'It’s unbelievable how well you speak German!' Learning (about) Democracy in and through Language in FL classes with Transcultural Literature

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Submission Summary

The aim of the paper is to present how working with texts of migration literature in FL classes can stimulate the work towards the democratic culture through the reflection on a language as an instrument of social inclusion and exclusion, of power and prestige.

Submission ID :
AILA1421
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Abstract :

Institutions such as UNESCO with its Educational Sector and strategic area Global Citizenship Education, the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe and documents like Council of Europe's "Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture" all recognise and emphasize that working towards democratic culture in the migrating, culturally and linguistically heterogeneous (teaching and learning) environments is a crucial tasks of modern education and that teaching and learning (foreign) languages plays a key role in developing sustainable, democratic, pluralistic societies with free, safe, well-informed and engaged citizens. Against this backdrop, the urgency of translating the needs and postulates of effective (foreign) languages teaching and learning for democratic societies into the FL classroom practice becomes especially visible. Providing educators as well as learners with concepts, media and materials that would encourage reflection on responsible, democratic citizenship, its values and attitudes both in and for open, inclusive environments is a constant challenge. In this context, the aim of the paper is to present how working with texts of migration and transcultural literature in FL classes (on the example of German-Polish educational context and mostly with texts of authors from German speaking countries like Yoko Tawada, Artur Becker or Ilija Trojanow) can stimulate the reflection on a language as an instrument of social inclusion and exclusion, of power and prestige with central questions like "Is the language democratic?" and "What languages and attitudes toward them do we need for a democratic communication?". The potency and potentials of migration and transcultural literature in the area of raising awareness on the matters of social visibility, participation in certain discourses and the sense of belonging should be investigated and discussed.

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Adam Mickiewicz University

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