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Literary Texts and Intercultural Learning

Exploring New Directions

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Ana Goncalves Matos

This book offers new perspectives on the pedagogical value of literary texts. The book is, in the first place, a theoretical study – speculative in nature – about the inherent connection between reading and interculturality. The author argues that reading literary texts may open up a passage to a ‘third place’, a space in which a student can learn more about their own identity and ultimately arrive at a more nuanced understanding of otherness. Some of the skills implicated in the construction of textual understanding can facilitate intercultural learning, opening up opportunities for a pedagogical approach in which the reading of literary texts develops a student’s intercultural perspective and fosters reflection on cultural difference. The author explores the pedagogical potential of the book’s theoretical premises through a sustained classroom-based example.

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Contents

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Acknowledgements ix Introduction: ‘The Door’ 1 Chapter One Reading as third place 9 Introduction 9 A reading of ‘Names’ 12 Literary thirdness 18 Reading asymmetries and cultural asymmetries 22 Virtual participation, transformation and imagination 29 Reader-response and aesthetic experience – the place of the reader 45 Chapter Two Literature and intercultural foreign language education 57 Introduction 57 The foreign language reader 58 Individual-and-collective 63 Teaching literature in a foreign language 71 Reality and literary experience 74 Literature in education 83 viii Chapter Three Pedagogical criteria and a reading model 105 Introduction 105 Modes of reading 106 Text choice 111 Literature and critical cultural awareness 123 A model for intercultural reading in foreign language education 129 Chapter Four The classroom: A threshold 137 Introduction 137 The classroom 138 Principles in practice – an experience in the classroom 145 A module: Nomen est Omen 149 The voices of the readers 167 Conclusions: A door 179 Bibliography 183 Index 203

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