Teaching French Listening Comprehension and Cultural Awareness through Regional Variation

At the university level, French language instruction in the US traditionally includes a course on phonetics and pronunciation. While the major aim of such courses is to improve students’ speaking and listening competence, they also emphasize speaking ‘correctly’ using standardized, metropolitan French. In this project I propose a curriculum that emphasizes the diversity of spoken French through the exploration of its regional varieties. The curriculum comprises two foundational lessons on the ideology of the standard and sociolinguistic variation in French; five more lessons offer information on and exposure to regional varieties through real speech. My project invites students to consider French beyond the metropole, including its contact with other languages, and thus builds the capacity to understand diverse speakers’ language and culture.

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