Sybing’s article ‘Assessing perspectives on culture in EFL education’ (Sybing 2011) concludes with the comment ‘Teaching culture in connection with language is a necessity; what is required with teaching the lingua franca is a greater awareness and sensitivity for cultural differences so that respect for all cultures is achieved’ (ibid.: 469). Our aims are thus the same as Sybing’s; however, this is where our agreement ends. Due to space restrictions, we will focus on what, we feel, are the key areas that are overlooked in this account of ‘culture in the EFL classroom’, which result in misleading inaccuracies and problematic solutions.

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Sybing claims that there has been resistance to culture in the language classroom, singling out English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), English as an International Language (EIL), and World Englishes (WE) approaches as...

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