Multicultural Teaching in Nigeria’s English Language Classroom: Examining Secondary School Teachers’ Perceptions and Preparedness

Multicultural Teaching in Nigeria’s English Language Classroom: Examining Secondary School Teachers’ Perceptions and Preparedness

Patience Ihianakuihiomen Olemekwu Aika University of Benin (Nigeria)
This study examined the state of multicultural teaching and teachers’ perception of their preparedness for it in secondary schools in Benin City, Nigeria. Two research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design. The one hundred and twenty-nine (129) English Language teachers in Benin City constituted the population of the study. A sample of 98 English Language teachers selected through multi-stage sampling participated in the study. Data for the study were obtained using the ‘Questionnaire on English Language Teachers’ Awareness and Perception of Integrating Cultural Contents in ELT’ (r = .78). Data collected were analysed using Mean, Standard Deviation, t-test and ANOVA. Results revealed that teachers integrated culture in ELT. Additionally, although teachers felt adequately prepared to integrate culture in ELT, they indicated a need for further training in multicultural education. Teachers were not found to significantly differ in terms of their perceptions of preparedness for multicultural teaching based on sex and qualification. Based on the findings, it was recommended that teacher education programs be reviewed to accommodate multicultural education in ELT while in-service training should be provided for employed teachers.
Intercultural competence
teacher perception
teacher preparedness
multicultural teaching.

[1] Adamo, G., & Igene, S. (2015). Teaching English in a multilingual and multicultural context: The Nigeria experience. IAFOR International Conference on Language Learning - Dubai 2015 Official Conference Proceedings. Retrieved on June 6th, 2023, from: iicll2015/IICLL2015_07373.pdf

[2] Aika, P.I.O. & Musa, R. J. (2020). An examination of the cultural contents in senior secondary school English Language textbooks in Nigeria. Abia State University Journal of Educational Studies, 7(1), 76-88

[3] Alemu, Y. (2017). Exploring primary school teachers’ multicultural competence and its correlates. African Educational Research Journal, 5(3), 194-199

[4] Barraja-Rohan, A. M. (1999). Teaching conversation for intercultural competence. In J. Lo Bianco, A. J. Liddicoat & C. Crozet (Eds.), Striving for the third place: Intercultural competence through language education (pp. 143-154). Language Australia.

[5] Bouslama, A., & Benaissi, F.B. (2018). Intercultural competence in ELT contexts: A study of EFL teachers’ perceptions. Arab World English Journal, 9 (4), 122-135. DOI: vol9no4.8

[6] Byram, M. (2011). Intercultural citizenship from an international perspective. Journal of the NUS Teaching Academy, 1(1), 10–20

[7] Cortazzi, M., & Jin, L. (1999). Cultural mirrors: Materials and methods in the EFL classroom. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Culture in second language teaching (pp. 196-219). Cambridge University Press.

[8] Ertan, A., Boyraz, S., & Çıtak, T. (2018). Multiculturalism: Are pre-service ELT teachers ready for it? Journal of Modern Science, 2 (37), 307–318.

[9] Federal Republic of Nigeria. (1988). Cultural Policy for Nigeria. Lagos: Federal Government Printers.

[10] Federal Government of Nigeria. (2013). National Policy on Education (6th Ed.). Lagos: NERDC Press

[11] Gashi, L. (2014). Intercultural awareness through the English Language in middle schools: The case of Kosovo. MA TESOL Collection. 742. Retrieved on August 7th, 2023, from: https://digitalcollections.sit. edu/ipp_collection/742

[12] Gönen, S., & Sağlam, S. (2012). Teaching culture in the FL classroom: Teachers’ perspectives. International Journal of Global Education, 1(3), 26-46. Retrieved on August 8th, 2023, from: index.php/ijge/article/view/143

[13] Han, H. (2010). An investigation of teachers’ perceptions of culture teaching in secondary schools in Xinjiang, China. Durham Theses, Durham University. Retrieved on June 3rd, 2023, from:

[14] Ho, STK (2011). An investigation of intercultural teaching and learning in tertiary EFL classrooms in Vietnam. Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved on 20th June 2023, from: https://www.researcharchive. thesis.pdf?sequence=2

[15] HoangThu, T. (2010). Teaching culture in the EFL/ESL classroom. Retrieved on 8th September 2023, from:

[16] Israelsson, A. (2016). Teachers’ perception of the concept of intercultural competence in teaching English. Individual Research Project, Stockholms University, Sweden. Retrieved on 6th May, 2023, from: =urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131353

[17] Jalali, S., Tamimi, S., & Hatam, S. (2014). Culture in ELT: A probe into Iranian EFL teachers’ perspectives. International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning, 3 (3), 15-28. https://doi:10.5861/ ijrsll.2013.599

[18] Kaça, E. (2015). Teachers’ beliefs and practices of cultural content in the ELT classroom: A multifaceted analysis through the EIL lens. Retrieved on 7th September 2023, from: handle/11511/69831/12618549.pdf

[19] Karabinar, S., & Guler, C. Y. (2012). The attitudes of EFL teachers towards teaching culture and their classroom practices. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 2(2), 113-126.

[20] Kumaravadivelu, B. (2008). Cultural globalization and language education. Yale University Press.

[21] Leighton, L. (2010). Teachers’ perceptions of their cultural competencies: An investigation into the relationship among teachers’ characteristics and cultural competence. Retrieved on August 10th, 2023, from:

[22] Murtha, H., Bowens-MacCarthy, P., Morote, E. S., & Tatum, S. (2006). How gender influences teachers’ attitudes toward acquiring multicultural competence. Doctoral Thesis, American Research Association.

[23] Nguyen, D. C. (2013). Cultural diversity in English language teaching: Learners’ voices. English Language Teaching, 6(4), 1-7. http://dx.doi. org/10.5539/elt.v6n4p1

[24] Nguyen, T. T. T. (2017). Integrating culture into language teaching and learning: Learner outcomes. The Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 17(1), 145-155.

[25] Paige, R. M., Jorstad, H., Siaya L., Klien, F., & Colby J. (1999). Culture learning in language Education: A review of the literature. Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota. Retrieved on 13th November 2023, from:

[26] Schim, S., Doorenbos, A., & Borse, N. (2005). Cultural competence among Ontario and Michigan healthcare providers. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 37, 354-360.

[27] Weninger, C., & Kiss, T. (2013). Culture in English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks: A semiotic approach. TESOL Quarterly, 47, 694–716. http://

[28] Yeganeha, M. T., & Raeesia, H. (2015). Developing cultural awareness in EFL classrooms at the secondary school level in an Iranian educational context. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 192, 534-542. https://

[29] Zorba, M. G. (2020). Personal and professional readiness of in-service teachers of English for culturally responsive teaching. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, pp. 88, 41-66. Retrieved on July 5th,2023, from:

Articles in Issue