Department of English and Modern Languages
North South University
Phatic expressions are primary means of establishing /maintaining social contact in human societies. Language and culture are its main ingredients transferred from generation to generation. Exposure to any new language involves learning culture awareness of the language learned. D’souza (1992) propounds and maintains that they are learned simultaneously (p. 16). Therefore learning a foreign language is learning about the culture of the language too, explicitly or implicitly. Kachru (1992) however points out another dimension to the “spread of English across cultures” maintaining it has “two sides”: those who use English as their first language and those who use it as additional language. To the majority of Indians and Bangladeshis English is the additional language, but in India, English is their second language whereas in Bangladesh its status is that of a foreign language.
This paper explores the difficulties facing the Bangladeshi EFL teachers in evolving digitized global world, and deciding which variety to follow. With examples collected through active research the paper expands and arrives at a resolution whether an EFL teacher should cover aspects of native speaker culture through authentic/pragmatic materials, or mix both native and other tongue/local cultures.
Key words: Culture and language; phatic expressions; English across cultures; EFL and ESL classes; Englishes; authentic/pragmatic materials; Bangladeshi EFL teachers dilemma.