Lecture by Janet Swaffar, September 22, 2006

Some Thoughts on the Cultural Permutations of Literacy in Language Teaching

by Janet Swaffar, Professor of German, Department of Germaic Studies, University of Texas at Austin

This talk explores literacy as a culturally marked phenomenon that has many dimensions. I will start with examples of how cultural contexts manifest themselves among different genres for different audiences to illustrate how reader, listener, or viewer horizons of expectation, all of which are culturally conditioned, alter what is stated and what can be understood, a realization that impinges significantly on FL and L2 teaching. I conclude by proposing ways to use these insights in devising classroom tasks and selecting materials for different learners levels.

Friday, September 22, 2006
3-5pm, 370 Dwinelle Hall