Intercultural teaching and learning in EFL with specific reference to the senior high school in Taiwan
This research looks into the reality of cultural teaching and learning in an EFL context. It analyses what cultural constructs are actually taught and learned in the senior secondary EFL programme in Taiwan and how they are mediated. The thesis starts with an overview of Taiwan's foreign language policy and the position of senior high schools within the whole educational system. The literature review begins with an analysis of the dialectic relationship between language and culture and maps out a framework for the research. The theoretical discussion also includes contemporary critical thinking on foreign language education and cultural learning in which I cover the 'cultural politics' of language teaching and controversial issues such as 'globalisation' and 'ideology'. In order to obtain an in-depth understanding of cultural teaching and learning within the English class in the Taiwanese Senior High school, the research strategy employed is a qualitative case study with 'typical instances'. The findings show that a number of discrepancies occur between the curriculum, the materials design, instructors and pupils. Taking various specific situations in Taiwan into consideration, suggestions are made to improve assessment methods, textbook design, teacher training and students' motivation. From answering the question: "what role does the culturally relevant content play in secondary English courses in Taiwan?" to seeking a resolution to the question "what are best methods to appropriately implement intercultural teaching and learning in the Taiwanese context?", this research supplies an empirical foundation as well as an initial direction for exploring the intercultural perspectives of English language education in an EFL context.