Les Mets et les Mots – von Speisen und Sprachen (MEMO): approaches to raising awareness for language and culture using the topic of food/eating culture when teaching foreign languages

Project conducted by the University of Teacher Education Lucerne (PH Luzern).

Responsibility: Dr. Victor Saudan (PH Luzern, direction), Elke-Nicole Kappus, MA and Claudia Wespi, lic.phil. (PH Luzern); 2012-2014

This project examines how teaching foreign languages advances – or can advance – (inter-)cultural competence and the reflection of transcultural elements as defined by ELBE. The project focuses on the theme of food/eating culture and possible ways of exploring this topic when teaching a second Swiss national language at the secondary level I.

Work in the project includes the investigation of the theoretical background in various disciplines and the analysis of curricula, teaching materials and examination regulations and other formal aspects as well as interviews with experts (such as persons in education policy and administration, practitioners). Moreover, case studies and examples of good teaching practices from all language regions in Switzerland are planned, as are workshops with affected teachers.

MEMO pursues two overall goals. The first is to establish a description of current teaching practices in all of Switzerland's language regions; this is done under consideration of didactic and methodological approaches, but also with respect to how teachers understand their role as cultural mediators and how they understand the concept of culture (for instance, inter-/trans-/multicultural aspects, multilingualism, mastery of foreign languages). In the second step, findings from both theory and practice will be employed to develop recommendations for ELBE at secondary level I (using the topic of food/eating culture). The recommendations are designed to serve as a basis for developing teaching materials and the curricula as well as for teacher training and further training.

Dr. Victor Saudan, Tel. +41 79 773 05 20, victor.saudan@phlu.ch
Institut für Lehren und Lernen, Frohburgstrasse 3, CH-6002 Luzern