Cultural Studies in the Brexit Era: In-Service Teachers’ and Students’ Views
In the EU, the approach of Brexit affects many aspects of FLT and consequently the format as well as the core content of Cultural Studies of English-speaking countries, an academic subject designed to provide both Byram’s minimal content and intercultural communicative skills. On the basis of the theoretical background of the issue (the nature of modern Cultural Studies as seen e.g. by Michael Byram, Darla K. Deardoff, Kenneth Cushner and Jennifer Mahon), we present and (via the methods of grounded theory) analyze results of qualitative research based on 60 oral interviews with both Slovak and foreign-born teachers and students of Cultural Studies at various universities in Slovakia. After Brexit, teachers and students do not assume the minimizing of specialized Cultural Studies courses from university curricula for philologists or non-philologists, given that English is a lingua franca in business and communication and will remain so even after Brexit. However, both teachers and students feel the need for change in two areas: (1) In terms of course-content, teachers and students demand a shift towards a comparative approach (comparing two or more cultures, e.g. English, Slovak and selected aspects of the EU). Teachers and students of humanities demand updating of topics that represent selected culture or cultures. Teachers and students of Business English tend more toward representing global/world culture and intercultural business skills. (2) Methodologically, with regards to the target product of the course (a culturally and informationally competent student who is able to function in a variety of intercultural situations), there is a strong need for interculturality, interdisciplinarity and plurilinguism of the courses.
Keywords - Brexit, Cultural Studies, Interdisciplinarity, Intercultural Competence, Plurilinguism