As long as languages appear, there have also been cultures. Culture is a vital part of the communication process. Consequently, it may be impossible for students to use the language appropriately without culture awareness. In fact, culture teaching in English Language Teaching has got more attention than ever before (Brooks, 1968). The aim of this paper is to identify the content, reasons and approaches culture teaching is applied in ELT classrooms. In this study, I collected and analyzed 13 articles on the Internet, journals as well as books. The content of culture teaching in ELT was categorized into aesthetic, sociological and pragmatic senses, with the emphasis on communicative aspects rather than knowledge information. It also proved the importance of culture teaching in ELT and identified cross- cultural approach as the most sensible one to follow. It concluded with three useful approaches implemented in culture teaching. These preliminary findings suggest that content and teaching methodology need be more systematic and structured.
Key words: Language, Culture, English Language Teaching (ELT).
Culture and English Language Teaching.
It is an undeniable fact that to understand a language completely, it is essential to master not only the language knowledge including grammar, lexis and phonology but also certain features of culture. Correspondingly, learning a language without its culture is a recipe for becoming a "fluent fool. A fluent fool is someone who speaks a foreign language well, but does not understand the social or philosophical content of that language" (Bennett, 1993). That is the sound reason why most language learners, not exposed to cultural elements of the target society, seem to encounter significant hardship in communicating with native speakers. From this fact, the demand for teaching culture in ELT classes has become stronger. However, the question disputably arises as to what, why and how culture should be incorporated into English teaching classrooms.