L2: Volume 4 Issue 1

Texts of Memory and Texts of History

Starting with the observation that the terms “memory” and “history” are used almost interchangeably in everyday discourse and professional academic discussion, I argue that they can and should be distinguished. Drawing on longstanding debates about nations and nationalism, it is possible to trace …

Studying Fictional Representations of History in the L2 Classroom

The article addresses the didactic questions of what, why and how aspects of culture and history can be—and should be, it is argued—an integral part of all foreign and second language teaching and learning. In particular, it is argued that the study of literary fiction within tertiary foreign language education can function as a gateway …

Perspective-Taking and Meaning-Making through Engagement with Cultural Narratives: Bringing History to Life in a Foreign Language Classroom

The MLA Report (2007) accords considerable weight to the role of culture in a transformed approach to language education in the U.S. and outlines “one possible model” for developing transcultural understanding that involves the interpretation of the “cultural narratives” inherent …

¿Un legado histórico?: Symbolic competence and the construction of multiple histories

This paper argues that any approach to the teaching of history in the second language classroom must consider how history is constructed and what is at stake in such representations. Doing so opens up the possibility of developing students’ symbolic competence through critical reflexivity at three interrelated levels…

Localizing Archival Memories of Spanish Language Education in California, Engaging with the Multilingual Histories of the Present

Focusing on Spanish in California, this article offers language educators a critical perspective into how the languages we teach have histories constructed in shifting memories of language,speakership, and education. This article builds upon the 2007 MLA report’s vision for curricular reform that situates language study in …

Bridging Language and History in an Advanced Italian Classroom: Perspectives on Medieval Florentine Narratives within their Context

Among the challenges faced by L2 instructors is the inclusion of historical memories. Although they are foundational to a culture’s identity, sometimes they are so far removed from students’ present reality that they have no familiarity with them. Meeting this challenge requires …

The Study of Literary Texts at the Nexus of Multiple Histories in the Intermediate College-Level German Classroom

This article addresses the teaching of complex representations of history through the study of literary texts in the college-level intermediate German class, employing the categories and tenets of Scollon and Scollon’s (2004) nexus analysis (see also Scollon, 2001). Nexus analysis is a model for understanding the meeting point of social actions and multiple discourses, each …