The focus in this study is upon ―Danish‖ as a school subject in the commercial upper-secondary system in Denmark. In regard to defining or classifying the object of study, this focus is related to broader debates within a field of research, which has serious problems of terminology and self-identity. Some term it the research field of mother tongue education (MTE), while others would term it: standard language education (StLE), as Herrlitz and van de Ven (2007: 16f) have made exceedingly clear.
While there are both historical and ideological reasons for choosing the former or the latter term, it is clear that the choice made for this dissertation is dependent on how we look at and understand what Sawyer and van de Ven (2006) have termed the rationale of this school subject.1 In order to cope with the terminological and ideological controversy in a practical, yet open-ended manner it has been chosen to follow both notations: MTE/StLE; mother tongue education/standard language education. It is difficult to accept either of the two terms out of hand, and yet the problem consists in identifying a better alternative.
In a sense, this study seeks to explore exactly such a better alternative. It explores a new rationale that may help us identify a new didactical model, which better covers involved potential meanings, and which may be employed in future circumstances.