With regards to the teaching of German in Sweden this literature study looks into
the Swedish curriculum and the CEFR (Common European Framework of
Reference for Languages) to compare today’s common interpretation of the goals in
language learning to the educational goals in the documents.
Critics mean that the CEFR and in extension the curricula in the associated countries
focus mainly on measurable practical language skills. This leads to impoverishment
of the concept of language learning, which should include broad cultural aspects,
encourage the students to develop their personalities and curiosity and foster a
livelong desire to study.
This work will try to show that blaming the CEFR for the kind of lopsided
development towards practical, measurable skills in language teaching does not
origin in the document or in the national curriculum. It appears to be the
interpretation of the documents that oversees some essential requirements, not only
for successful language teaching but also for the use of German as a tool for
conversation and understanding.
The real understanding of a language is, according to the research referred to in this
work, connected to the understanding of culture. This literature study will show that
reading older literature in language classes will favour the students´ understanding
Furthermore, this work will try to point out other educational benefits besides the
gain of cultural knowledge in working with literature. Students learn to argue and
gain understanding of their own world by comparing to the new reality they meet in
the literature. In addition, students will, with the help of the text, acquire new
vocabulary and get an understanding of the structure of the language.
In essence the use of literature in teaching German on one hand meets and fulfils the
requirements in the curriculum and on the other hand supports the development of
language skills and personals skills.
GERS, Ältere Literatur im Deutschunterricht, Older literature in the language classroom, Deutsche Literaturdidaktik, Moderne Sprachen, Marginalisierung von Literatur, GY11, Kultur