Culture Teaching in the Chinese High School Education Context: A Study of Teachers' Attitudes and Beliefs
Developing learners' intercultural awareness and their communicative competence has been an important and acknowledged goal of foreign language education. To achieve this goal, the integration of culture teaching has become important for researchers and practitioners in the field of foreign language education. Understanding of the concept of culture, the approach to culture teaching and the cultural content of the curriculum varies across different social environments. This study looks at
... tudy looks at culture teaching in the current context of English teaching in Chinese high schools, exploring teachers' attitudes and beliefs about culture teaching in the Chinese educational context. The impetus for locating this research focus in teacher attitudes and beliefs comes from reforms to current Chinese school education that started in 2001. The central appeal of this reform, and what differentiates it from previous reforms, is that it shifts attention to humanities-based education across school subjects. The reform in relation to English teaching was launched with the promulgation of the National High School English Curriculum Standard (MoE, 2001, the Standard used in this thesis). Developing students' intercultural awareness and cultivating in them a healthy global view is explicitly stated in the Standard as one of the ultimate goals of school English education. Therefore, the cultural dimension is clearly stated as one of the explicit teaching content areas instead of being a hidden aspect of the curriculum as it was in previous curricula. The aim of the investigation of this study is to answer two research questions: "To what extent are teachers' attitudes and beliefs about culture teaching congruent with the relevant objectives presented in the Standard?" and "To what extent can the cultural objectives stated in the Standard be achieved within the current Chinese educational environment?"