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Correspondence: a response to Sybing

Baird, Robert, Baker, Will, Moran Panero, Sonia and Yu, Melissa (2011) Correspondence: a response to Sybing ELT Journal (doi:10.1093/elt/ccr087).

Record type: Article


Sybing’s account of ‘culture in the EFL classroom’ overlooks a number of key aspects of the cultural dimension to ELT and this results in misleading inaccuracies and problematic solutions in his article. Firstly, Sybing claims that there has been resistance to culture in the language classroom whereas in theory and empirical research quite the opposite has been true. Secondly, Sybing’s understanding of culture and language seems to follow the largely discredited strong interpretation of linguistic relativity in which a language is viewed as containing and constraining a culture and world view, in this case English, with national conceptions of UK/US culture. Furthermore, the article contains a number of sweeping generalisations concerning the preferences of English language learners. Alternative perspectives are needed which move beyond simply reinforcing the status quo and falling back on old stereotypes but instead view all cultures, however they might be defined, as equally important and useful

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e-pub ahead of print date: 15 December 2011
Organisations: Modern Languages


Local EPrints ID: 209265
ISSN: 0951-0893
PURE UUID: 7574e15b-ce97-494c-ae21-fbee60a5b595

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Date deposited: 27 Jan 2012 10:00
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:47

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Author: Robert Baird
Author: Will Baker
Author: Sonia Moran Panero
Author: Melissa Yu

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