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Afterword - L1 Education between von Humboldt and Chat GTP


  • Sander Bax Tilburg University
  • Sjaak Kroon Tilburg University
  • Massimiliano Spotti Tilburg University



Bildung, meaning-making, digital literacies, globalization, digitalization, qualitative research, teacher education


L1 education has its main foundation in von Humboldt's concept of Bildung integrating the study of language and literature as a contribution to personal growth. Since this perspective gets less attention nowadays, it is argued that we need to re-invent L1 education as meaning-making in which not only offline texts but also all sorts of online products need to be taken as a starting point for learning to reason as an antidote to recent societal developments that in the long run might cause a potential threat to democracy as we know it. In addition, contemporary L1 education is also facing the challenges of globalization and digitalization. Globalization-induced mobility and immigration lead to, among other things, super-diverse classrooms that include a gamut of languages, cultures, and religions. In reaction, L1 education tends to take a rather narrow focus on national, or even nationalistic, contents in the field of language, literature, and culture, potentially leading to the exclusion of certain categories of students. Digitalization, booming business in educational contexts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also poses challenges to L1 education. Students need to become digitally literate citizens to survive in the post-digital world they inhabit, and L1 education has both the tools and the means to help them acquire digital literacy skills and awareness. To shape L1 education in such a way that it can cope with these challenges, we need to base the L1 curriculum, its subject contents, and its didactic approach on research that starts where the teachers and students are, that is, in the classroom, and that takes their practical experiences seriously. The qualitative research methodologies developed within the International Mother Tongues Education Network can play a role in formulating a timely and successful L1 research program.





How to Cite

Bax, S., Kroon, S., & Spotti, M. (2024). Afterword - L1 Education between von Humboldt and Chat GTP. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 24(2).