EKIS3130 Beyond Big Ben: Teaching English through critical cultural content (5 cr)

Study level:
Advanced studies
Grading scale:
Responsible organisation:
Department of Language and Communication Studies
Curriculum periods:
2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020



How can “culture” be addressed in the English classroom in meaningful, authentic, non-stereotyping ways? This course is designed for pre-service teachers of English (or other “foreign” languages) who are interested in designing and using relevant and critical cultural content in their lessons. After a brief refresher on (or introduction to) content-based language teaching, we delve into explorations of terms such as “culture” and “intercultural sensitivity” and their meaning for the English/language classroom. Based on relevant literature, we will discuss (if and) how cultural and potentially sensitive topics could be taught and develop hands-on strategies for applying culturally sensitive and sustaining pedagogies in lesson design and implementation.

Students’ participation in class will be assessed throughout the course and accounts for 50% of the final grade (formative assessment). The final paper (summative assessment) of the course will be a unit plan (3 lessons) that is based on the readings, theories, and ideas we discussed and developed throughout the course, which can be done collaboratively in groups of 2-4. One activity or section of this unit plan will be presented/taught in class (unit plan + presentation: 50%).


Group work, pair work, individual work, homework, teaching presentations, final paper (unit plan)


50% participation in class
50 % unit plan (3 lessons) + teaching presentation

Learning outcomes

• Students will be able to design content-based language classes.
• Students will be able to critically assess materials or activities in regards to their cultural relevance or sensitivity.
• Students will be able to create culturally sensitive teaching content/materials.
• Students will be familiar with strategies of culturally sensitive/sustaining pedagogies.
• Students will be able to blend culturally sensitive/sustaining teaching with language teaching.

Additional information

Attendance policy
A minimum of 80% class attendance is required.

Description of prerequisites

Students should have completed most of their intermediate English studies.

Study materials

A collection of readings will be provided on SISU or Moodle.

Completion methods

Method 1

Select all marked parts
Parts of the completion methods

Participation in teaching (5 cr)

Participation in teaching
Grading scale: