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Teaching Asian Cultures

Teaching Asian Cultures
Kim, Hannah
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Laura Eunae Park
The advent of multiculturalism has brought a number of challenges into Korean society which has traditionally been a homogeneous one. Korean school classrooms now have a growing number of students from a various multiracial backgrounds (Power, 2012, Voice section, para.1). This phenomenon contributes toward a globalized society in which a variety of cultures come together in one place; thus it is crucial for Korean students to become aware of different cultural frameworks in order to adjust to such diversity in the global society. Despite this current trend in developing multicultural awareness, many English textbooks seem to represent the cultural contents of the United States or Great Britain, avoiding cultural variation (Alptekin, 1993, p. 138). In this sense, it is necessary for English textbooks to reflect the recent demographic changes in the Korean society by introducing cultural diversity. In doing so, Korean students will not only have an opportunity to develop their English language skills, but they will learn to understand and appreciate the many foreigners who now permanently reside in our country. For this textbook, I have selected the cultural content of the Asian countries from which many of the migrant workers and women of interracial marriages come. It is especially worth including the countries that represent the women of interracial marriages in Korea because their children not only attend schools with other Korean children, but they are also considered to be Korean citizens in our society. Nonetheless, many children of multicultural families face alienation and discrimination in their schools; and as a result of racial stereotypes, they experience severe isolation from the core group at educational institutions (Oh, 2005). I believe that such stereotypes can be weakened by a means of indirect experience of other cultures; and by sharing knowledge of other cultures, students of multiracial backgrounds will be accepted as legitimate members of our society. In addition to addressing the need to cultivate multicultural awareness and tolerance, another concern of my textbook is to help the target students to develop their cognitive abilities through critical thinking skills. The target students are 11th graders (in Korea, 2nd year in high school) whose language proficiency level is slightly above high-intermediate with a high level of motivation for English learning. In order to help the learners develop their cognitive abilities, this textbook includes a critical thinking component which presents reading passages on foreign cultures. These reading passages will also provide opportunities for the target students to think critically about what they have read. By doing so, the target students will learn more about the foreign cultures and develop their critical thinking skills at the same time, which seems to be rare in most Korean classrooms. Overall, this textbook will help the target students engage in critical thinking based on the reading texts in addition to providing language learning opportunities. In this way, the students will have a chance to improve their English language skills while at the same time developing an awareness of multicultural tolerance and acceptance.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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