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Portraying the language-culture link through spatial representation in three US language textbooks

Abstract : This paper investigates the representation of "linguistic space", in three recent foreign language textbooks published in the United States of America. It follows a tradition of textbook research concerning ethnic community stereotyping and the objective of peaceful and just nation-state representation. This perspective intersects with principles of multicultural education, an important tenant of teacher education, teaching practice, and education research in the United States (cf. Banks, J. A. and McGee Banks, C.A, 2004). The premise is that no textbook is neutral, but disseminates political positions. Greater awareness of how these positions are depicted may help teachers and students to create more critical and reflective learning experiences and judgment. This paper examines the representations of where English, French and Spanish language communities are geographically situated through illustrations in language textbooks for adults published by an influential firm. A brief review of the goals and issues of both textbook research and multicultural education research will set the context for this case study. A quantitative analysis bridges three overlapping spatial facets: nation representation, land-use, and time-period. Space, which can be divided into spatial gradients for analysis, has been accorded attention in the fields of geography and sociology. Sociologists Lobao et al (2007) summarize four existing trends in discipline-wide research when considering space inequality: (1) space distribution, use, and experience across lines of class, gender, and race/ethnicity; (2) as a channel or amplifier of inequality, such as in schools; (3) its creation through uneven development by
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02915259
Contributor : Laura M Hartwell <>
Submitted on : Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 9:42:28 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 2:33:21 PM
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Laura Hartwell. Portraying the language-culture link through spatial representation in three US language textbooks. Etudes en didactique des langues, LAIRDIL, 2011. ⟨hal-02915259⟩

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