Reading With My Eyes Open: Embracing the critical and the personal in language pedagogy

Reading With My Eyes Open: Embracing the critical and the personal in language pedagogy

By Gerdi Quist
Book Description

Untangling the various approaches to language teaching and their history, Gerdi Quist maps recent thinking in language studies at university. Using an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, drawn from educational philosophy, cultural studies, intercultural studies and language pedagogy, the author discusses the many tensions and currents in contemporary language teaching.The author puts forward an alternative pedagogy, that of a cultuurtekst-perspective, which engages learners at complex linguistic and cultural levels. In discussing the case study in which this approach is tested, the author develops her argument for embracing various critical perspectives through the personal engagement of students. From the start the author acknowledges her own engaged position as a language teacher in a liberal humanistic educational environment. She adopts a self -critical perspective through which her engagement with adverse student reaction leads to deepening insights both for the author and her students as part of the non-linear process of learning. Gerdi Quist teaches Dutch language and lectures on multiculturalism and intercultural communication. Recent publications included a book chapter and journal articles on language pedagogy and intercultural communication. (DOI:

Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Tensions Between the Old and the New: the Influence of Educational Ideologies on Language Learning
    • Introduction
    • The Position of Language Teaching at University
    • Classical Liberalism Versus Instrumentalism
    • The Liberal Tradition
    • The Instrumental Paradigm
    • A Re-accentuation of Elements of the Liberal Approach
    • Problematising Intellectual Engagement
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 2 Culture Pedagogy: Some Theoretical Considerations
    • Introduction
    • Teaching Culture
      • Views of Culture
      • Knowledge in Culture Pedagogy: Examples of Dutch Textbooks
      • Critique of the Nationally-Based Knowledge Dimension
      • The Common European Framework
      • Criticality and Culture: My Own Considerations
      • Cultural Studies: Context
      • Overview of Ideas of Cultural Studies in Culture Pedagogy
    • Language in Relation to Culture
      • Orientations Towards Language
      • Traditional and Linguistic-Oriented Approaches
    • Social and Cultural Views of Language
      • Hymes’ Theory of Communicative Competence
      • Sapir-Whorf
      • Critical Language Awareness
      • Discourse and Power
      • Relationship Language and Culture: Generic and Differential
      • Dutch Articulation
      • Summary and Conclusion
  • Chapter 3 Being Intercultural Through Texts: The Student as Text Ethnographer
    • Introduction
    • Intercultural Communication in Language Teaching
      • Ideas and Practices
      • Three Views of the Study of Intercultural Communication
      • Significance of the Boundary Crossing Model for Language Teaching
      • Dilemmas of Intercultural Communication in the Language Classroom
      • Towards a New Conceptualisation of Interculturality in the Language Classroom
      • Ethnography as a Method of Being Intercultural
      • Text Ethnography
    • Texts
      • Ways That Text Has Been Conceptualised
      • Being Intercultural Through Texts: Dialogism and Addressivity
      • Cultuurtekst as Discourse and Representation
      • Mapping Discourses
      • Implications for Teaching
      • Personal Lived Experience
      • Being Intercultural Through Text: Reading as a Text Ethnographer
      • Summary and Conclusion
  • Chapter 4 Context of Teaching and Research
    • Introduction
    • Background to the Study
    • Research Challenge
    • Methodology and Messiness
    • The Concepts which Informed the Study
    • Distinctiveness of the Course
    • Overview of the syllabus
    • The Lessons
    • Framework and How it Relates to the Two Classes
    • English translation of framework
    • The Text and my Analysis
    • Dutch Articulation
    • Using the Framework in the Classroom
    • The Students
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5 Tensions in the Classroom
    • Introduction
    • Lesson 1: Text as ‘Text’
      • The Progress of Lesson 1
      • Discussing Text Content
      • Discussing Text Function
      • Discussing Text Structure
      • Conclusion Lesson 1
    • Lesson 2: Cultuurtekst
      • The Progress of Lesson 2
      • Role of the Dutch Students: Towards an Understanding of the Socio-cultural Context
      • Reading from Inside or Outside Perspectives
      • Lifeworld Knowledge: Being an Intercultural Reader
      • Dutch Articulations
      • Conclusion
  • Chapter 6 Conclusion: Embracing Tensions
    • Introduction
    • The Student Interviews
    • The Research Findings
      • Introduction
      • From Text to Cultuurtekst: Different Ways of Being Critical
      • Being a Text Ethnographer and Intercultural Communication
      • Dutch Articulation: The National Dilemma
      • Conclusion: Tensions, Ambiguities and Incompatibilities
      • Pedagogical Implications
      • Towards a Theory of the Personal and the Critical: Embracing Incompatibilities
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix
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