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
about the different levels of inquiry/expertise that must be considered
(Educational/Institutional - Pedagogical - Instructional - Technical
Learn about the pedagogical web of relationships between agent
(the teacher), subject (the learner) and object (that which is
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
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
a language class as a non-participant outsider
1. Test on the principles
of teaching/learning (15%)
2. Presentations (2) on textbook and teaching/learning materials (15% + 15%)
design and implementation session (15% + 15%)
messages (on line) (15%)
THERE IS NO FINAL
EXAM IN THIS COURSE
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
- Reflecting on one's experience as a learner/teacher
through a series of weekly position messages and responses/reactions
(on line platform)
completed the Gateway level (250-251). Having taken an Introductory
class in linguistics and/or FREN 291 is an asset, but not a requisite.
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
a better understanding of the pedagogical web of relationships between
teacher, learner, and object (that which is being learned—"Language")
about the main possible approaches to teaching (Academic - Mechanistic
- Humanistic - Social Reconstructionist) and how they relate to
a better understanding of the nature of "language" and "communication,"
a better understanding of the meaning of linguistic/communicative
"Fluency" "Mastery," "Proficiency" and
a better understanding of the meaning of "Grammar," "Vocabulary"
and "Accent," and their exact role in first and second language
acquisition and teaching
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.
a better understanding of the issues involved in creating a program/curriculum
how to select teaching materials, esp. authentic materials ("realia")
how to design learning activities (including evaluative activities)
and implement them
how to create a course syllabus
how to create a lesson plan
a lesson plan and taught a session based on it
upon the motives for learning a second language
upon their own learning history and experience
language classes as a non-participant outsider
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
In-class work involves mostly close reading and discussion of
materials, for which you need to prepare carefully by
the assigned materials, making notes on the difficulties (in language
or content matter) you encounter;
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);
up notions, names, events and other content items (on-line, in an
encyclopedia or other reliable source);
out questions to be brought up in class in order to elucidate whatever
you cannot satisfactorily figure out on your own;
some notes reflecting the results of your research in a rationally
organized fashion: a summary, an outline, a cognitive map (model,
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.
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,
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.
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.
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."
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
Writing / Paper
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- 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.
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 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.
IS A FRENCH IMMERSION CLASS! NO ENGLISH WILL BE USED OR TOLERATED
TOP OF PAGE
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.
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!
- 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