Culture in foreign language education: issues past and present
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For at least a century, applied linguists have been researching and developing an ever evolving concept of how to approach and teach culture in the foreign language (FL) classroom. Frequently, we find researchers stating why culture should be taught, offering their own definitions of culture, and suggesting methods for practical implementation. A common goal in this process has been finding a cohesive definition of culture that would unite the field in the implementation of methods that would naturally follow. While great strides have been made in the development of theories, definitions, and suggested methods, there exists a lag between researchers’ discoveries and the application of the concept in teachers’ lessons. This paper will briefly review the history of culture research in the FL field, offer analysis of potential reasons for the lag in implementation, and conclude with an overview of challenges in the practical field.