Sarah Jourdain (Ph.D., Indiana University) is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.
Building Connections to Culture: A Student-Centered Approach
Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1998 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 439–450, October 1998
How to Cite
Jourdain, S. (1998), Building Connections to Culture: A Student-Centered Approach. Foreign Language Annals, 31: 439–450. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1998.tb00587.x
- Issue online: 31 DEC 2008
- Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT This paper provides a model for becoming more student-centered when addressing cultural materials in the classroom. The model is comprised of three phases: (1) an information-gathering phase; (2) a target-language communication phase, and (3) a phase in which cultural values are discussed. Phases (1) and (2) shift the task of gathering and presenting cultural materials from the teacher to the student, leaving the teacher free to act as facilitator. The teacher's expertise is also required to guide students as they subsequently reflect on the values of the culture they are studying. This student-centered focus on culture helps students to strengthen their research skills, allows them practice in communicating in the target language, and builds greater understanding of the values inherent in foreign cultures.