Understanding the role of culture during teaching and learning through English second language at a university of technology
Vosloo, Dorothea Susanna
MetadataShow full item record
This study focuses on understanding the role of culture during teaching and learning through English L2 at the University of Technology; determine the fundamental nature of culture; gain a better understanding of the role of cultural factors that influence L2 teaching and learning of the 1st year students; and propose possible solutions to deal with problems caused by the influence of culture on teaching and learning through English L2. South Africa is a multicultural and multilingual country, a situation which has led to multiracial and multicultural learning institutions. There is, therefore, a need for students in South Africa to develop the skills, knowledge, competence and attitudes to function effectively in a diverse society. The lecturers’ attitudes, knowledge base and cultural competence are also crucial when setting educational goals of acceptance and appreciation of diversity. In this study, a phenomenological design was followed. Interviews were conducted with a carefully recruited sample of participants (i.e. first year students that were all L2 speakers and lecturers who teach in a L2) at a university of technology. The researcher recruited participants by means of purposeful sampling. Twenty students and five lecturers participated in this study. The literature and empirical research indicated that culture and language are inseparable and that culture is important to both students and lecturers. Knowledge of other cultures by both students and lecturers would promote understanding of one another’s cultures and would benefit teaching and learning. Despite the opinion that students would perform better if they were to receive instruction in their mother tongue, they noted the advantages of being taught in English L2, that is, better chances of finding work, becoming communicatively competent in a world where English is spoken by so many people.
- Education