Integrating Culture into English Language Classrooms: The Perspectives of Pre-Service English Teachers in Thailand
This paper aims to explore Thai pre-service English teachers’ perspectives towards integrating culture into English language classrooms and to investigate the problems, difficulties and suggestions to integrate culture into English language classrooms. The samples are 125 pre-service English teachers in the central region of Thailand and four pre-service teachers for interview selecting by purposive sampling. The research instruments were the online questionnaire about the pre-service English teachers’ perspectives towards integrating culture in their English language classroom and the semi-structure interview with the guided questions about the problems, difficulties and suggestions to integrate culture into English language classrooms. The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics; average, standard deviation and percentage for the quantitative data and using thematic content analysis for the interview responses. The findings indicate that the pre-service English teachers have high awareness of the importance of integrating culture in their English classrooms and believe that integrating culture into English classrooms will help students to improve the language skills and use them appropriately. On the contrary, the pre-service English teachers think that students’ exposure to different cultures and students’ awareness of the importance of learning different cultures are limited. The interview responses present that the pre-service English teachers have limited knowledge regarding different cultures in order to integrate culture in their lessons and it should have more teaching material and teacher training on integrating culture with the English lessons.
Keywords - English Language Teaching, Teaching Culture, Pre-Service English Teachers