Tuesday, May 25, 2010

N - Learn a language, adopt a national stereotype?

Learn a language, adopt a national stereotype?

The multicultural membership of EASE might be interested in national stereotyping present in the language learning materials prepared by the US Foreign Service Institute. Swedish nationals are depicted as cartoon vikings. Native Americans only appear in full traditional headdress. The countries that comprise the African francophonie are described primarily in terms of natural resources on offer. And it would be generous to say that the portrayal of Belgium is odd, says blogger Chasing Dragons (http://tinyurl.com/29wphtu). He wonders if the stereotypes are consistent in other language-learning materials, or if they have become more subtle over time. Materials that are in the public domain are available at http://www.fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php

Thanks to Margaret Cooter

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