Language and culture have an inseparable connection. Thus, it is impossible to learn a language without learning culture. Researchers claim that foreign language learning is comprised of several components, including grammatical competence, communicative competence, language proficiency, as well as a change in attitudes towards one’s own or another culture.
Therefore, culture of the target language needs to be emphasized because not only it is unavoidable part of language teaching, but it also plays an essential role in reaching the goal communicative competence and it brings learners many benefits.
At present, the goal of teaching foreign languages is to develop effective communicative skills. The integration of the target language into the teaching process becomes extremely important. Although the benefits of learning culture in foreign languages have been recognized, cultural education has not yet become a vital part of the textbook program in many schools. Recently, when starting to become aware of the role of culture in teaching foreign languages, the selection of appropriate and effective methods is a matter of primary concern. In addition, the appropriate use of cultural activities with appropriate environment and conditions will certainly be effective in teaching the language in general and teaching culture in particular.
However, how can we “teach” culture to the students who do not have a close contact with native speakers of English and have little opportunity to discover how these speakers think, feel and interact with others in their own peer group? How can we stimulate their curiosity about the target culture when, sometimes, they do not even have sufficient time to learn the formal properties of the language? One of the ways of doing so should be to apply culture-based activities, which focus on culturally behaviors arising out of the language material being study, so that students can be helped to move beyond the classroom into the living culture of English-speaking countries.
In my case, as a teacher of English at Do Luong 2 high school, I observe that students rarely have a chance to talk to foreigners to understand different cultures. Living far from the city centre, they do not meet foreign tourists very often and consequently they are not exposed to cultural experiences in real life. Besides, there is no separated part for teaching culture in the textbook. It thus is not easy for students to absorb cultural knowledge if their teachers do not provide them further information. As a matter of fact, the students at my school often focus on studying grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation. They consider cultural aspects less important because they only care about what appear in the tests or examinations. To meet students` demand, the teachers here usually try to teach the knowledge in textbook that helps students to get good marks in their tests or exams. They do not use culture-based activities in their lectures. Thus, the students seem to lack cultural awareness which is very important in their real life. Because of the pressure from their studying purpose for exams, the students here are eager to experience new activities. Therefore, the researcher thinks that culture-based activities seem to bring new learning atmosphere to them and enhance their cultural awareness.
All the reasons mentioned above have driven the author to her study thesis, namely “Using culture- based activities to enhance cultural awareness for the students at Do Luong 2 high school”. The author hopes that it may contribute to the quality of teaching and learning culture at Do Luong 2 high school.


1.1. Definition of culture
A brief discussion of “culture” is necessary before we can proceed with further study of the barriers. The English word “CULTURE” come from Roman word “cultura” which had securely survived in Latin, the learned language of Europe, almost unchanged for roughly two thousand years. Around 1800, this word suddenly acquired new and important meaning with which it came to pass into common use in the several European languages such as “ la cultura”, “die kultur”, “la culture”, “the culture”, “de cultura”. In some societies, the word culture is used to mean “society” or “civilization”.
According to Brown(1994:170) culture is deeply ingrained part of the very fiber of our being, but language –the means for communication among members of a culture- is the most visible and available expression of that culture. And so a person’s world view, self-identity, and systems of thinking, acting, feeling, and communicating can be disrupted by a change from one culture to another. Similarly, Henrichsen (1998) propounds the view that culture is language and language is culture. He suggests that to speak a language well, one has to be able to think in that language, and thought is extremely powerful. Language is the soul of the country and people who speak it. Language and culture are inextricably linked, and