Teachers’ Perceptions of Cultural Contents in English Language Textbooks Used in Multicultural Classrooms at a Thai Primary School


  • Kulthida Saemee Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University
  • Jaewon Jane Ra Mahidol University




Thai English Textbooks, English Language Teaching, Intercultural Awareness, Intercultural Communicative Competence, Multiculturalism


Textbooks have always played a significant role in the field of English language teaching (ELT). They are the main source that conveys cultural values and information in the language classroom. However, compared to the increasing number of migrants in Thailand, and particularly migrant children in Thai public schools, ELT textbooks have yet to properly take into consideration the reality of the multicultural Thai context. English is currently the most widely used lingua franca in the world, which means that it is shaped by a large number of non-native speakers in various multilingual and multicultural settings and local contexts. Thus, it is no longer sensible for ELT to be solely associated with Anglophone cultures. This study is based on observations in classrooms and semi-structured interviews with three Thai teachers of English at a government primary school in Samut Sakhon province in Thailand. Findings demonstrate that there is a strong need for more cultural content related to ASEAN countries in English textbooks, especially in multicultural schools. Furthermore, this study addresses implications for future ELT practices and materials for Thai primary schools in light of the continuously growing diversity within Thai society.

Author Biographies

Kulthida Saemee, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University

Kulthida Saemee holds a master’s degree in Language and Intercultural Communication from the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University. Her research interests include multicultural education, English as a lingua franca, and English language teaching (ELT) materials used in current ELT classrooms. 

Jaewon Jane Ra, Mahidol University

Jaewon Jane Ra teaches English for Specific Purposes /English for Academic Purposes at business schools in Paris, France. Before this, she was a lecturer in Language Teaching at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University, Thailand. She holds a PhD degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southampton, UK, and an master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language/Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Birmingham, UK. Her research interests include global Englishes, English Language Teacher, English Medium Instruction, intercultural communication, internationalization of higher education, intercultural citizenship, interculturality, and translanguaging. 


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