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Rules of Behavior and Interaction in German and Brazilian Classrooms

(Inter)cultural Uses of the Word in Schools


Fernanda de Castro Modl

This book synthesizes the results of fieldwork conducted using the method of participant observation in German and Brazilian classrooms at the same level of education (the German «vierte Klasse» of the «Grundschule» and the Brazilian 5th grade of elementary school). The author analyzes the phenomenon of distancing as related to linguistic and discursive behavior which is manifest through the use of the word in classroom interactions. This intercultural research contributes to a reevaluation of the understanding of classroom culture and to the perception of what cultural aspects inform institutional behavior within schools. The discursive analyses of transcribed classroom scenes and of narrative vignettes reveal aspects of the school within both culture and school culture.

Notion of the word – Word in the classroom – Teacher and students as speakers and listeners - Institutional interaction and behavior – Ethnographic principles – School culture and school in culture – Local school cultures – Narrative vignette – Discursive analysis of transcribed classroom scenes.