FREN 391-01
Fundamentals of
Teaching and Learning French

 

FALL 2017
TR 3:30-4:45
ICC 221A

Office hours: ICC 427 or REYNOLDS 145
and by appointmen
t
spielmag@georgetown.edu

A significant amount of information pertaining to this course is sent via e-mail.
Electronic messages will be sent to your <@georgetown.edu> address:
please check your mailbox regularly
.

DO NOT PRINT THIS SYLLABUS
It may be modified over the course of the semester. Always refer to the latest on-line version.

> Last updated on August 25 2017<


Goals

This course aims to significantly improve the students' understanding of what it means to "learn a language"—in this case, French—and to teach it to others. While a number of approaches, methods and techniques will be introduced, discussed and practiced, the point is not to provide a ready-made "bag of tricks," but rather to present fundamental issues and questions that must be addressed in order to become a (more) proficient learner and teacher. Thus each student will be able to envision the learning/teaching process in light of his/her own needs, goals and circumstances, with the help of a conceptual and practical toolkit that will allow him/her to develop to the fullest extent a personal, yet coherent teaching / learning philosophy and style.
Students will also have the opportunity to reach beyond the most common misconceptions, myths and clichés, in order to achieve a comprehensive vision of the stakes, challenges, pitfalls and rewards of learning/teaching French.

Objectives

  • Learn about the different levels of inquiry/expertise that must be considered (Educational/Institutional - Pedagogical - Instructional - Technical - Practical)
  • Learn about the pedagogical web of relationships between agent (the teacher), subject (the learner) and object (that which is being learned—"Language")
  • Learn about four possible approaches to teaching (Academic/Cognitive - Mechanistic/Behaviorist - Humanistic/Constructivist/Socio-Cultural - Social Reconstructionist) and how they relate to language acquisition
  • Learn about the seven possible types of learning objectives (Concept - Content - Competence - Procedure - Heuresis - Experience - Value) and how they relate to language acquisition
  • Learn about the nature of "language" and "communication," and the meaning of linguistic/communicative "Fluency" "Mastery," "Proficiency" and "Competence."
  • Learn about the meaning of "Grammar," "Vocabulary" and "Accent," and their exact role in first and second language acquisition and teaching
  • Learn about competence frameworks such as the ACTFL Proficiency Scales and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), their purposes, applications and limitations.
  • Learn about creating a program/curriculum
  • Learn how to select teaching materials, esp. authentic materials ("realia")
  • Learn how to design learning activities (including evaluative activities) and implement them
  • Create a course syllabus
  • Create a task-based, communicative lesson plan
  • Reflect upon the motives for learning a second language
  • Reflect upon one's own learning history and experience
  • Observe a language class as a non-participant outsider


Evaluation

1. Test on the principles of teaching/learning (15%)
2. Presentations (2) on textbook and teaching/learning materials
(15% + 15%)
3.
Activity design and implementation session (15% + 15%)
4.
Observation report (15%)
3. Reflection messages (on line) (15%)

THERE IS NO FINAL EXAM IN THIS COURSE

Methodology

This course will involve five different types of activities:
- Learning about issues and concepts through class lectures and discussions (usually based on readings)
- Studying and analyzing learning /teaching situations through observations of "language courses"
- Conducting critical inquiry of various methods through individual research (classes - textbooks and materials) and presentations
- Practicing specific methods/techniques through activity sessions
- Reflecting on one's experience as a learner/teacher through a series of weekly position messages and responses/reactions (on line platform)

Prerequisites

Having completed the Gateway level (250-251). Having taken an Introductory class in linguistics and/or FREN 291 is an asset, but not a requisite.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this class, students will have

  • gained a better understanding of the different levels of inquiry/expertise that must be considered in learning/teaching a second language
  • gained a better understanding of the pedagogical web of relationships between teacher, learner, and object (that which is being learned—"Language")
  • learned about the main possible approaches to teaching (Academic - Mechanistic - Humanistic - Social Reconstructionist) and how they relate to language acquisition
  • gained a better understanding of the nature of "language" and "communication,"
  • gained a better understanding of the meaning of linguistic/communicative "Fluency" "Mastery," "Proficiency" and "Competence."
  • gained a better understanding of the meaning of "Grammar," "Vocabulary" and "Accent," and their exact role in first and second language acquisition and teaching
  • learned about competence frameworks such as the ACTFL Proficiency Scales and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR); understand their purposes, their applications and limitations.
  • gained a better understanding of the issues involved in creating a program/curriculum
  • learned how to select teaching materials, esp. authentic materials ("realia")
  • learned how to design learning activities (including evaluative activities) and implement them
  • learned how to create a course syllabus
  • learned how to create a lesson plan
  • created a lesson plan and taught a session based on it
  • reflected upon the motives for learning a second language
  • reflected upon their own learning history and experience
  • observed language classes as a non-participant outsider

Preparation and Participation

   You must prepare for class by going over assigned material, and by formulating questions, remarks and comments for class discussion. Each hour spent in class should be matched by about 45 minutes of preparation before class, and another 45 minutes of follow-up work afterwards. Every evening, review what was done in class that day to verify that you understand it; if necessary, use books and on-line resources for clarification. Bring up unresolved items in class, or discuss them with your instructor during office hours.
  Each and every student is expected to participate in every class, not only by responding to prompts and questions by the instructor (or to other students' comments), but also by volunteering comments and questions without being prompted (see also the "Total Commitment Policy").


  In-class work involves mostly close reading and discussion of materials, for which you need to prepare carefully by

  • reading/viewing the assigned materials, making notes on the difficulties (in language or content matter) you encounter;
  • looking up some words and expressions in a monolingual dictionary (Robert, Larousse), so as to clarify the general meaning of the materials (always read/view over the materials afterwards);
  • looking up notions, names, events and other content items (on-line, in an encyclopedia or other reliable source);
  • writing out questions to be brought up in class in order to elucidate whatever you cannot satisfactorily figure out on your own;
  • preparing some notes reflecting the results of your research in a rationally organized fashion: a summary, an outline, a cognitive map (model, diagram)...

     This work must be carried out entirely in French. Translation to/from English or another language should never be a part of it at any stage. The instructor will provide specific strategies on how to function in French without recourse to translation.

THIS IS NOT A LECTURE COURSE! YOUR ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IS CRUCIAL
     Every student is expected to be present for every class. If an absence is anticipated for any reason, the instructor must be notified beforehand by e-mail or by phone (ext. 5852). In any case, students are responsible for finding out what was done or assigned while they were absent, and for turning in assignments on time.
     Every student is also expected to be prepared for every class,
that is, having something definite to say about the assigned materials (based on research and/or reflection), and/or questions to ask the intructor, and/or
issues to raise in class for discussion. Students are mostly responsible for conducting the readings and analyses.
     Finally, every student is expected to participate in every class, that is, speak up in response to prompts by the instructor or to other students' comments, and volunteer comments without being prompted.  

Manifest lack of adequate preparation will result in a reduction of the portion of the final grade allotted to "Presence, Preparedness and Participation."

Attendance and Punctuality

   Every student is expected to be present for every class and arrive on time (repeated tardiness will be penalized). If an absence is anticipated, the instructor must be notified beforehand by e-mail or by phone (ext. 5852).
  An absence may be "excused" if it was caused by an unforeseen event or accident that made it impossible or extremely difficult for a student to attend class, and which can be documented. If you feel sick enough to miss class, then you should also seek medical attention and obtain a certificate from the health care provider who treated you. If you suffer from a chronic mental or physical condition that occasionally flares up to the point of incapacitating you, you need to be registered with the University health services in order to be granted accommodations.
   A student who was absent (justifiably or not) remains responsible for finding out what was done or assigned during the missed class(es), and for turning in assignments on time. Unjustified absences will result in a reduction of the portion of the final grade allotted to "Presence, Preparedness and Participation."


Note taking

     Taking notes efficiently is part of your work in this class, as your instructor will provide original insights not available from the texts or any other source. If you are unsure about note-taking strategies, consult with the Writing Center
(http://writingcenter.georgetown.edu).

Writing / Paper rules

  • All writing assignments completed outside of class must be composed with a word-processing software and you should always keep a back-up copy. They must be submitted electronically as e-mail attachments to spielmag@georgetown.edu in <.doc> or <.docx> format—when you save your document, make sure that the software (especially MS Word) does not automatically save it as anything else than a text document. Note that MS Word may save a Windows Media document with a <.doc> extension. See the instructor if you are unsure about text formats, sending attachments, or if there is a reason why you wish to submit your work in printed rather than electronic format.
  • Name the file beginning with "FR391", then your last name (e.g. <FR391SmithReport1.doc>
  • Every paper should bear the number of the course (French 391), the name of the author, the date and a draft number (1, 2, 3) if applicable.
  • Use plain fonts like Times Roman or Geneva, in size 12. Double-space your text, leaving 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • All standard French diacritical marks must be used: accents (é, è, ê, ë, ù, à, û, ï) cedillas on ç and Ç, guillemets (« ...»), superscripts (XVIe siècle).
  • Division into paragraphs must be consistent with the content, and the first line of each paragraph must be tabulated on the left.

Honor System

     All aspects of this class fall under Georgetown University's honor system. If you are not thoroughly familiar with its provisions, please review them at http://honorcouncil.georgetown.edu/system/policies. A point of particular concern is using source material appropriately and avoding plagiarism : "Plagiarism, in any of its forms, and whether intentional or unintentional, violates standards of academic integrity. Plagiarism is the act of passing off as one’s own the ideas or writings of another (…). While different academic disciplines have different modes for attributing credit, all recognize and value the contributions of individuals to the general corpus of knowledge and expertise. Students are responsible for educating themselves as to the proper mode of attributing credit in any course or field. (…) Note that plagiarism can be said to have occurred without any affirmative showing that a student’s use of another’s work was intentional.


Deadlines
  Deadlines indicate the absolute last day and time when assignments should be turned in. The cut-off time is the end of class on the day of the deadline, whether you bring in a hard copy of the work, e-mail it to me or post it on a discussion board. It is not advisable to start working on an assignment on the day it is due. Give yourself enough time to allow for unforeseen delays or problems (printer running out of ink, e-mail bugs, network access down, etc), which cannot be used as excuses for not meeting a deadline. Acceptable excuses are acts of God, system-wide server outages and documented medical emergencies.

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Course Procedures

THIS IS A FRENCH IMMERSION CLASS! NO ENGLISH WILL BE USED OR TOLERATED

   For greater authenticity, we will only use materials originally produced for a French speaking public: Only purely administrative matters (such as this syllabus) will be handled in English. In all other circumstances, including discussion and critique of your work in class or during office hours, French will be used exclusively orally and in writing, by you and by the instructor. You will never be asked (with rare, very precise exceptions) to translate anything, nor are you expected to use translation ever as a means to accomplish your work in this class. NO BILINGUAL DICTIONARIES ARE ALLOWED IN CLASS. Use of a monolingual dictionary is strongly encouraged, however.

Attitude and Behavior

  This is a class held in a university classroom. It is not a meeting of a book club at a local library branch; it is not a game in a stadium or a workout at the gym; it is not a get together at someone's home or a pajama party in your dorm room; it is not a luau at the beach. Please dress and behave accordingly!
Namely:
- No eating or snacking during class (drinking is OK)
- Cell phones, smartphones and other mobile communication devices must me turned off and stored away in a pocket or a bag (except for emergency situations, with prior notification to the instructor)
- No wearing of gym shorts, flip flops, exercise/sport gear, pajamas, lounge wear, grass skirts, etc.
- No chit-chat unrelated to class matters
- Use of computers is class is strictly limited to working on relevant tasks matters. Anyone caught using a computer in class for anything else (checking e-mail, Facebook status, stock prices, playing games) will be issued a warning the first time, and, the second time, banned from using a computer in class altogether for the rest of the term

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Texts and Materials

References
Robert, Jean-Pierre. Dictionnaire pratique de didactique du FLE. 2e éd. Paris, Ophrys, 2008. - Some entries are available on BlackBoard.

Legendre, Renald. Dictionnaire actuel de l'éducation. 2e éd. Montréal, Guérin, 1993. - Some entries are available on BlackBoard.

Guy Spielmann, « À la recherche de l'enseignement communicatif », The French Review, 1992. (BlackBoard)

Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues : apprendre, enseigner, évaluer (CECR) http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/Framework_fr.pdf

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (Speaking, Listening, Writing Reading) : http://actflproficiencyguidelines2012.org
or http://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/public/ACTFLProficiencyGuidelines2012_FINAL.pdf

Rémi Thibert, «Pour des langues plus vivantes à l'école», Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique (INRP), Dossiers d'actualité no 58, 2010. (BlackBoard)

B. Barnes, M. Rogers, G. Spielmann [and T. Terrell], Deux Mondes: A Communicative Approach. 7th edition. San Francisco, McGraw-Hill, 2012. (Used in GU's French beginners courses)

Various French Beginner Textbooks from U.S. and French publishers (available for borrowing at the French Department)


Schedule
Date /
Session

 Topic - Work in class - Assignment - Reflection topic

To be done in preparation of class
Readings available on BlackBoard,
Entries in the Dictionnaire pratique de didactique or Dictionnaire de l'éducation

8/31 - 0 Introduction

 

9/5 - 1

What are we talking about? Defining the field
Teaching / Learning [a {Foreign (languageFrench —)}]

9/7 - 2 Why learn/teach a second language?  Le français et moi  « À la recherche de l'enseignement communicatif » (Spielmann, 1992)
9/12 - 3

Teaching: Levels of inquiry/expertise : Educational/Institutional - Pedagogical - Instructional - Technical - Practical

Les niveaux de réflexion et d'action; les objectifs d'apprentissage - "Approches" (4) "Méthode" (64) " Pédagogie" (79)
9/14 - 4

Relationships between agent (the teacher), subject (the learner), object (that which is being learned—"Language") and environment Mes expériences et mon style d'apprentissage

L'environnement éducatif 1 'Apprenant" (3) - - "Didactique" (32) "Unité didactique" (99)
9/19 - 5 Approaches to teaching (1) : Academic/Cognitive - Mechanistic/Behaviorist - Humanistic / Constructivist / Socio-Cultural - Social Reconstructionist L'environnement éducatif 2
9/21 - 6

Types of teaching/learning objectives : Concept - Content - Competence - Procedure - Heuresis - Experience - Value

les objectifs d'apprentissage - "Objectif" (75) - "progression" (86) Programmes de cours de FLE en ligne
9/26 - 7 Structuring a course - Curriculum
La structure du cours - "Curriculum" (28)
9/28 NO CLASS
10/3 - 8 Exposés - Analysis of textbooks

Le manuel - "Manuel" (60)

10/5 - 9 Test
 
10/10 - 10

What do we teach/Learn? The (true) nature of "language" and "communication" Comment j'envisage le langage et la communication

La communication - la compétence communicative / Les Situations d'utilisation -
10/12 - 11 Linguistic/communicative "Fluency" "Mastery," "Proficiency" and "Competence." "Communication" (16) - "Compétence" (17)
10/17 - 12 The ACTFL Proficiency Scales and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Mon « niveau » de compétence  Les échelles de proficience : ACTFL et CEFR
10/19 NO CLASS
10/24 - 13

Common (mis)conceptions (1) : "Grammar"

 
10/26 - 14 Common (mis)conceptions (2) : "Vocabulary" Mon rapport à la grammaire  
10/31 - 15 (mis)conceptions (3) : "Technology"    
11/2- 16 (mis)conceptions (4) "(Authentic) Documents"
 "Authentique" (7)
11/7 - 17
(mis)conceptions (5) : "Standard French" "Accent and Pronunciation"  Mon expérience avec les documents authentiques
 
11/9 - 18 Creating a program/curriculum and a course syllabus : goals and objectives, scope and sequence, methodology, materials, evaluation
11/14 - 19 Designing and implementing learning activities - Creating a lesson plan L'activité de classe - Activité vs. Exercice - "Exercice" (41)
11/16 - 20

Selecting teaching materials, esp. authentic materials ("realia") Top 10 des activités que je fais / ne fais pas

 
11/21 NO CLASS
11/23 - THANKSGIVING - NO CLASS
11/28 - 21

Activities

 
11/30 - 22 Activities  
12/5 - 23 Exposés (Observation reports)  
12/7 - 24 Exposés (Observation reports)