An Examination of the Theoretical Foundations of Cross-Cultural Studies through an Analysis of Cross-Cultural Research in ELT

  • Published : 2016.12.30


This paper interrogates the theoretical foundations of Cross-Cultural Studies across the Social Sciences through an examination of the field ELT. Through an examination of ELT's major theoretical and pedagogical moves, this paper illustrates how ELT is by nature a field of cross-Cultural Studies. A closer examination of the history of ELT shows how the colonial genesis of the field indicates a skewed representation of power between native English speaking nations and non-native speaking nations both in terms of academic theories and pedagogies, as well as socio-cultural relations of power. A further analysis of how the field theorizes and represents various relations of power between disparate cultures in ELT literature explicates the dilemma of the objectivity and neutrality of Cross-Cultural research in ELT. In doing so, the analyses included in this paper thus necessarily raises questions regarding the theoretical foundations of research methodologies of Cross-Cultural Studies in terms of the reflexivity of researchers and the problematic of how, or if, relations of power are included in the studies. This paper questions whether studies that do not include these research perspectives properly represent the disparate cultures under study, or are more of a biased, or Orientalized (Said, 1979) interpretation of cultures.


Supported by : Incheon National University