|ISSN 0909 9328|
ISBN 87 7701 496 0
No 5, 1996: Theme:
Editors for no. 5:
Birte Dahlgreen, Lise Jeremiassen, Lis Kornum,
The language chronicle:
Audur Hauksdóttir: Danish - still first foreign language in Iceland
E. Dalmer & R. Flensted: Variation via autonomy and visual media
Lone Nielsen: From project to book
Marie-Alice Séférian: Press photographs in language teaching
Helle Lykke Nielsen: Arabic in Odense
Bent Preisler: From translation to textual mediation
Conrad Kisch: "Political Correctness" - a causerie
Aage Nipper: Films and TV in French teaching at college of education level
Peter Olaf Looms: Communication, multimedia and foreign languages
Lis Kornum: "The book's death-sentence repealed"
Esther Gamborg: Deaf people and foreign language teaching
E. Engelund & C. Gorm Tortzen: The Latin Lover
Jens Peder Weibrecht: The electronic class
A. Ring Knudsen & L. Hagen: "Das Bild der Anderen" - Teaching beginners using e-mail
Elsebeth Rise: The new library - The Library of Education, Denmark, in new guise
Return to overview of Sprogforum publications
The education sector is a major consumer of texts, not least the language subjects. These subjects need a particularly wide range of texts for two reasons: There is a need to present pupils with many different genres and types of texts which can combine to give a realistic impression of the variety of linguistic rules of usage and functions; there is a need to present pupils with all-round, varied input as regards content, e.g. from local names for food and drink to problems of world poverty.
Even though textbooks and other pedagogically adapted materials still comprise a major part of teaching and can be excellent and legitimate aids, they are closely followed by texts both from the big outside world and from within the classroom itself.
Accessible authentic texts are gradually becoming a huge supermarket, with goods in lavish packaging in book form, magazines and videos - not to mention the Internet. Just as in a supermarket, one has to ask oneself: Is this nutritious or just junk food? Am I looking at quality goods? Not infrequently the teacher has to guess for himself or herself what the actual target group is, who has produced the text - and with what intentions. Here, the teacher has to bear a large responsibility as a consumer and as the one who is to accustom pupils to make quality judgments of texts - not least because the pupils are those who, to an increasing extent, are to find the texts for themselves.
The texts can also come from within, in the form of self-produced texts on the part of the pupils or the teacher. It has become more and more common to make use of pupil-produced texts in class, not least in connection with process writing. This can be in the form of electronic mail to partner classes abroad, or in the form of videos, posters, etc., where the pupils communicate their knowledge to each other and to others outside the class. Here, it is an advantage that one can decide the function for oneself and perhaps more easily assess the quality.
In this number of Sprogforum our prime interest has been on the pedagogical use of various types of texts, coming from the outside and the inside, both verbal and (audio)visual, in their interaction with the medium: Is the medium a book, a newspaper, a letter, a database, electronic mail - or the World Wide Web? What does this mean for the nature and content of the text? And what does it mean for the text's pedagogical usability? What does the actual motivating: The text or the medium? Some of these issues will be addressed in the articles.
We begin with an article by Elsebeth Dalmer and Ruth Flensted, which provides a number of concrete examples of various activities in connection with various types of texts in English at commercial school level. Then Lone Nielsen writes about the production process behind textbooks. Marie-Alice Séférian makes some suggestions of how to work with newspaper photographs and their captions, and Helle Lykke Nielsen gives an account of the special conditions that exist regarding different variants of spoken and written Arabic, e.g. in connection with reading newspapers.
Bent Preisler discusses a new method of translating at university level that takes account of the text's function in a different cultural context, including situational and socio-cultural factors, and Conrad Kisch provides some examples of what can happen to texts that are given the fine toothcomb treatment as regards political correctness. After which, Aage Nipper provides a number of comments on the choice and use of films and TV in French teaching at college of education level.
Then comes an article by Peter Olaf Looms, which deals with new media in language teaching, especially multimedia. This is followed by an article by Lis Kornum on CD-ROM and the Internet. Esther Gamborg explains how computer programs can be used in foreign language teaching for deaf people.
Finally, there is an article by Jens Peder Weibrecht on an electronic class at the upper secondary school Nørresundby Gymnasium, and Lone Hagen and Annie Ring Knudsen write about the use of electronic mail in beginner classes in German at the Danish Folkeskole. We conclude with a presentation of the large new pedagogical library at the Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, written by Elsebeth Rise.
The language chronicle has been written by Audur Hauksdóttir. It deals with Danish teaching in Iceland. Danish is first foreign language in Icelandic schools and it has many problems to contend with - as the chronicle reveals.