chapter  3
16 Pages

Ecological Approaches

This chapter examines the symbiotic, ecological interpretations of the relationship between language and culture that inform the multilingual pedagogy elaborated by Claire Kramsch in foreign language education and the holistic approach to translating culture put forward by Maria Tymoczko in translation studies. This is not to deny that language is also a structural system made up of linguistic units bound by rules, but it means 'that its ecological study focuses on the way individuals relate to the world and to each other by means of linguistic and other sign systems'. An ecological perspective is relational, in that it aims to unveil the connections that teachers and learners entertain with their environment, and reflexive, since it scrutinizes traditional assumptions such as the dichotomy between teachers and learners everyday knowledge of and about language and that required for academic work. The aim of such pedagogy is to foster an understanding of language as a system that reflects, constructs and transforms culture.