Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on New Approaches in Education
Cultural Topics in Foreign Language Teaching: On the Example of Advanced Polish Learners
Teaching foreign cultures requires thorough analysis and research, for example by focusing on the needs and interests of foreign language learners. The aim of the presentation is to explore selected topics related to foreign cultures that may: (1) arouse the interest of foreign language learners; (2) help the learners develop cultural competence and foreign language knowledge; and (3) assist teachers in selecting appropriate methods for teaching a foreign culture. A theoretical analysis was conducted and compared with the results of a study involving 150 individuals learning Polish at proficiency levels B2–C2 in selected universities in Poland offering Polish language courses. The survey findings revealed that sports and the natural environment were the least interesting topics to the learners, while subjects such as the state and society, everyday life, science and work garnered the highest interest. The results regarding the preferred ways of teaching a foreign culture may be considered as concerning for the development of learners’ productive language skills. The majority of respondents expressed a preference for traditional lecture-style instruction regarding foreign cultures, rather than actively seeking information independently, or engaging in discussions with classmates. The findings may be an inspiration for specialists in language education in creating curricula for teaching foreign culture and foreign language taught in the cultural context. Additionally, foreign language teachers can benefit from these results when designing their own teaching/learning materials.
keywords: cultural competence, cultural context, foreign culture learning, foreign language learning, language education