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Towards a Cultura Franca

Contemporary American Civil and Human Rights Drama in the Foreign Language Classroom


Jeannette U. Böttcher

This book is mapping the fields of modern output-oriented teaching, intercultural learning, and drama methods in the foreign language class. It explains that drama-based language learning transcends the usual learning scopes in its practical relevance and its far-reaching contextual implications. By including (inter-)cultural aspects, as well as human and civil rights issues, modern teaching can provide students with new frames of references and shifts their attention from an individualistic worldview towards a more tolerant perception of «the other.» The term of «cultura franca» hints at a liberation of cultural restraints and this is exactly what is indispensable in order to educate students to become the interculturally adept speakers our modern time needs.

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First and foremost I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my professor and supervisor Prof. Dr. Christoph Ehland for his willingness to take me on as his PhD student – most likely the oldest one he will ever have. Without his unconventional perspective, his continuous encouragement, enthusiasm, and commitment, this project would not have been possible.

Special thanks go to my dear friends Dr. Andrea Krause and Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Goehring for always making time in their busy schedules to discuss my various concerns, for giving me very helpful feedback, and for proofreading large parts of this dissertation.

I am also indebted to my former colleague Jun. Prof. Dr. Cornelia Wächter for her support at different points and for proofreading parts of this work.

I also want to thank my office neighbor and dear colleague Dr. Markus Freu­dinger for keeping his door open and lending me his shoulder to lean on when I needed it.

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