Milena M. Kalicanin

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Since learning a language naturally entails the understanding of a cultural context in which it is used (Kramsch, 1993), it goes without saying that cultural awareness will be best acquired when students immerse themselves in the country of the target culture (Istanto, 2008). The role of the teacher in nurturing cultural understanding is to “take on the role of culture educator and deliberately assist students with their process of cultural analysis.” (Istanto, 2009: 280) One of the ways to teach culture has definitely been to ask students to watch films of the target culture. This paper deals with the classroom experiment of teaching “Trainspotting”. The students were divided into two groups with the task of presenting and interpreting different aspects of the film for the sake of enhancing classroom communication, as well as introducing prevalent concerns of contemporary Scottish society.  The first (linguistic) group had to report on the usage of the authentic Scots in the film with a special attention to its title – to investigate the root and meaning of the word “trainspotting”, and the second (cultural) group had quite a demanding task to discuss the issues of urban Scottish youth culture. Though dealing with rather controversial themes, the practical case of teaching Trainspotting, based primarily on the interactive and communicative way of learning, verily illustrates “how film can be used in an innovative way for teaching the target language and culture” (Istanto, 2008:290).


target language, target culture, interaction, communication, Scots, Trainspotting

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