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Individual differences in attachment behavior in a Dutch sample:

TEACHING TEXTS: CURRICULAR- DOSERES PRINCIPLES (McCarthy, M & Carter, R., 1994) In the chapter “Literature, Culture and Language as Discourse” (McCarthy, M. & Carter, R. 1994) five principles are offered in relation to text-based language teaching. I chose the “Familiar to unfamiliar principle” as a frame of reference to some of the latest classroom developments with my students.

Related to the principle, the authors (1994: 167): “In terms of language learning it states that learners are more likely to be motivated to learn a second or foreign language if the texts and contexts designed into a course are culturally familiar”.

At the Modern Languages Curricular Project at a public university’s undergraduate program in Bogotá, I am currently developing a course called “Communication in English VIII.” The syllabus emphasizes all kinds of communicative activities including sketches, which are short, and light, informal skits. I certainly have a book of sketches, “Sketches from the English Teaching Theatre” (1995) produced by the BBC. Their topic: situations around life in England. Initially, I thought of giving copies of the different sketches to the students as I have done with other groups in previous years. Based on the “Familiar to unfamiliar principle”, I changed my approach. This time the suggestion to the students was to produce their conversational sketches based on familiar situations surrounding their lives. And they did so. Not only did they display their social sensibility to their own culture, but they also felt more at ease replicating their own environment through language. The aforementioned principle is applicable to other areas of EFL teaching and I did likewise without knowing the principle but preventing cultural alienation in the classroom, while teaching Elements of American Literature in High School some years ago. When folk tales was the subject of study through a book that only included North American folktales, students were encouraged to find out about Colombian and/or Latin American folktales. Motivation towards the topic increased, they delved into their own culture finding out about national Folktales and related stories throughout other Latin American countries. What was initially a handicap was turned into a learning opportunity.