Teaching Culture and Identifying Language Interference Errors through Films

  •  Arman Argynbayev    
  •  Dana Kabylbekova    
  •  Yusuf Yaylaci    


This study reflects intermediate level learners’ opinion about employing films in the EFL classroom for teaching culture and avoiding negative language transfer. A total of 63 participants, aged 21-23, took part in the experiment in the Faculty of Philology at Suleyman Demirel University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. During the experiment the subjects were demonstrated six extracts with culture laden scenes in a time range of 1-3 minutes. Participants had to detect peculiarities of American and Japanese cultures and compare them with Kazakh traditions. In the second part of the experiment, the subjects had to dub the film clips from Russian into English and compare their work with the original sequence. The study showed that the participants enjoyed both activities, and were ready to do them on a regular basis. Students also claim that Japanese and Kazakh cultures have certain similarities, yet there are significant differences too. The learners also assert that Kazakhs have been affected by globalization. As a result, Kazakhs share beliefs and opinions of American culture in some aspects. The most frequent mistakes in dubbing among the learners were omitting articles, incorrect word order in direct and indirect questions, incorrect use of present perfect and past simple tenses, and word-for-word translation.  This work adds to the field of culture, language transfer and using films in the EFL classroom.

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