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ERIC Number: ED415714
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-26
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Role Foreign Language Texts Play in Limiting Communication and Understanding.
Van Houten, Jacqueline
Four first-year secondary school commercial French textbooks were analyzed for the number and type of pictorial references to diversity in race, class, and gender, with particular attention given to how French-speaking countries other than France are portrayed. It is concluded that while some of the books represented a pluralistic society better than others, none totally legitimized difference or promoted personal identification with diversity. Each accepted the fact that some African and Asian countries use French as an official language, but none included an Asian, African, or Arab name in the list of French first names. Content and exercises promoting materialism and consumerism were found in all four books, appealing to U.S. students and perpetuating this approach. Information about political structures and governments was excluded, and no mention was made of poverty, immigration, violence in French schools and suburbs, privatization, regionalism, unemployment, strikes, soup kitchens, racial bias. Even texts addressing multiculturalism did not address issues of separatism, colonialism, dictatorship, immigration patterns, political activism, or the European Union. It is suggested that the teacher's role is to bring contradictions, omissions, and stereotyping to students' attention. Contains 19 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A