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Intercultural Learning through Traditional Folk Stories

Juan José Varela Tembra, Gabriel Sánchez Sánchez, Eduardo Encabo Fernández

Abstract


The development of monocultural societies into multicultural and intercultural ones and the existence of the culture shock as one of the problems inherent in all societies in the new world order leads us to question the established educational model and promote instead the Intercultural Education as an alternative framework in which educators and mediators can develop a type of learning which engages seriously with the diversity of multicultural societies and directs the foreign language learners to move beyond stereotypes and negotiate and construct meanings in relation to the foreign language and the culture associated with it. We suggest that the mythological stories compiled in the bilingual anthology developed by Kay Livinston and Margarida Morgado (2005) on 'creatures of the sea' which can be found in both Scottish and Portuguese cultural repertoire could set off students' socio-cultural knowledge acquisition since the stories capture the dynamic systems that cultures are and offer multiple ways for the learners to gain greater awareness of their own culture (its dominant meanings, values, beliefs, preferred ways of doing, thinking and representing otherness) and negotiate meaning in the foreign language and culture learning process.

Keywords: Culture, education, learning, training, folklore.


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