Integrate culture into grammar-based English class to improve communication ability

This project focuses on the teaching of culture, and the benefits of improving communication ability that arises from using cultural products and task-based approach in grammar-based English classes. This project is comprised of cultural products that relate to the five dimensions of culture---products, practices, perspectives, communities and persons, and suggested tasks and activities that teachers can use in English classes for students to develop communication skills and increase their cultural knowledge. The cultural products in this project include: literature, the broadcast media, newspapers, advertising, song and music, film, and information and communications technology (ICT). A review of literature related to the issues of teaching grammar and culture shows that in China, lack of resources and teachers’ attitudes about teaching culture in ESL class are some of the obstacles. This project provides a systematic structure which includes procedures for using the cultural activities, suggested evaluation criteria, and reference materials available to English teachers so that they can integrate culture into classes and support students in improving speaking ability. Moreover, this project can help teachers to create their own curriculum or lesson plans according to different needs in their classrooms. This preparation offers more choices for teachers in the areas of lesson planning and activity selection. More importantly, each step of the learning process permits summarizing formative assessment strategies to assess students’ learning outcomes.