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One of the most important components in ELT in recent time is culture. As stated by
Hall and Hewings (2001) that cultures serve as the fifth dimension of language
teaching in addition to the four skills viz. listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Understanding of the forms of address, greeting, farewell, making requests, thanking
and replying to thank you, giving advice, making and receiving compliments, and
apologizing means understanding and being able to produce grammatical sentences.
Moreover, understanding those aforementioned language functions means knowing
what is appropriated to say, to whom, and in what situations, and it also means
understanding the values and beliefs represented by different language functions.
Therefore, incorporating culture to increase students awareness of culture in the target
language is considered as an important element in ELT.
According to Tomalin and Stampleski (in Sarigul and Ashton-Hay 2005) the teaching
of culture in ELT should have some goals. First, the teaching of culture helps students
to understand that all people demonstrate different cultural behavior based on the
condition. Secondly, it helps students to develop understanding that social variables
such as age, sex, social class, and place of residence influence the way people behave
and speak. Thirdly, it helps the students to develop their awareness of cultural
connotation and phrases frequently used in the target language. Finally, it functions as
stimulation to the students curiosity about the target culture and encourage
understanding towards its people.
Some techniques can be used to teach culture in English language classes. Some
cultural activities and ideas such as role-play, drama, culture capsule, and culture
assimilators can be incorporated into the lesson plans to increase the students cultural
awareness of the target language.
Very effective techniques in increasing students cultural awareness are role play and
drama (ODowd 2004). Role play can be used to teach cultural expression. In a role
play, a student takes on the role of another person and acts out some situations. Role
play is an effective teaching activities to increase students cultural awareness since in
role play, the students learn how to use the language creatively and imaginatively.
Moreover, role play is very effective in increasing students cultural awareness
because authentic materials in English speaking countries such as concert tickets,
menus, and newspaper can be used to introduce the culture based on the real life

situations. Similarly, drama is useful to practice a miscommunication situations based

on cultural differences. In this technique, students act out in a series of short scenes a
misinterpretation of something that happens in the target culture. Other students, then,
may analyze the causes of the misinterpretation and suggest some ways to solve the
Culture capsule, developed by foreign English teacher and an anthropologist, is
comparing the home and the target culture in a short description consists of one or two
paragraphs, accompanied by an illustrative photo, slide, or realia. Culture capsule
promotes discussion and problem solving about cultural differences to make the
students aware of the culture in the target language. Thanasoulas (2001) states that
instead of discussion problems caused by cultural differences, students can be given
some alternate endings to the story, then the following discussion focuses on the most
appropriate solution to adopt.
Among other techniques are culture assimilators, developed by a social psychologist
with the aim to facilitate adjustment to a target culture. Culture assimilators comprises
a brief description of some situations in which one person from the home culture
interacts with other persons from the target culture (Henrichsen in Thanasoulas 2001).
After some descriptions of the situations have been introduced, students are given four
possible explanations and asked to choose the correct one. When every student has
made a choice, they discuss why some options are correct and incorrect. Culture
assimilators is an effective technique to increase students cultural awareness in ELT
because it gives students understanding about the target culture and promote students
emotional empathy.
What is a cultural mosaic?
A cultural mosaic is a description of a nation that considers the different races,
ethnicities and otherness of its citizens essential to its existence. The mosaic is
often contrasted with the melting pot, which requires all of those differences to
meld together in assimilation
Scholars disagree over which type of description leads to a healthier diversity in a
country. When people have clearly defined differences, languages and values, it can
lead to biases and assumptions remaining the same because it can be difficult to
relate to people who are so different.
The downside for some people with the melting pot way of nationalism is the
tendency to homogenize everyone, excluding those who refuse to assimilate and
making minorities feel as if their unique differences have to disappear in order for
the country to survive.

As the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation believes, however, being different from each
other can be a way to learn new things and experience personal growth without
losing that which makes a person unique. In the cultural mosaic viewpoint, knowing
and preserving the various cultural values that exist serves to help bring about
understanding and tolerance between people and countries.
A good example of a culturally mosaic country is Canada, whereas the United States
is known for being a melting pot.