The Impact of Cross-Cultural Background Knowledge upon Iranian EFL Students’ Productive Skills

Fatemeh Jamasbi, Mohammad Sadegh Bagheri


Teaching culture has been considered important in foreign language instruction for almost a century. In this study the
literature behind Cultural Schema Theory was reviewed and the practicality of applying this theory into the EFL
classroom and its effect on the EFL students’ productive skills (writing and speaking) were observed. This study
includes two phases. First, a learning phase in which the treatment group was exposed to a variety of materials of
different cultural issues. Second, a test phase in which a pre and post-test of speaking and writing were given to both
control and experimental groups to determine any differences in their writing and speaking performance. And at the
end of the treatment a semi-structured interview was used to know the experimental group’s opinion about different
cultural issues that were discussed during the term in their EFL class. The data was subjected to the statistical
procedure of t-test and the results of this study indicated that not only all the students of experimental group
outperformed the students of control group in their speaking and writing performance but also according to the
semi-structure interview the students of experimental group had a positive reaction towards the integration of culture
into the classroom context. The results showed that L2 learners may need to understand different aspects of the target
culture better in order not only to speak and write accurately but also to interpret appropriately what they hear and to
interact effectively with members of the target culture.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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