Cultural studies in foreign language education by Michael Byram

By Michael Byram

Written by means of the winner of the 1987 BAAL e-book prize, this publication bargains with the purchase of figuring out of overseas cultures and peoples. it's also a research of the philosophy and goal of language educating in all its features, within the context of international language educating in secondary schooling. The publication is written for language academics and, although it attracts on disciplines no longer frequently integrated of their schooling education, it does so from in the profession's personal point of view. it's an try and increase lecturers' and newcomers' expertise of the total academic price of international language studying.

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From such a methodology there will follow a number of methods or techniques and here again empirical research will reveal current practices and their consequences. Thus the third area includes both the methodology and techniques of Cultural Studies teaching. I shall in fact argue later that the questions of subject content what is likely to be taught about a particular culture and of teaching methods can be linked. The difficult problem of describing and selecting from a particular culture may be solved by concentrating rather on teaching `ways of knowing' about culture, and the experience of cultural identity in the complex and structured practices of daily life.

Even if the only consideration were efficiency in communication, it is evident that all this has to be included in language teaching which aims to instil an ability to communicate with people from other cultures at anything beyond an elementary and extremely basic level. If language teaching is to claim a genuine contribution to pupils' education as citizens of mature civilisations, the focus should shift towards rather than away from assessment of pupils' changes in attitude and insight into other cultures, and their own.

This research is being carried out by Dr Geof Alred and myself at Durham University. With all this I want simply to say that a complex issue demands complex investigation and the following pages are simply one aspect to be seen in a larger context. No book is written without a secretary, an editor and a publisher. All three Mrs Doreen Wilson, Mr Derrick Sharp and Mr Mike Grover have contributed not only their professional expertise but also their personal interest, and I am particularly grateful to my editor and publisher for accepting a manuscript which treads none of the beaten tracks of language teaching literature.

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