Reflections of College English Majors’ Cultural Perceptions on Learning English in Taiwan

Ching-Mei Cheng


This study was conducted with the participation of nine English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students and two EFL teachers of the Department of Applied English at an institute of technology in central Taiwan. Based on in-depth interviews with the students and teachers, the findings suggest that the participating students’ perspectives of culture varied and that they were having difficulty interpreting deeper meanings associated with culture. American culture dominated their perceptions; culture learning was not considered important; culture was not yet emphasized in the classes; English is a lingua franca; culture understanding did not influence linguistic proficiency, and cultural self-awareness was not an issue. The participating students’ ultimate educational goals were to earn an English-related certificate, and a cultural understanding of the language did not positively affect the proficiency. This study demonstrated that teaching and learning about culture are necessary and should be stressed in EFL education. The profound effect of cultural learning on language acquisition takes time to develop, and it requires learners’ awareness to promote deeper understanding.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Ching-Mei Cheng

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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