Date of Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
Teaching and Learning
There is a struggle within the field of world language teaching to design culture curricula that promote respect, acceptance and understanding of world cultures, positioning those cultures as different but equal to the cultures of students. The purpose of this paper is to (1) provide background about the history and current practices of culture education in world language classrooms, (2) explain critical literacy as a theory, its possibilities for instructional methodology, and how critical literacy can address the struggle in world language education and help teach students a deep, complex understanding of culture, (3) outline an adapted culture curriculum that uses critical literacy as a bridge to understanding culture, highlighting the practices, goals and purposes of the adapted curriculum, and (4) provide support for the adapted curriculum in current research and national standards for education. This paper will demonstrate that the ultimate goal of culture curricula is instilling in students the ability to look at a person from any culture with curiosity and respect, without superiority or inferiority, and that critical literacy is a tool for achieving that goal. Building on and extending current practices in culture education, critical literacy provides students the opportunity to come to their own understanding of new cultures through thoughtful inquiry and exploration that emphasizes deconstructing preconceived notions about culture, moving beyond surface knowledge of the target culture to becoming thoughtful, respectful world citizens.
Copyright 2011 Anah Victoria Malamut