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Cultural representations in foreign language teaching: A critique of four BBC courses

Cultural representations in foreign language teaching: A critique of four BBC courses
Cultural representations in foreign language teaching: A critique of four BBC courses
Since the introduction of communicative language teaching methods, many foreign language courses are designed explicitly to equip the tourist to ‘get by’ in the target language in typical touristic situations. On account of this instrumentalist approach, communicative courses have been able to incorporate a lot of authentic language materials, much more so than the earlier audio?visual courses. However, the focus on tourism has made them vulnerable to stereotyping, both of the learners and the target culture. The paper examines four well?known BBC foreign language courses, Deutsch Direkt!, A Vous la France!, Viva España, and Buongiorno Italia! from this point of view, and finds the presentation of cultural materials in them to be unrealistic. Moreover, the lack of realism differs in degree and type from course to course, in accordance with accepted British stereotypes of the countries in question. The paper concludes with suggestions and guidelines for the presentation of cultural content in language courses, and makes the case that influential national services, such as the BBC, should envisage a more diverse class of learners for its language courses, and should aim to give them a more complete account of the culture associated with the target language.
0790-8318
1-10
Mar-Molinero, Clare
07b0f9ce-15ba-443a-896f-708327bb4e0c
Mar-Molinero, Clare
07b0f9ce-15ba-443a-896f-708327bb4e0c

Mar-Molinero, Clare (1992) Cultural representations in foreign language teaching: A critique of four BBC courses. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 5 (1), 1-10.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Since the introduction of communicative language teaching methods, many foreign language courses are designed explicitly to equip the tourist to ‘get by’ in the target language in typical touristic situations. On account of this instrumentalist approach, communicative courses have been able to incorporate a lot of authentic language materials, much more so than the earlier audio?visual courses. However, the focus on tourism has made them vulnerable to stereotyping, both of the learners and the target culture. The paper examines four well?known BBC foreign language courses, Deutsch Direkt!, A Vous la France!, Viva España, and Buongiorno Italia! from this point of view, and finds the presentation of cultural materials in them to be unrealistic. Moreover, the lack of realism differs in degree and type from course to course, in accordance with accepted British stereotypes of the countries in question. The paper concludes with suggestions and guidelines for the presentation of cultural content in language courses, and makes the case that influential national services, such as the BBC, should envisage a more diverse class of learners for its language courses, and should aim to give them a more complete account of the culture associated with the target language.

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Published date: 1992
Organisations: Modern Languages and Linguistics

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Local EPrints ID: 394048
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394048
ISSN: 0790-8318
PURE UUID: c66d802c-ef2a-4ce7-b4e0-a9c90ce26886

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Date deposited: 26 May 2016 14:14
Last modified: 13 Aug 2017 05:48

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