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Lesson 2: Cultuurtekst

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    Of the group of 6 regular students Sarah and Andy were not present in this lesson, but two exchange students from the Netherlands, Yasmin and Marijke joined this class. I had invited them to create a dialogic space in the classroom as well as an intercultural element in which students could discuss various interpretations and relate to other texts which drew on similar or significantly different discourses. Because I wanted to introduce the idea of ‘Dutch articulation’, i.e. what I perceived to be the intensely traditional discourse on women, I also thought the presence of the Dutch students might add an extra layer of interculturality. To ensure the Dutch students were prepared for this class I had given them a few articles we had discussed during this block on gender, and the framework for analysis that guided our discussions. I had also briefly discussed with the Dutch students the issue of ‘cultuurtekst’ and I had given them a photocopied handout of a few pages from a book by Maaike Meijer, in which she discusses the notion of cultuurtekst. This meant that the Dutch students were more explicitly prepared for this class on a theoretical level than the regular students of the class, as these had not received the text by Maaike Meijer. As I explained in Chapter 4, I had not been explicit throughout the course about its underpinning theories, as I had assumed, partly based on previous experiences in other classes, that students would not appreciate theoretical discussion or information as part of a language class.

    To prepare the regular English students for this particular class I had asked them to complete a homework task. This task was to write down their answers to the cultuurtekst section under point 5 of the analysis for the framework we used (see appendix). These questions were designed to get students to recognize which discourses underpinned the text, and asked how the topic and subjects in the text were talked about; how the reader seems to be addressed; which discourses or intertexts they recognized, and whether these were in any way conflicting with one another. All of these questions asked for specific references to linguistic points of vocabulary or grammar to explain their answer. Sarah was the only student who had not carried out this piece of homework. Emma had given her own interpretation to the task and rather than treating it as an academic and analytical exercise she wrote a spoof on the original text as if it was an article in a glossy women’s magazine.

    This page titled Lesson 2: Cultuurtekst is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gerdi Quist (Ubiquity Press) .

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