French Archive

Results in BLC Posts

« Si la personne peut me comprendre, pourquoi c’est un débat ? » : Teaching sociolinguistic variation through French phonetics

According to Milroy (2006: 134), language standardization typically fosters a "consciousness among speakers of a ‘correct’, or canonical, form of language" (134). This goes hand in hand with ideologically-motivated judgments of divergent speech and its implications for cultural belonging or morality (Woolard & Shieffelin 1994: 60, Trotter 2006: 2-5). In contemporaryFrancophonie, ideologies that privilege standardized…

Literacy en français and à la française: Socializing Students to Academic Literacy Practices in a Foreign Language

Research on academic socialization has predominately focused on the L2 educational experiences of international students. While FL research has increasingly emphasized “multiliteracies” and “intercultural learning,” literacy in an FL continues to be understood as the use of new words and grammar combined with familiar reading and writing practices. This paper highlights the potential to socialize…

Representing a Foreign Culture: Cultural Learning During Study Abroad

What do we learn about a culture when we travel abroad? In this research study, I adopted a Piagetian perspective to understand how students represent a foreign culture before and after study abroad. I contacted four UC Berkeley students who did not initially speak French and who were not familiar with French culture, and I…

Developing Interpretive Insight through Reframing Texts

This project focused on the interpretive insight that second-semester students of French developed when reframing texts in the target language. The process of reframing texts in a collaborative setting followed a tripartite model involving preparation, enactment, and post-enactment reflection and was aimed at developing linguistic skills and increasing cultural knowledge in the target language. The…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Experimenting with the Teaching of Academic Genres in the Target Culture: A Reflexive Testimony

Instructors' Perspectives This testimony discusses an experiment in teaching French academic genres in the context of a French reading and composition class held at UC Berkeley in spring 2020. The experiment was designed and implemented in collaboration with Emily Linares. The article describes the reasons for introducing students to these genres, within a multiliteracies framework and explains which pedagogical strategies worked best in this context, and why. It also points to possible socio-political implications of the experiment, which could also prove beneficial to minority students or students from underrepresented backgrounds in American universities.

L2 Multimodal Composing Abroad: Remixing Languages, Cultures, and Identities

This paper explores the second language, digital multimodal composing practices of 12 American undergraduates studying French abroad in Paris. Drawing on multiliteracies, multimodality, and translanguaging frameworks, this study utilizes a qualitative lens and multimodal composing timescapes to analyze how students leveraged languages and modes across 72 digital multimodal reflections and vlogs. Findings demonstrate how reflective multimodal composing developed multilingual identities by fostering metalinguistic awareness and goal-setting practices. Through their vlogs, students additionally participated in transcultural repositioning by making cross-cultural connections and sharing emotional experiences. Throughout the term students increased in traversals of modes, languages, spaces, and places as they became more comfortable with the French language, living in France, and multimodal composing. These results illustrate how digital multimodal composing can enhance learners’ linguistic and intercultural competencies while studying abroad. The article concludes with implications for multimodal composing to learn languages and calls for further research on the reflective multimodal composing practices of second language learners.

Examining Students’ Co-construction of Language Ideologies through Multimodal Text

French immersion (FI), one of the hallmarks of French as a Second Language education in Canada and mandated in New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially English/French bilingual province, is often the target of language ideological debates surrounding its purposes and expected outcomes. Yet, notably absent in FI scholarship has been a focus on the ideologies informing students’ investment in French, including what bilingualism might mean for their language learning and identity. In this article, we discuss nine Grade 8 French immersion students’ co-construction of language ideologies regarding bilingualism. In a focus group, these students created a promotional video regarding the merits of bilingualism whose audience was comprised of fictional peers in a predominantly Anglophone province. Our analysis was guided by Darvin and Norton’s (2015) model of investment. We employed the tools of multimodal critical discourse analysis to consider the students’ construction of language ideologies through their video production. Through macro and micro analyses, we identified five primary ideologies: Bilingualism (a) is a matter of personal decision; (b) provides access to jobs; (c) provides access to economic capital; (d) provides access to Francophone communities of practice; and (e) provides access to symbolic capital. We discuss how the students have “remixed” the dominant provincial ideologies on bilingualism into their own, considering the implications of these ideologies on their investment in French. Finally, we suggest how multimodal practices provide a means to develop language students’ meta-cognition and expand their investment in their target language.

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