Om språkundervisning i mellanrummet - och talet om "kommunikation" och "kultur" i kursplaner och läromedel från 1962 till 2000

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this study is to clarify the potential of foreign language teaching and learning to contribute to identity-formation and democracy as a real-time experience. Its focus is an analysis of how the current core concepts in foreign language teaching and learning within the Swedish school system, i.e. "culture" and "communication", are presented and interpreted in curricular texts and teaching materials, especially in relation to a conception of "culture" as a shaping and reshaping process in real time through contingent communicative action. By further investigating alternative theoretical frameworks beyond language pedagogy and linguistics, e.g. educational theory, social theory and pragmatism, the thesis explores how learning a foreign language may involve more than the development of individual "communicative" skills and the knowledge of foreign national "cultures".Among my chief reasons for undertaking this kind of study are the changes that are taking place in Swedish society today, towards increasing multiculturalism and pluralism, competing social identities and an ongoing segregation within and between schools. I argue that foreign language teaching and learning, with its emphasis on "communication" and "culture", would be ideally suited to offer experiences of the cultural shaping and re-shaping process through communication and, consequently, for identity-formation and democracy as a real-time experience.Three different analytical perspectives of "culture" and "communication" are developed, leading to different implications for contingent communicative action. These perspectives are used as points of reference in a subsequent empirical, historical analysis of curricular texts and teaching materials from the 1960s and onwards. By including a historical dimension in the analysis of the contemporary texts, the analyses identify strong connections to a selective tradition within the field of language pedagogy. On the other hand, they also give evidence of competing interpretations and discontinuities, with a potential for a conception of "communication" as contingent action.The thesis consists of three parts. In Part 1 the analytical perspectives of "culture" and "communication" are developed. In Part 2 these perspectives are used as points of reference for the analysis of the historical material. Part 3 discusses some didactic consequences that may be drawn from the earlier analyses concerning the potential of foreign language teaching and learning to contribute to identity-formation and democracy as a real-time experience.

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