Type Paper
License CC BY 4.0

Developing linguistic and cultural perspectives of English as a foreign language through email discussion

Abstract

This study investigated the role of email discussion in developing both linguistic and cultural perspectives of English as a foreign language (EFL) in Iran. English has been taught through grammatical instruction which, while allows linguistic development, overlooks its cultural aspects in Iranian settings. Cultural values and rules in English textbooks are not modified due to the instrumental uses of L2 in high schools and academic contexts. This research hypothesized that using email discussion may compensate for such shortcomings and strengthen the level of L2 cultural awareness as well as their writing competency. The subjects comprised of 418 EFL teachers and learners dealing with EFL in Iranian universities. Research instruments were pre-test and post-test cultural-oriented essays developed by the researcher. The treatment period was conducted in the fall semester of 2007. Data were statistically analyzed through SPSS 11.5, and the results showed that there was a significant difference in both English cultural awareness and written output between those subjects who used email discussion and those who did not. The experimental group who used email discussion outperformed the control group who did not use it as a teaching aid in writing culture-oriented essays (p<.05). The EFL instructors also believed that email discussion could enhance the EFL learners’ cultural awareness and improve their writing of cultural-oriented essays (p<.05). In other words, email discussion and information exchanges can play a facilitative role in teaching and learning L2 language and culture.

Citation

Gorjian, B. (2008). Developing linguistic and cultural perspectives of English as a foreign language through email discussion. The JALT CALL Journal, 4(3), 3-14.