Turkish Studies, vol.13, no.11, pp.823-839, 2018 (SSCI)
Learning a language requires the ability to use not only vocabulary and structures accurately and fluently but also it includes the appropriate use of language within a cultural context (Byram 1997). This study aimed to investigate student teachers’ (STs’) perspectives of culture and teaching of cultural features in EFL context and their preference of cultural elements. The informants were 134 third year STs studying in an ELT department. The data was collected by means of a questionnaire. The analysis of the elicited data provided a list of two broad dimensions of culture: global and country-specific cultural themes, based on which a two-part questionnaire was designed. While the first part questioned STs’ preferences of ‘visible and invisible culture’ (Hinkel 2014), the second contained ‘visible and invisible cultural elements which were put in the order of importance. Statistical results showed that the majority believed that they should teach culture explicitly and stated that they should not ignore cultural features in coursebooks. However, only 30% of STs said that they would plan their lesson based solely on cultural themes. Moreover, while STs chose the UK/US lifestyle as the most important element (42.5%) and speech acts (34.3%), the preferred elements of global culture (90.9%). The results indicate that STs need to have their awareness raised on this issue.