Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Leslie Turpin


In this paper I discuss the value of exploring student culture through ongoing reflective processes for effective and responsible language teaching. I reflect on my own experience of teaching in a foreign language context for the first time, and discuss how developing cultural awareness helped me move from a place of frustration to understanding, and how a change in attitude and teaching approach impacted my relationships and significantly improved the quality of teaching and learning in my classroom. Using Pat Moran’s ‘Cultural Knowings’ framework as a guide, I reflect on my personal transformation while working in South Korea and report on my experience of moving through the stages of learning about the culture of my students (knowing about), investigating the reasons behind their cultural practices (knowing why), exploring my own beliefs (knowing oneself), and applying it all to make informed decisions about my teaching approach (knowing how). This case study highlights the importance of considering culture in foreign language pedagogy and demonstrates how the ‘Cultural Knowings’ framework can be used as a tool for teachers seeking to find balance and harmony in a foreign teaching context, or for teacher training in general.


Curriculum and Instruction | Higher Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development