“Education is identified with schooling, while popular culture is identified with the world of leisure and entertainment” (Benson & Patkin, 2010). In recent decades, people both inside and outside of academy have been debating over whether popular culture should be taught in schools. The argument between what should be taught and what is not appropriate for education has never come to an end. Many people believe that popular culture has been such an inevitable part of students’ as well as teachers’ lives that there is no specific borderline between popular culture and mainstream culture.
It’s not hard to see how popular the song Gangnam Style is this year among people from all age and cultural groups around us in Toronto. Not to mention in recent years how stories about vampires such as Vampire diaries and Twilight have brought a tornado among teenagers all over the world. Moreover, we have seen and continue to see that American TV series (such as Glee and the Big Bang Theory), Korean dramas, Japanese animations, and even the latest hit movies (such as the Ice Age) often influence our students tremendously, and that many students are more aware of the latest trends than what is included in the textbooks. We, teachers should not be against of this phenomenon and criticize students for paying more attention on entertainment than study, as students gain all these information naturally from their daily life; rather, teachers should be sensitive and aware of the impact popular culture has and think about how it can be incorporated into curriculum to have a positive effect on students’ learning. This paper intends to build a case for using popular culture in English curriculum of Hong Kong.
Current Hong Kong English Curriculum & Popular Culture:
Due to Hong Kong’s colonial history as well as its current special social and economic situations, Hong Kong students need to learn...