Culture, a commonly visited concept in English language teaching research, has been integral to language classes. The present study investigated the place of culture in English as a foreign language classes for ten English language instructors teaching at tertiary level across state and private universities in Turkey. The findings revealed that the English language instructors’ opportunities to raise their students’ cultural awareness were not satisfactory, and there was a mismatch between their wishes and practices. This mismatch was mainly attributed to learners’ lack of motivation/interest and their opportunities for visits abroad. The findings also indicated that the participants’ conceptualization of culture in English language classes was predominantly modern, i.e. either as part of the humanistic (big C) paradigm representing canonical literary work produced via a standard language or sociolinguistic (little c) paradigm representing everyday interaction, communication, and patterns of behavior.