Acquiring Intercultural Communicative Competence from Textbooks
The Case of the Flemish Adolescent Pupils Learning German
This book investigates whether and to what extent foreign language textbooks can contribute to promoting adolescent pupils' acquisition of intercultural communicative competence. It gives a full scientific account of a research project carried out amongst Flemish learners of German. The focus of the research was on the relationships between the culture teaching approaches adopted in textbooks and the pupils' learning of culture. Although the sub-title refers to a particular group of pupils learning a particular language, the study has more general bearing and constitutes a substantial contribution to the literature, and in particular empirical research, on the development of intercultural competence in and through foreign language education.
The composition of the volume reflects the affective, cognitive and contact dimensions of the culture learning process. It also gives space to the theoretical platform on which the research was built, and to the research methodology adopted. Chapter 1 sets out to contextualise and define the research topic. It clarifies the study's position within the field of culture-and-language learning-and-teaching theory, practice and research. It also situates the investigation into the specific context of teaching and learning foreign languages-and-cultures in Flanders. In chapter 2 the theoretical framework informing the study is developed. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the techniques of data collection and analysis employed, of the kinds of data collected, and of the chronology of data collection. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 provide an interpretative description and analysis of the investigation's key concepts. Chapters 4 and 5 focus on the pupils' culture learning processes and analyse relationships between attitude, contact and perception data. In chapter 6 the culture teaching approaches adopted in the investigated textbook series are described and evaluated with regard to their potential for promoting the pupils' learning of culture. Chapter 7, finally, provides a summary overview of the study's main findings and presents the main conclusions that can be drawn from the evidence presented in earlier chapters. It estimates the value of the study's research methodology and theoretical framework. It also reflects on how the research findings can find application and implementation.