Unfortunately, Chinese culture is often introduced in a way that alienates students from Chinese culture. For example, chapters on what Chinese people usually do during Chinese New Year, textual analysis often shows a clear boundary between Chinese culture and the students' culture.
There is usually a Chinese person who is the know-it-all, departing essential cultural knowledge to other non-Chinese people. This scenario is also played out in the classroom, where the teacher is the know-it-all. Hence, textbooks become the cultural high ground. The implicit message is that non-Chinese speakers are always different from Chinese people. Chinese culture is the other culture, as opposed to the student's own culture. This inadvertently creates a cultural conflict in the classroom.
We must recognize the fact that people from different regions are connected in more ways than they are differentiated. And people often have a substantial amount of cultural knowledge through mass media. This is where the textbooks should be located, presenting Chinese culture in a way that connects Chinese culture with other cultures. Texts would facilitate cultural discussion and recognition. Through personal experiences and discussions, both teachers and students will have a deeper understanding of the meanings of Chinese culture as a heritage culture, and Chinese language as an integrated part of that culture. This engagement is critical to claim ownership of this heritage. Heritage is not something to be imposed upon; rather, it is something to live with.
In this paper I would use cases studies to demonstrate different ways of presenting texts to achieve the effect of connecting cultures.