characterizes the social existence of a folk, nation or groups within a society. Culture in EFL teaching covers many areas. The best approaches of this subject help students negotiate unfamiliarsituations while still recognizing the importance of their own culture. As cultural aspects encompass such a varied range, I decided to delimitate three aspects which I believe are important to beapproached in EFL classrooms and which students would be interested in. Therefore, three of the cultural aspects which teachers should approach are important dates – for they express their historicalidentity of a folk, clothing – which is also interesting because it shows how people express their feelings through their clothes and also tells us about the climate where they live - and cuisine – thatshows the relations with food, which in many cultures are more than just nutriment.
When teaching important dates, it is interesting for the teacher to start by showing the similaritiesexisting between the mother tongue culture and the target language culture. Students will feel more motivated if they study something which they can make a comparison with. Independence Day and April Fool’sDay are two dates which exist both in Brazilian culture and in other English-speaking ones. Teachers should then approach the differences between important dates. Valentine’s in Brazil is only forcouples to give cards and presents to each other. In the U.S. this date is somehow different; people give presents and cards to whoever they like, whatever they are in a romantic relationship or arejust friends or family. Also, Independence Day is celebrated in different dates in Brazil and in the U.S.. Brazil also does not celebrate Thanksgiving Day – which is really important for Americans...
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