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ERIC Number: EJ1080857
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0790-8318
An Exploration of Learners' Conceptions of Language, Culture, and Learning in Advanced-Level Spanish Courses
Drewelow, Isabelle; Mitchell, Claire
Language, Culture and Curriculum, v28 n3 p243-256 2015
This article reports on an exploratory study, which examines learners' rating of culture in relation to other concepts in advanced Spanish courses and their justification of the ratings attributed. Open-ended responses, elicited from a questionnaire completed by 179 respondents, were analysed line by line using an interpretive approach. Data analysis revealed that culture was often conceptualised as a set of products, behaviours, historical events, and customs tied to a country. A majority of the participants demonstrated an interest for cultivating cultural knowledge in the classroom with only a minority questioning the teachability or relevance of culture. Learners' perspectives thus either aligned with an instrumentalist view of language study, an in-between, or a constitutive view and approach to culture. The examination of the responses suggests that learners possess an understanding of culture as only useful in context, specifically when travelling or studying abroad. Findings also point to a need in advanced-level courses to devise instructional activities that adopt a "reflective, interpretative, historically grounded, and politically engaged pedagogy" [Kramsch, C. (2014). "Teaching foreign languages in an era of globalization: Introduction." "The Modern Language Journal," 98(1), 296-311, p. 296]. Such activities aim at learners interacting, experiencing, and examining how beliefs, values, and frames of reference affect cultural behaviours, language choices, and can encourage an understanding of the interconnection between language and culture.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A