In this chapter, I look at what happened in the classroom data during the two lessons in which we discussed the Men’s Health text, using the framework for analysis which I described in Chapter 4. During the first lesson, we discussed the text as ‘text’ and looked at it from the perspective of the immediate context, or the context of the situation, which, as I described in Chapter 4, I had conceived of as a pared-down version of Hymes’ model of communicative competence.
During the second lesson we looked at the text as a cultuurtekst, i.e. we looked at it at the level of the context of culture. For the second lesson, I had invited two exchange students from the Netherlands to enhance the intercultural aspect of looking at a text as cultuurtekst. I have explained in Chapter 4 how these two lessons fitted in with the syllabus as a whole.
I had conceptualized both lessons to be distinct from one another, with lesson 1 focusing on the situational context, pedagogically speaking supporting the second, cultural and intercultural, layer of reading. Both levels of reading would require students to approach the text from a critical perspective, but I had envisaged students taking a critical approach to the text from outside, seemingly objective stance in Lesson 1 and a critical approach of critiquing the ideological stance in Lesson 2.
To be able to answer the overall question of this study ‘How do students engage with the cultuurtekst-pedagogy?’ I focus in this chapter on what different ways of reading my focus in these two lessons yielded.
More particularly, I look at whether the cultuurtekst layer of reading would enable students to ‘be intercultural’, whether they recognize the range of (conflicting) discourses in the text, and whether reading the text at a textual level in the first lesson would pedagogically speaking support the reading of the text as cultuurtekst in the second lesson. Finally, I look at whether the notion of Dutch articulation is a fruitful one to pursue as part of a cultuurtekst approach reading.
A number of tensions emerged from these data, tensions which were located both in the fact that students’ conceptualization of the text and of the pedagogical activity itself were not always straightforward. It is particularly how students engaged with the text through ‘dialoguing’ and ‘languaging’ which led me to understand the importance of students’ own experience in interpreting the text, and particularly how these experiences can be utilized and given a greater role in the classroom.