Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Doctoral Studies

First Advisor

Wang, Lih-Ching

Second Advisor

Galletta, Anne

Third Advisor

Clonan-Roy, Katherine

Subject Headings

Cultural Anthropology, Curricula, Education, Educational Sociology, Instructional Design, Pedagogy


The importance of integrating culture into foreign language teaching and learning has been acknowledged in the U.S. by the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project and foreign language professionals. However, it remains challenging for Chinese-as-a-Foreign-Language (CFL) teachers to embrace this concept thoroughly and implement it effectively in their CFL classes. The study explores six CFL teachers’ perceptions and experiences towards culture and language integration into their CFL curricula and instruction in American high schools. This study aims to describe the overall landscape of culture-language integration in the CFL discipline in American high schools by revealing the essential knowledge of CFL curriculum and pedagogy; the difficulties in developing a culture-language integrated curriculum; the processes CFL teachers use to respond to the difficulties; and the experiences, relationships, structures, and/or resources shaping CFL teachers’ practices of integrating culture into CFL curriculum and instruction. The researcher adopted the hermeneutic phenomenological approach to probe the research questions and utilized questionnaires and in-depth interviews to collect data. The data analysis revealed a gap between recognizing the significance of integrating culture in CFL courses and implementing this integration in the CFL curricula and instruction among the participants. The participants appealed for support in academic knowledge of cultural teaching, and for social and cultural capital to fulfill culture-language integration in the CFL classes in American high schools. The findings underscore pedagogies and techniques the participants used to integrate culture into CFL curriculum and course instruction, including cultural comparison, contextualization, and project-based methods. Compared with the academic factors which impact the Chinese teachers’ integration of culture into the CFL curricula and instruction, the research found that structural and cultural factors played a much more fundamental role in determining Chinese teachers’ choices and dedication to integrating culture into the CFL class in America. These findings might shed light on comprehending what contextual influences were narrated by CFL teachers as influencing their choices and implementation of culture-language integration in CFL classes in American schools. Study findings provide useful information to educators in the area of CFL instruction in particular and, more generally, the teaching of world languages.