How Communicative Acts in Dialogic Literary Gatherings Contribute to Enrich Language Skills and Increase Social Cohesion

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:45
Location: Hörsaal 24 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Teresa MORLA, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Guiomar MERODIO, University of Barcelona, Spain
Tinka SCHUBERT, University of Barcelona, Spain
Social cohesion is a global challenge in the information age. The Lisbon Strategy from the European Commission marks social cohesion as a priority. The present paper analyzes the role of communicative acts in Dialogic Literary Gatherings (DLG) to enrich language skills and increase social cohesion. DLG is a successful action identified under the FP6 INCLUD-ED project. The main feature of DLG is that classic literature is read and discussed in egalitarian dialogue. To make egalitarian dialogue possible, some crucial aspects are contemplated. DLG depart from the conception of dialogic understanding of knowledge, thus, participants regardless of their social background or educational level provide their interpretations of the text. It is the validity of the arguments (Habermas, 1987) that are decisive for the discussion rather than the social position of the person who emits them. From the perspective of communicative acts (Searle and Soler, 2004) DLG provide a space in which power relations are reduced and dialogic interactions prevail opening up the possibility for linguistic, cultural and social diversity. In this context, especially those people who are traditionally excluded and bereft of their cultural intelligence, such as working-class people or migrants can participate on an egalitarian basis and enrich not only their linguistic skills but also their cultural skills through the reading of classic literature and their social relations. In this space people get empowered and personal and collective transformation is enhanced. The dialogic interactions taking place in DLG offer the possibility to establish new social relations in the community which fosters social cohesion and participation in other areas of social life. The present research evidences that the language situations in DLG with communicative acts free from social power constraints contribute to increasing language skills especially among vulnerable groups such as migrants and linguistic minorities and improve social cohesion.