JoLIE 10:1/2017


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Azamat Akbarov

Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan


Eldin Milak

International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina






The present study aims to identify and present the variety of cultural, and in turn ideological and political, elements that underlie an English language teacher’s approach to language education. Set in an area known for its amalgamation of Eastern and Western cultures, language teachers in the Balkans are required to find the proper balance between teaching the culture of the target language while maintaining the integrity of the local cultural setting. This proves even more challenging if we take into account the variety of cultural backgrounds that constitute a typical language classroom, and the added pressure of maintaining a neutral stance in the face of this cultural diversity. This study examines the teaching methods used by language teachers in the Balkan region as well as a number of international locations, their techniques of teaching cultural content, and their overall willingness to teach the culture of the target language in the classroom. Additionally, the study classifies a series of individual and social factors that affect the choice of a teaching methodology and the degree of its adaptation. Finally, the study proposes several possible solutions to recurring issues in the classroom, with a focus on resolving the matter of culture confrontation.


Key words: Culture; Native English-speaking teachers (NESTs); Non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs); English as a second language (ESL); English as a foreign language (EFL).





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How to cite this article: Akbarov, A., & Milak, E. (2017). English language teaching between the east and the west: cultural underpinnings of language teaching in the Balkans and beyond. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 10(1), 7-22. DOI:



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