Local culture and language learning: the impact on motivation in oral production in High Schoolefl class

Margarita Reyes, Melita Vega


Given the relation between language and culture, the incorporation of local culture topics in the EFL classroom can serve as a means of fostering greater comfort among students when speaking in public. Therefore, the present study aimed to provide a closer look at EFL learners’ speaking performance by introducing local culture topics to speaking assignments in class. This paper reports the findings of a mixed methods study on the effect of local culture topics on speaking skills and motivation of a group of students at a high school in Cuenca, Ecuador. Quantitative data was collected through a pre-test and post-test based on the Attitude Motivation Test Battery (Gardner, 1985). Qualitative data was gathered through speaking rubrics, class observations, student questionnaires and teacher interviews to gauge students’ level of comfort during speaking activities and their perceptions on the incorporation of local culture as a focal point. While the quantitative results showed no statistical differences between the students’ pre and post motivation scores, classroom observations showed increases in their oral production and appreciation for local culture topics. Further research with a longer period of intervention time is recommended.


Local culture, anxiety, motivation, speaking skills.


Dada la relación entre el lenguaje y la cultura, la incorporación de temas de cultura local en el aula de inglés como lengua extranjera pueden servir como herramienta para fomentar mayor comodidad entre los estudiantes al momento de hablar en público. Este artículo reporta los resultados de un estudio de métodos mixtos sobre el efecto de temas de cultura local en destrezas orales y motivación de un grupo de estudiantes en un colegio secundario en Cuenca, Ecuador. Los datos cuantitativos fueron obtenidos a través de un pre y post-test basado en la prueba de actitud y motivación de Gardner (1985). Los datos cualitativos fueron obtenidos mediante rúbricas, observaciones en clase, cuestionarios a estudiantes y entrevistas a profesores. Si bien los resultados cuantitativos no mostraron diferencias estadísticas significativas con relación a los puntajes del pre y el post-test de motivación, las observaciones de clase mostraron un incremento en la producción verbal de los estudiantes y su apreciación por temas locales. Se recomienda para futuras investigaciones una mayor cantidad de tiempo de intervención.

Palabras clave:

Cultura local, ansiedad, actitud, motivación, destrezas orales. 

Texto completo:



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ISSN on line: 2631-2662

ISSN impreso: 2661-6521