Developing Cultural Awareness: The Text-Driven Approach as Evidence of a Good Language Teaching Practice


The present article reports a descriptive and explanatory case study, whose objective was to identify and describe to what extend students develop cultural awareness through activities designed under the principles of the Text-Driven Approach (TDA). This approach, presented by Brian Tomlinson, answers the question of how a second language can be learned or acquired in the most effective way in the classroom, and also aims to design interesting materials for students which lead them to think, reflect, and communicate. The research deals with developing cultural awareness in Elementary English students in the Modern Languages Degree at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Basically, the research development comprised 3 stages. The first one consisted of the identification of the problem, which was intended to figure out if students develop cultural awareness in their English classes; the second stage was intended to design a set of activities following the TDA principles. Said design became the core of the pedagogical intervention to give answers to the problem found. The third stage was featured by the implementation of the activities in two different classrooms for a period of three months. During such implementation of the activities, data were collected by using 3 important instruments: the observation sheets, which were helpful in order to gather information about observable students’ behaviors (what students do). The second instrument was a questionnaire, in which students had the opportunity to express what they thought and learned during the implementation of the activities (what students say they do) and finally, we count on artifacts from students (what students really do), regarding the activities designed in order to develop cultural awareness; such artifacts were found by means of the teacher’s guide, the document in which the activities were presented. Therefore, the same phenomenon was observed from 3 different perspectives obtaining a triangulation, a technique, which was considered the most appropriate to do the analysis of the data. The information collected led researchers to 4 important categories through which answers were given to the research question: knowledge (savoir), socio-cultural competence (savoir fare), attitude (savoir être), understanding ‘’the other’’. Such categories allowed researchers to classify the information gathered and obtain the preliminary findings, which showed that the activities designed definitely developed cultural awareness to some extend in Elementary English students.

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Cardona, L. , Rico, C. and Sarmiento, S. (2015) Developing Cultural Awareness: The Text-Driven Approach as Evidence of a Good Language Teaching Practice. Creative Education, 6, 1360-1385. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.612137.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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