It’s been a long time since students and populations in general idealized the USA, UK, etc. as the best countries in the world. But, for some reason, so many EFL coursebooks still have a focus on a Western country and the conversations and activities are typically based on activities or even cultural events in that country.
Students in most countries these days often see their own country as one of the best places to live or sometimes even as the best country in the world. And who are you or I to argue with them if we are to show proper respect for their country and culture?
And . . . why do so many publishing companies and EFL/ESL authors still believe that our Western culture is so fascinating and interesting to our students that they should do their studies with a focus on it?
Those days have come and gone. And one good way to demotivate your students is to have them do their studies talking about something that just may not interest them at all.
One of the best ways to motivate your students is to change everything to focus on their country and their culture. If they are learning directions, get a map of the town/city where you are teaching or make a map of the neighborhood. If the lesson is about prices, why in the world use pounds and dollars! Use won, yuan, yen, peso, krona or whatever the local currency is.
Got the idea? It is simple, but very effective in getting your students more involved. They will also notice your respect for their country and culture and return that respect to you.
TED’s Tips™ #1: Localize your lessons. It is one of the easiest ways to motivate your students and to show a little respect for their culture and country.