Source Culture and Target Culture in English Language Teaching: A Study of Intercultural Pragmatics and Students’ Learning Outcomes

Maria Rehman & Hazrat Umar

This study explores the role of intercultural pragmatics in the improvement of students’ reading comprehension of English. This is an experimental study conducted with 50 eighth-grade Pashtun students whose approximate ages ranged between twelve and thirteen. The experimental group (n=25) was taught an intercultural curriculum which included topics from the British culture (target culture) and Pashtun culture (source culture) in addition to the structure and form of language. The control group (n=25) received the curriculum in the traditional manner, in which the focus was on the structure and form of language. Pre and post-tests were administered to both groups. Comparison of mean scores revealed greater improvement in English language proficiency of the experimental group. It is recommended that topics from both the source and target cultures written in the target language be included in the English curriculum. Further, training programs for language teachers should include intercultural pragmatics in their syllabi. Additional research may be conducted using the same design with participants from different cultures and age groups.

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