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ERIC Number: EJ842648
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Use of Ethnographic Interviews as a Resource for Developing Intercultural Understanding
Sobolewski, Pascale
Babel, v43 n2 p28-34 Feb 2009
This article discusses the use of ethnographic interviews as a resource for developing intercultural understanding by students of French. Language teaching has traditionally viewed languages as discrete systems disconnected from the speakers' understanding of themselves and from native speakers of the target language. This poses a problem for learning because it ignores the intimate relationship between language and identity. Using ethnographic interviews the study explores the language learners' understanding of self in relation to the self of the native speaker. The project draws on recent work in the development of intercultural language learning and shares with it an emphasis on the experience of engagement in languages and cultures from the learner's point of view. The study concerns a piece of classroom-based research conducted by a lecturer in French with a group of third year students at the University of South Australia. This group comprises both students who entered the program at the university after having completed Year 12 French at school and students who commenced the study of French at university level. (The two pathways merge at the third year level in this program). The research is based on the documentation of participating students' experiences. While it draws on exemplars emanating from the teaching of a third year class of university students, application of findings at all phases of language learning is discussed.
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia