Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Larisa Warhol

Second Advisor

Michael Raines

Third Advisor

Tamara Warhol

Relational Format



The present research is interested in investigating if culture is approached in efl and esl classrooms. If it is, we want to know the differences in curriculum (textbooks and syllabi), especially as it pertains to cultural knowledge, in an efl class in Brazil, compared to an esl class in the united states. We will also investigate the classroom practices for incorporating culture into the English language classrooms in those contexts. Finally, we will check which cultural teaching approaches are evident in those efl and esl classrooms. Although it is difficult to define precisely what is meant by the term "culture", what is clear from all the attempts at defining it is that culture is both historic and immediate; it shapes action and in turn is shaped by them. It is a dynamic process rather than a static, monolithic entity with a stable existence. This research will take place in two universities, one in Brazil and another one in the United States. The participants are undergraduate and graduate students taking English as a foreign language in Brazil. These students are taking English either as an elective or a mandatory course in order to get a bachelor's degree in modern languages. In the United States, it is a little different, because most students are not regular students at the university. Some of them want to get fluency in English in order to be able to apply to that school to get a bachelor's degree. A few of them are already students at the university and they want to improve their language skills. Besides interviewing both English teachers, who are not native-speakers of English, I will analyze the textbooks adopted, their syllabi, and also observe some classes. It is of great importance to observe how culture can be addressed in more advanced language levels. An interview with the teachers was also performed. We will see that both teachers address culture in their language classrooms and promote cultural competence among the students but only the esl teacher promotes intercultural competence. The culture component is not part of any syllabi, though.


Emphasis: Applied Linguistics and TESOL



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