Assessıng Development Of Learners’ Target Culture Awareness In Turkısh Elt Classrooms
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between direct teaching of culture in advanced writing skills courses and the development of target culture awareness of the first year ELT students at a state university in Turkey. A mixed method research design was applied. The quantitative data were collected through weekly-written scripts based on the learned paragraph development methods. An adapted version of analytic writing rubric as an assessment instrument was employed. The qualitative data were gathered from interview sessions and analyzed via interview transcripts. The sample included 33 participants from the ELT department at Hacettepe University. The implementation phase lasted six weeks that experimental group took their course with direct teaching of target culture in pre-writing phases. The scores given for the development of cultural sense in writing topics were analyzed via SPSS Statistics 22.0. Non-parametric tests were performed since the quantitative data did not display a normal distribution. Descriptive statistics and inferential analysis were operated. Quantitative findings indicated that the experimental group did not demonstrate substantially superior development over the control group in terms of target culture awareness concerning their weekly-collected writing assignments. Thirteen voluntary ELT students in the experimental group attended interview sessions. Qualitative findings displayed that ELT students had a positive attitude toward using techniques and materials they came across in implementation phases. They were of opinion that culturally-oriented activities could assist them to improve their English and be a knowledgeable FL educator. It was inferred that target culture and language learning could be facilitated through developing cultural sensitivity with language tasks by FL educators. This study concluded that since a discrepancy between the findings of quantitative and qualitative data emerged, there is still a requirement in conducting more quantitative and qualitative research on culture teaching in Turkish educational contexts with larger samples.