Stars & stripes and Union Jack: Exploring the presence of native-speaker cultures in an English major program

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Sutraphorn Tantiniranat

Abstract

As English has become the main language for intercultural communication, cultivating students’ ability to communicate in English with people from differing linguistic and cultural backgrounds is imperative. A current concern of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is the prevalence of the target culture of native-speakers in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) settings despite being questioned by a growing body of literature. This paper presents the results from an exploration of such concern in an English major program at a Thai public university. The data was drawn from a review of curricular documents and photographs of artifacts produced by the members of the program. Consistent with the literature, the results identified a strong linkage between the target language (English) and target culture. The findings support the need for changes in how native-speaker culture should be approached in English major programs and the need for developing English major programs that produce English major graduates who can thrive in the increasingly intercultural age.

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