Teaching culture as a relational process through a multiliteracies-based global simulation

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Abstract

Recent scholarship in second and foreign language (FL) pedagogy has advocated for approaches to teaching culture that move beyond static notions of culture-as-fact, construed in terms of national traditions, towards relational approaches that foster strategies for interaction within discourse communities, where members embody and express a range of values and social and linguistic practices based on diverse identities and histories. However, such variations are often obscured in FL educational contexts by static or narrow conceptions of culture that pervade FL curricular materials, teacher-training programmes, and popular media discourses. This paper reports on outcomes from an innovative curriculum for fourth semester French in which culture was treated as a relational process through combination of a global simulation (GS) and a Pedagogy of Multiliteracies. Students adopted the persona of a fictitious character for an entire semester and were socialised into second language/culture (LC2) discourses through critical, reflective engagement with authentic texts. Findings from discursive analyses of students’ portfolio reflections reveal the viability of this approach for fostering perspective taking and awareness of the interrelationship between culture and language, but also the persistent nature of discourses and ideologies about the object and goals of FL study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage, Culture and Curriculum
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

Keywords

  • French
  • Multiliteracies
  • culture teaching
  • global simulation
  • textbooks

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