LARA Project Archives

Authors: Shirley Jordan and Celia Roberts

© LARA/Jordan/Roberts 2000


This ethnography programme is based on the idea that students will get the most out of their period of residence abroad is they take a leaf out of the anthropologists' book and undertake an ethnographic project. 'Ethnography' is the study of another group's way of life from their perspective. It is the fundamental method of anthropologists who seek to understand the cultural practices of others.

The rationale for developing language learners as ethnographers is to offer a systematic and rigorous approach to cultural and intercultural learning. Students learn new ways of looking at the ordinary and the everyday, drawing out patterns from careful and extended observation of a small group, e.g. students have studied dancers of the Sevillano dance in bars in southern Spain, blind students in Marburg University, Germany and Carnivaliers in Nice. Spending time 'lurking and soaking' in a particular environment or with a group helps students develop an insider perspective on cultural processes and immerses them in the language of the group.

© Copyright in the printed materials in these booklets written by Shirley Jordan and Celia Roberts belongs to them. Copyright in the publication is held by © LARA (2000). Teachers or librarians in higher education institutions in the UK may reproduce that part of the publication of which LARA/Shirley Jordan/Celia Roberts hold the copyright for use in class or independent research by students within that institution. No copying for third parties or for financial gain is permitted.


pdf document

Access to materials

The LARA materials grew out of an ESRC funded project which was reported in the following book:

Celia Roberts, Michael Byram, Ana Barro, Shirley Jordan and Brian Street (2001) Language Learners as Ethnographers. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

The book provides a theoretical underpinning for much of the content in these booklets and gives further information on how students themselves used the materials.

The booklets below were created as part of a HEFCE funded project based at Oxford Brookes University.