Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/69774

Of cookies and saints: Deconstructing L2 learners' myths of the target culture

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Title:Of cookies and saints: Deconstructing L2 learners' myths of the target culture
Authors:VanderHeijden, Vincent L.
Date Issued:01 Jan 2017
Publisher:Cengage
Citation:VanderHeijden, V.L. (2017). Of cookies and saints: Deconstructing L2 learners' myths of the target culture. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 266-275. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69774
Abstract:Lessons on culturally integral products of winter holiday speculaas cookies and
the holiday figures of St. Nicholas and his attendant, Black Pete—always portrayed
in blackface—are presented to illustrate possibilities for prompting reflection on
difficult topics such as colonial legacy and the cultural dynamics of exclusion and
belonging in foreign language (FL) Dutch instruction. Speculaas is a product of
Dutch colonial power and practices, which made tropical spices affordable in cold
Northern Europe, while the feast of Sinterklaas has become a contested site in
Dutch culture precisely for its racial dynamics at the heart of a fundamentally
Dutch cultural practice. By didacticizing such examples, language instructors
can help students develop transcultural abilities, specifically within the domain
of “critical cultural awareness” (Byram, 1997). This chapter suggests that the
development of nuanced understandings of the target language-culture is both
a long-term process requiring explicit curricular design and constitutive of key
skills with applications beyond the FL classroom. I conclude with thoughts on the
challenge this approach can pose for the professional development of pre-service
and in-service instructors.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/69774
Volume:2017
Appears in Collections: 2017 ENGAGING THE WORLD: SOCIAL PEDAGOGIES AND LANGUAGE LEARNING


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