French Archive

Results in BLC Posts

FrancoForniens: Bringing Oral History into the French-language Classroom

In this presentation, I will show how I borrowed techniques from oral history to build an archive of interviews with “FrancoForniens,” or French speakers living in the Bay Area. Oral history has long been employed in K-12 classrooms to “personalize” the experience of history for students; it asks them to consider how history has impacted…

Rocky Mountain Language Association

I recently attended the Rocky Mountain Language Association’s 70th annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have been participating in the conference for many years now and, without exception, always come away reinvigorated and full of new ideas. As a Senior Lecturer with limited university funding options, I can only attend one conference a…

Thinking about Writing: The challenge of writing assignments at the intermediate French language level

My project addresses issues with composition in the second-year French language program. In response to concerns voiced in surveys by students and instructors, I designed four units and suggested lesson plans. The first provides color-coding analysis of sample essays, allowing students to visualize and parse the elements of an essay. The second unit walks the…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Exploring Symbolic Competence: Constructing Meaning(s) and Stretching Cultural Imagination in an Intermediate College-Level French Class

This study, conducted in a 300-level college French class with15 students, builds on previous research on symbolic competence (Kramsch, 2009, 2011). Using a film scene and a “Semiotic Gap Activity,” we examine how students construct meaning. What do students prioritize? What do they bring from their past symbolic representations? Are they aware of their own perspectives? What do they gain from the activity? Students were divided ...

Redesigning an Introductory Language Curriculum: A Backward Design Approach

In response to calls for curricular change in foreign language programs and institutional requirements to evaluate programmatic effectiveness, this article presents a backward design approach to the redesign of an introductory French curriculum grounded in the framing concept of cultural literacy. In addition, data from student evaluations, written exams, and instructor feedback illustrate how program evaluation efforts have contributed ...

Echoes of Postfeminism in American Students’ Narratives of Study Abroad in France

In qualitative research on Americans in study abroad contexts, female gender often emerges as problematic, with young women portrayed as hapless victims of sexual harassment. The assumption underlying interpretation of these studies appears to maintain that female students are victimized because they find themselves in places where inherently superior American discourses of gender equity do not prevail. Meanwhile, however, scrutiny of participants’ stories reveals deeper mysteries, to do with  gender trouble from home that students bring to their experiences abroad. This paper adopts a narrative approach to interview and journal data from a previous study in which ...

Using Interconnected Texts to Highlight Culture in the Foreign Language Classroom

SLA research on foreign language pedagogy has long demonstrated that culture is essential to language learning. However, presenting culture in the language classroom poses certain problems. For learners, there is a tendency to stereotype others and to rely excessively on the teacher. For teachers, there is a tendency to transmit isolated facts without elaboration and to associate a target language with a single monolithic culture. This article...

Learners’ perceptions of culture in a first-semester foreign language course

Researchers have voiced concerns about current teaching practices regarding the effective integration of culture within the foreign language curriculum as more than an add-on (Durocher, 2007; Knutson, 2006; Kramsch, 1993; Magnan, 2008; Omaggio Hadley, 2001; Perraudin, & Porfilio, 2011; Schulz, 2007; Wilbur, 2007). This study takes an emic perpective to explore ...

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