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Doing Italian as a Foreign Language: investigating talk about language and culture in three British university classrooms

Fanton, Giovanni (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The study presented in this thesis focuses on teacher-student talk-in-interaction in three Italian classes for beginners taught by two teachers, one British and one Italian, in two British universities. The aims of the study are to: (1) investigate the views of language and of language teaching/learning that informed the teachers‟ practice; (2) identify the cultural worlds and images of Italian-ness constructed through the classroom talk; (3) examine the different identities the teachers assumed as they discussed language and culture. The research combines ethnographically-informed classroom observation, video-recording of classroom interaction with discourse analysis. It is guided by poststructuralist thinking and by Kramsch‟s (1993:9) vision of language teaching/learning as “social practice that is at the boundary of two or more cultures”. It reveals similarities in the composition of the classes. Both included international students and both teachers drew on the diverse funds of linguistic and cultural knowledge represented in their classes, creating „third places‟ for language teaching/learning. The research also reveals differences between the teachers – in their views of language, their representation of Italian „culture‟ and in the classroom identities they assumed. These differences are explained with reference to the teachers‟ linguistic and cultural backgrounds and their professional biographies.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Martin-Jones, Marilyn
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:PE English
PC Romance languages
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1561
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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