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Language and Culture: Global Flows and Local Complexity

reviewed by Thomas T. Field - June 12, 2006

coverTitle: Language and Culture: Global Flows and Local Complexity
Author(s): Karen Risager
Publisher: Multilingual Matters, Clevedon
ISBN: 1853598585, Pages: 212, Year: 2006
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The foreign language classroom is one of the crucial sites where young people encounter serious discourse about cultural difference. Most of us would agree that few things are more important to the educational process, but we are not always in agreement about what it means to teach culture. Certainly, reducing intercultural education to the degree of instilling the notion of difference is inadequate: why should a young person care that the French put their bread directly on the table during a meal? As language teachers, we owe it to our students to provide the next generation with tools for making sense of the world, perspectives that will allow them to go beyond their lived reality, and not only curious anecdotes about others. One way of broadening students horizons, the traditional approach, is to expose them to great works of literature in the original text. Another is to afford them the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 12, 2006
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12539, Date Accessed: 9/24/2021 4:58:29 PM

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About the Author
  • Thomas Field
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    E-mail Author
    THOMAS T. FIELD is Professor of Linguistics and French at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His areas of research are sociolinguistics, Occitan, and the teaching of culture. Recent publications include the second edition of the first-year French course Débuts (2007), the article “Occitan” in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2006), and “The Gascon Gerund Revisited” in Études de langue et de littérature médiévales offertes à Peter T. Ricketts à l’occasion de son 70ème anniversaire (2005). He is currently developing an XML database of medieval Gascon texts and continues to lecture on language and culture.
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