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Reading With My Eyes Open: Embracing the critical and the personal in language pedagogy

(2 reviews)

Gerdi Quist, University College London

Pub Date: 2013

ISBN 13: 9781909188211

Publisher: Ubiquity Press

Language: English

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Reviewed by Mikel Cole, Assistant Professor, Clemson University on 2/2/18

The author is clear that this textbook is "based on a classroom study exploring a particular intercultural approach to language teaching", she does a commendable job situating her cultuurtekst approach to language teaching in historical context.... read more


Reviewed by Karin Sprow Forté, Professor-in-Charge, ESL, Penn State Harrisburg on 2/2/18

The text provides a comprehensive view of two theoretical approaches (traditional, instrumental vs. liberal humanist) to language teaching in a UK university and discusses how their underlying theoretical assumptions ground language teaching... read more


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Tensions Between the Old and the New: The Influenceof Educational Ideologies on Language Teaching
Chapter 2 Culture Pedagogy: Some Theoretical Considerations

  • Teaching Culture
  • Language in Relation to Culture
  • Social and Cultural Views of Language

Chapter 3 Being Intercultural Through Texts: The Student as Text Ethnographer

  • Intercultural Communication in Language Teaching
  • Texts

Chapter 4 Context of Teaching and Research
Chapter 5 Tensions in the Classroom

  • Lesson 1: Text as ‘Text'
  • Lesson 2: Cultuurtekst

Chapter 6 Conclusion: Embracing Tensions

  • The Research Findings


About the Book

Untangling the various approaches to language teaching and their history, Gerdi Quist maps recent thinking in language studies at university. Using an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, drawn from educational philosophy, cultural studies, intercultural studies and language pedagogy, the author discusses the many tensions and currents in contemporary language teaching. The author puts forward an alternative pedagogy, that of a cultuurtekst-perspective, which engages learners at complex linguistic and cultural levels. In discussing the case study in which this approach is tested, the author develops her argument for embracing various critical perspectives through the personal engagement of students. From the start the author acknowledges her own engaged position as a language teacher in a liberal humanistic educational environment. She adopts a self-critical perspective through which her engagement with adverse student reaction leads to deepening insights both for the author and her students as part of the non-linear process of learning. Gerdi Quist teaches Dutch language and lectures on multiculturalism and intercultural communication. Recent publications included a book chapter and journal articles on language pedagogy and intercultural communication.

About the Contributors


Dr. Gerdi Quist. Lecturer in Dutch. Currently researches language-and-culture teaching and the development of language learning materials from a social semiotic perspective. As well as publishing theoretical articles on the issue, she has also produced self-study materials for Dutch as a Foreign Language.