HARNESSING CULTURAL DIPLOMACY THROUGH TEACHING/LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Keywords:cultural diplomacy; EFL; socio-cultural awareness; translation
Today’s security environment is dramatically different from the one we’ve been engaged in for the last 30 years and it requires new ways of thinking and new ways of acting. By and large, it concerns a motley tapestry of immensely transformed world politics, economy and environment, communication, employment, psychological and emotional wellbeing, safety and security, societal structures, and social culture and values integrated into the global landscape. Importantly, education has always been a core pillar of strength, since EDUCATION involves every aspect of human life: culture, power, ideology and authorities’ impact. Respectively, education and culture are the powerful forces that drive youth as stakeholders in education to reveal their potential and change their future as well as the future of the globe. In this respect, my strong conviction is that English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom (EFL) can considerably contribute to a culturally versatile development of global citizenship education. Recently foreign language professors/teachers have become a pull and push factor in the sustainable development of both a global society and its citizens. Delving into the problem of harnessing cultural diplomacy through teaching/learning English as EFL, the study presented an in-depth scientific analysis based on conceptual framework of cultural diplomacy as soft power and synthesis which aimed at actual and multifaceted practices and, accordingly, provided the students with opportunities to consider their own experiences and yield their own fruits of soft skills. The present study was designed to determine the effect of cultural diplomacy as soft power that considerably contributes to effective EFL teaching/learning. One of the most significant findings to emerge from this study is that EFL teachers are to provide learners with a rich socio-cultural awareness and living skills, rather than only linguistic training on the target language.
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