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Raising Intercultural Awareness through Songs in Primary School ELT Classroom

  • Toldi, Julija
Publication Date
Jun 16, 2021
University of Ljubljana
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Teaching culture and raising intercultural awareness is a topic that is widely discussed in the ELT community. Despite the recent trend of promoting culture teaching, there is still a lack of research and teaching materials available. Due to the globalization and the need to communicate with different cultures it is necessary that different strategies of teaching culture be implemented. The main objective of this thesis is to see what resources are currently available to help teachers in teaching culture (with songs) and to find out whether using songs in culture teaching is an effective teaching strategy for raising students’ intercultural awareness. In this context, intercultural awareness encompasses students’ understanding of different cultures and an ability to critically evaluate them and compare them to their own without their knowledge being distorted by stereotypes. To test the hypothesis of whether teaching culture by using songs is an effective teaching strategy, the current literature is analyzed, the inclusion of songs in three contemporary coursebook collections is analyzed and some lesson plans that include songs are presented and discussed. Many currently-available articles agree on the importance of teaching culture and raising students’ intercultural awareness. Both CEFR and Slovene curriculum for English discuss teaching culture and ways to raise intercultural awareness, but mainly focus on the European cultures. When it comes to using songs, there seems to be an agreement that they tend to be a great and authentic resource for culture teaching if they are used appropriately. The current coursebooks include songs, however, the potential of many songs is not realized. The lesson plans seem to be, in theory, a great method of raising students’ intercultural awareness. However, further in-classroom research needs to be conducted in order to test these lesson plans.

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