When I was still a student, ages ago, learning languages, I couldn’t help noticing that in my German and Spanish textbooks, there was information about food, schools or cities, in my English textbooks there was little or no mention of any particular British tradition.
When I became a teacher and the years passed, the books did get better mentioning places, but still not as much as the books of other languages.
And I couldn’t help wondering why.
As a teacher I believe that students have to learn as much as they can about the culture of the country / countries a language is spoken.
English, though is a language that is spoken worldwide. And although there are literature and traditions of English speaking countries, this language is used in most of the fields, in business, in studies, in communication, in entertainment, no matter where in the world.
What I try to do in my lesson, is bring extra material, like photos, worksheets, videos that have to do with British and American traditions and cultural events, so that my students can understand more about the people and their mentality.
Although I don’t live abroad, I do have online students from other countries and knowing their language has helped me understand how they react in different situations and has saved me from doing things that could be an insult in their country, but not in mine.
Cross-cultural competency is a must in our world and should be also learned along with a foreign language.