Languaculture as a key concept in language and culture teaching


  • Karin Risager


Are language and culture inseparable, or are they separable? Neither of these positions is tenable, and in order to find a solution to this seeming paradox, it is useful to develop a theoretical understanding of the concept of languaculture. The point of departure should be a sociolinguistic one, seeing language primarily as linguistic practice going on in - small and large - social networks of various ranges, incl. the global range. Languages, i.e. language users, spread all over the world by various kinds of migration, and each language carries languaculture with it. The languaculture of each specific language is seen as encompassing three interrelated dimensions: a semantic and pragmatic potential, a poetic potential and an identity potential. Languages and their languacultures spread across cultural contexts and discourse communities. This view has a range of far-reaching implications for the content and identity of language teaching and learning.