Nowadays, their culture and background. With the growth of

Nowadays, English is a language spoken all over the world and has become an international language. In most countries around the world, English is considered as a second language, in a large number is becoming the first language by replacing the native languages of some countries. English is the language of academy, business, art, internet, and technology, which are among the most important things of the 21st century. Linguists are including new methodologies in language teaching and are improving them day by day. As new methodologies are advancing they are making more student-centered classes. So, what is important in a classroom is the student and their culture and background. With the growth of importance of student-centered classes their culture is becoming important as well.

Including local culture in English language classes means including student’s interest in learning English. And it is not only student’s culture that must be considered in the classroom but teacher’s culture as well must be taken into consideration. It is not that students won’t be interested in learning a new language, but when they learn a language they learn about its culture as well and if we do not relate it with something they already know (their culture) it might be forgotten very fast. It is important to include as more as we can from local culture because learning things that are related to them will make them enjoy learning a new language. At the same time, they learn about the culture of the foreign country and they also learn about describing their own culture using a foreign language, as it is English in this case. So, if we work with a varied classroom where there are students of different cultures, us as teachers must try and adapt our curriculum to the majority of them. Which means, including a little part from all the cultures of the students in our classroom and teachers culture as well if it differs from them.  As Sowden has said that the teacher has “to be aware not only of the cultures of their students and their environment but also of the cultures that they themselves bring to the classroom” (Sowden, 2007).

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Nevertheless, my philosophy of teaching local culture in English language classes include:

For students to understand target language it is unavoidable not to include local culture. The least that teacher can do to include local culture is to make examples of everyday life in the classroom in order to explain different topics that are mentioned while teaching them the target language (English). And when giving various examples of them using English to describe something will help them understand English better and learn how to use it in everyday contexts.  

In order not to lose local culture by learning a foreign language and their culture the development must start from the government, by engaging linguists, teachers, and persons from different professions work on this issue. We must change the curriculum and add stories that are related to our culture explained in the English language, we must add poems, songs, and different exercises. Adapting books to local culture by not excluding the culture of native language but combining them together for better learning. As a result at the same time, we teach them target language and give them local taste while learning that language.

My teaching philosophy also reflects my interests in collaborative authorship, which it means including students as much in our classes. Instead of the classical method with teacher-centered classes, I want my classes to be student-centered classes which encourage students learning the language and it makes the environment more students friendly. I prefer classroom dynamics which allows conversations and promotes students engagement level in curriculum and that it helps the teacher with their assessment. At the same time, I promote the extent of development and preparatory courses in the English language throughout the country.Being an English teacher doesn’t mean only teaching them learning new words and their pronunciation or learning grammar, but it also means teaching them culture. So we as the teacher must be prepared in every aspect of the language, which means working hard, being tireless, being creative and have the required commitment in order to be able to teach the language to our students.

Teaching English language, I as well focus on some other areas that have had a positive effect on learning the language from my students; here are some other additional elements: using different forms of communication in the classroom, being divided into groups or working in pairs; make them record their own speaking and bring it to the classroom asking the others to find errors in their pronunciation or finding errors by themselves; keeping an everyday diary in English, which it helps them be more curious about English and helps them to enrich their everyday vocabulary; assigning them to read literature in English; encouraging them to watch more videos in English language in order to better their pronunciation and vocabulary, visit a country or a family where English is spoken, make the classroom environment resembles a café, a restaurant or a hospital in order to make them face everyday life experiences, make quizzes etc.

Applying these in our classes I think it is easier for students to learn and understand a language and culture at the same time. Because teaching how to use a foreign language and include local culture in it makes it a kind of masterpiece for teachers who teach it. It is very hard and requires better work from the teacher; they must be well-prepared for everything that comes, they must be professionals, flexible and ready to face and address unexpected problems and questions that may occur while the students raise any issue in the classroom. All the above requirements and hard work addressed to the students must be applied by the teachers as well. Because we as teachers must be prepared and know all new methodologies that are used around the world and new issues that concern our students today. So, teachers and students must work simultaneously in order to achieve the best results.

Every nation has its culture, language and tradition, which defines the manner of behavior, position taken, values and knowledge systems that share properties among members of certain ethnic groups and follows them through tradition and culture as a whole of all processes and changes that has resulted in the base material and spiritual intervention of society. So, every nation must ‘fight’ to keep their culture and heritage alive. Learning English and its culture help us integrate into the modern world and become more professionals, but without forgetting our culture because if we forget our own culture we won’t exist as a nation anymore. Maybe one day English will be the one and only language spoken all over the world, but cultures in different countries won’t be the same. So, in order to prevent the world to become as a whole unit, with one culture and one language, we as small countries must work hard not to lose our culture and keep our existence for a long time.