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


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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2. The educational potential of English language lessons


As mentioned in the previous chapter, in spite of numerous positive changes appearing in English language teaching, there still exists a need for implementing more valuable educational solutions in foreign language classrooms. The widespread assumption held is that teaching a foreign language to communicate and teaching the testing skill are much more useful and easier than exposing students to “difficult” subject matters, such as literary texts or other cognitively and linguistically advanced materials. Nonetheless, it can be observed that researchers, engaged in different pedagogical projects, are gradually beginning to realize that education through language – any language – opens a field of enormous possibilities for the student’s general development. They ask the following question: “Is equipping students with adequate linguistic skills the main goal of English language teaching or are there any other, higher purposes to be fulfilled?” The present author also feels that the potential of the educational role of English language teaching has not been adequately exploited yet and that the way of thinking about teaching and learning English deserves to be changed. Exploiting the real potential of ELT means teachers’ attempts at the realization of diverse educational objectives, not only linguistic ones. The other goals will now be briefly characterized.

2.1 Linguistic goals and wider educational goals of English language teaching

In present foreign language education, the main goal of an English language course seems to be to teach English as an aim in itself, and to equip students with an adequate level...

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