Transformative curriculum in the French language classroom

Boulard, Florence (2020) Transformative curriculum in the French language classroom. In: Austin, Gavin, and O'Neill, Shriley, (eds.) Stimulating Languages and Learning: global perspectives and community engagement. Deep University Press, Blue Mounds, WI, USA.

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As the ongoing national advocacy for engaging young Australians with Asia builds commitment to Asian languages, this article is a plea for French language educators, in particular those living in the Asia-Pacific region, to reconsider their current teaching practice. As asserted by Pinar (2002), every curriculum is an autobiographical construct largely representative of the participants in its construction and the imperatives they, as stakeholders, see as important to the nation. As observed through the Australian curriculum's prioritisation of its Northern Asian neighbours, proximity is important in the curriculum. In the words of Percy Spender, Australia's Minister for External Affairs in the 1950s, "No nation can escape its geography”. Due to the geographical position of Australia, this paper argues that French language teachers are uniquely placed to bring attention to what most of the world continues to often see as a big blue patch of water. The qualitative results of the reconnaissance stage of an action research project entitled "Making Australia's East-side Neighbours Visible" are presented. These results provide a rationale as to why challenging the status quo and transforming traditional French language instruction is important and how this can be a way to re-empower the French language classroom. The paper concludes by proposing that such enactment is likely to place Australia in a stronger position to collaborate with countries in its region and to create a better future for the region's citizens. However, the described changes, as with any change, will not come without complications.

Item ID: 55066
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-939755-48-3
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2018 00:35
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4703 Language studies > 470308 French language @ 50%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 50%
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