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The Educational Potential of Texts of Culture in Teaching English to Senior Secondary School Students

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Olga Aleksandrowska

This book addresses the issue of using texts of culture in the EFL classroom. It analyzes some of the common problems observed in the teaching of English to senior secondary schools students, particularly in the context of the school leaving examination. It offers a discussion of the role of English language education in the school curriculum and stresses the importance of using texts with cognitive appeal at lessons. It presents the impact of literature, films and songs on the student’s overall development and a set of criteria for text selection. It also investigates the English teacher’s role in exploiting the educational potential of culture texts and proposes a way of integrating them with a system of preparation for the school leaving examination in English.
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1. Selected problems in English language teaching at senior secondary schools

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Undoubtedly, among the many positive effects of globalization observed worldwide over the last few decades, one must appreciate its overall beneficial impact on foreign language learning. The integration of different countries in Europe on political, economic, social and cultural levels, growth in international travel and trade, advances in technology and, in particular, the overwhelming power of the Internet are only some factors that seem to have positively affected the quality of foreign language education. On the whole, language educators notice numerous positive effects both on the practical and theoretical levels, such as a change of assumptions underlying foreign language teaching, an increase in students’ motivation to learn foreign languages, a greater focus on communication in L2, larger awareness of the role of foreign languages in human development, increased consciousness of each learner’s unique learning capacity, the implementation of the concept of lifelong education, a greater variety of teaching methods and techniques, including the use of ICT in ELT, more specialized teacher education and better learning/teaching conditions.

In numerous countries educational reforms have recently taken place in order to meet the requirements of the changing world, and Poland is not an exception. The reform of the Polish educational system (initiated in 1999) aimed at improving the general quality of education. It has led to a number of major positive modifications: the formation of a new type of school, i.e. the junior secondary school (called gimnazjum), developing a concept of Curriculum Framework (in Polish: Podstawa Programowa) – the document...

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