Global perspectives on the notion of 'target culture' associated with English as a foreign language

Rubaiyat Jahan, Peter Stewart Roger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The emergence of English as a global language raises issues for the way in which the ‘target culture’ associated with the language is conceptualised by English language learners in various parts of the world. This paper reports on a focus group study involving language teachers from five different countries (Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mauritius and South Korea) who had themselves learned English as a second or foreign language. The study elicited the views of the participants on the nature of target culture as it applies to English, their attitudes towards it and the factors that influenced the way that they perceived it. Findings revealed a number of sharp distinctions between the views of participants from so-called ‘Outer Circle’ countries and those of participants from ‘Expanding Circle’ countries. The results lend further support to calls in the literature for a reconceptualisation of ‘integrativeness’ as an element of motivation as it relates to the learning of English in today’s globalised world. Some themes that would constitute fruitful avenues for further research are also suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalUniversity of Sydney papers in TESOL
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • English
  • foreign language
  • target culture
  • globalisation

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