Compartmentalizing Culture? A Critical Examination of the Language/Culture Nexus in Foreign Language Teaching by Frances Antoinette C. Cruz

Recent explorations of the impact of globalization on the development of foreign language (FL) instructional materials invite us to revisit the meaning and purpose of ‘culture’ in foreign language teaching, as the complex nature of the term may entail widely divergent applications in policy and classroom practice. In the Philippines, learning about culture features heavily in educational policies and rationales on FL. However, incorporating cultural and intercultural content into instructional materials and FL pedagogy remains a challenge for local educators, whose very profession entails mediating between the foreign and the local, the self and the other, and the teaching of language skills and cultural content. This study critically examines these intersections and argues for the role of local educators as creators of language instructional materials that not only reinforce grammar lessons, but also reflect upon intercultural points of encounter and facilitate continuity in the current curricular structure of FL degree programs. The new materials may feature selected transnational themes and promote reflective skills towards other worldviews and ways of life. Suggestions are then made for a short chapter that include intercultural content, using the example of Rizal’s European journey, his studies in Germany, and selected letter exchanges with Ferdinand Blumentritt.

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