Our research focuses on the problems posed by cultural and intercultural dimensions in teaching and learning languages from the perspective of the paradigmatic dichotomy universalism/relativism. Our transdisciplinary treatment explores three main areas of research: linguistics, anthropology and management.
The theories developed in these fields had a great influence on the didactics of "language-culture" and, consequently, on ideologies, methodologies and cultural contents of foreign language teaching. These theories have paved the way for an intercultural approach, a reaction against the formerly prevalent reified interpretation of culture as national. This study, conducted in a Finnish context of heteroglossia, shows both the diachronic evolution of the concept of culture in pedagogical materials from 1965 to the present day and the axiological orientation of the representations of identity and alterity in said materials. In addition, our thesis surveys the present situation to see how far these dimensions are taken into account, with particular reference to the Plurilingual and Intercultural Education project advocated by the Council of Europe.
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