Teachers' Forum


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How to... an Introduction


These items will present a series of techniques valuable for investigating ‘culture’ in the FL classroom. They are addressed to teachers who want some reliable background, to students preparing projects and they are designed to be ‘trainer friendly’ for use in INSETT and PRESETT. All the techniques have wide use in a variety of school subjects but the focus here will be on achieving intercultural outcomes in an FLT context. In each item there will be links to more detailed discussion and bibliographic references for those interested in more depth.


It is obvious from experience on INSETT courses, summer schools and in PRESETT that there is a real need for some ‘intermediate’ guidelines

  • ‘intermediate’ between a typical application in the social sciences and a specific application in FLT which brings out language values and goals;
  •  ‘intermediate’ between a full academic application and an arbitrary classroom approach used without awareness of method;
  •  ‘intermediate’ - in the sense of Intermediate Technology - making the most of the limited resources available in schools but still being effective;
  • ‘intermediate’ because through references and links, teachers and learners can go on to  further advance their awareness of the technique and their skills in using it.

It is the ambition of these items to enable teachers to update their approaches to culture-in-language teaching from a practical perspective, to raise the level of skills in the use of these techniques as well as raise awareness of their strengths and limitations.


Each contribution will present:

  • The value of the technique in an intercultural FLT context
  • Connections with practical language and cultural studies methodologies
  • Resource and cost implications
  • Procedures for undertaking the technique - stage-by-stage guidelines incorporating
    • a basic list of Dos and Don’ts
    • Teacher’s notes on how to manage the technique with students
  • Links to:
    • a model of the technique in use on the BS web pages
    • background discussion
    • practical exercises
    • other useful websites (including further real examples)


We hope they will be found practical for a range of situations, appropriate to their audiences, accessible and reliable. They should be capable too of producing intercultural outcomes in an FLT context as well as valuable for developing research awareness and skills in students.


In FLT such techniques are usually adopted as needed, often in some kind of project situation, and the aim of these guidelines is to satisfy that need. It would be better however, rather than waiting for the need to arise, to have them introduced systematically before. To this end it is hoped in future to accompany the techniques with practice exercises.

At present you will already find:

How to....



These more advanced background books are available in the British Studies Resource Points

Ø       Alasuutari, P 1995 Researching Culture: Qualitative method and Cultural Studies Sage Publications

Ø       McNeill, P 1990 Research methods Routledge

Ø       Bell, J 1993 (2nd ed) Doing your research project Open University

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