An Analysis of Local and Target Culture Integration in English Textbooks

Language is an important thing for people as a but the existence of local cultural content means of communication. It cannot be studied contained in the book is still questionable. without contents, cultures or wisdoms of its According to Sapir (2002), language is a community or nation. And culture cannot be purely human and non-instinctive method of expressed and communicated without language. communicating ideas, emotions and desire by As any language is inseparable from its culture means of voluntarily produced symbols. It is (Williams, 2010), teaching a new language will used to express thoughts and to communicate inevitably involve teaching a new culture. information. Meanwhile culture is defined by Meanwhile, English as an international language Llurda (2004) as synonymous with the ways of which is used as a means of communication the people and structured systems of patterned among nation in the world either in spoken or behaviours. Wardhaugh (2002) maintains that written interaction makes the interest in learning language determines thought and culture, English grow very rapidly. Ramelan (1992, p. 2) language influences thought and culture, culture said that English is the first foreign language to influences people’s language and language and be taught in Indonesia.

It is taught from culture influence each other. In principle, a elementary school up to university. textbook is a book written for the teacher(s) and Regarding the relationship between an the students in a class or a school, which present a international language and culture, Smith (1976, set of teaching and learning materials in a subject cited in McKay, 2003) posited some or closely-related subjects. A textbook can take assumptions: Learners of an international the form of printed materials for the students to language do not need to internalize the cultural read or printed materials plus tasks for the norms of the native speakers of that language, the students to carry out. ownership of an international language becomes Culture is an important aspect in ELT denationalized and the educational goal of textbooks. Kramsch (1993) states that language learning an international language is to enable and culture are inseparable.

EFL learners acquire learners to communicate their ideas and cultures both target language and culture. It is part of the to others. So, the teaching of English should put communicative competence which includes forward to capturing target culture, but cultural understanding, conversational routines, unnecessarily neglect the local culture. It should and the target society’s norms and values. embed not only the target culture, but also other Research has shown that ELT textbooks contain non-native cultures of periphery nations. representations of culture and society. Textbooks Responding to the emergence of non-native include cultural representations of different varieties of English and to the fact that people cultures around the world. from non-native countries of English Three categories of culture presented in communicate in English, teaching-learning textbook in this study were based on the idea of materials and activities should also cover the Cortazzi & Jin (1999). They distinguish three nonnative cultures of English (Syahri, 2010, p. categories of cultural information that can be 48). used in language textbooks and materials. Target Furthermore, the 2003 Act of the Republic of culture materials usually focus on one or two Indonesia on the National Education System target cultures, such as the United Kingdom, suggests the teachers’ responsibility for United States.

The textbooks of this category are maintaining the Indonesian national culture, the most popular instruction materials in the EFL rooted on the values of religion and local context. Though widely used all over the world, wisdoms. As textbooks are generally considered they are often criticized for their commercial to be the major source of the teaching materials, nature and seen as publishers’ promotional they have an important role in integrating materials. Source/ Local culture materials refer cultures or cultural elements in the teaching and to the textbooks which present language learners’ learning process. When talking about English own culture. Usually, these are the textbooks that textbooks, there are many types of English text are produced at a national level for a particular books which can be found on the market today. country.

The main purpose of this category of textbooks is to enable learners to talk about their process, in which the material is first examined own culture to foreign visitors to their country and categorized into its different functions, such rather than be prepared to encounter other as teaching or practising language content, cultures. International target culture materials learning skills or tasks, which are related to real involve textbooks that include a wide variety of life. In a further step different kinds of activities cultures set in English-speaking countries or in are identified in order to become aware of how an countries where English is not a first or a second item or task can be presented or worked on. language, but is used as an international Considering this fact, this study intended to language. Cortazzi and Jin (1999) maintain that analyze the percentage of local culture the rationale for this category is that speakers integration compared with the percentage of who do not speak it as their first language target culture integration in the English frequently use English in international situa- textbooks for senior high school in Palembang. tions.

Name : Dian Anggraini Sorongan, Rini Susanti, Indawan Syahri

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