Integrating Communication and Culture in Intermediate French Classes

Head shot for Libby Malone

Name: Libby Malone
Majors: French and Education
Advisors: Rebecca Grenouilleau-Loescher, Matthew Broda

This Independent Study focuses on the importance of communication and culture in intermediate French classes. To truly learn a foreign language, students should not only develop vocabulary and grammar skills but should develop communicative and cultural competencies. To meet these goals, students should have as much interaction with native French speakers as possible, and teachers should teach in ways that promote these competencies. Chapter one explains seven methodologies. The comprehensible input theory, communicative approach, and active methods are the most important. Five general education theories are also explained: experiential learning, social cognitive theory, and visual, auditive, and kinesthetic learning methods. This information was referenced in writing a chapter of an intermediate-level French textbook, themed around the workplace. While this textbook chapter contains exercises for students to drill their vocabulary and grammar skills, most activities are focused on speaking and putting the vocabulary and grammar into culturally relevant context. Students are presented with information on cultural aspects of the workplace, how to apply for jobs, and how to write resumés and cover letters in French. They are also tasked with listening and reading comprehension, writing prompts, and practicing job interviews. Putting the vocabulary and grammar in situations that students may experience in real life will promote their understanding of the world around them as opposed to simply learning for a grade. As a future French teacher, I enjoyed learning more about the methodologies behind the way languages are taught and then presenting content in a way that best uses the most influential aspects of the methodologies. In the future, I hope to be able to teach my textbook chapter to students and expand upon my research through teaching experience.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.

6 responses to “Integrating Communication and Culture in Intermediate French Classes”

  1. RonMon says:

    I am intrigued by your example activity. Knowing students as we both do, will there be a control in place in order to keep students from giggling too much and losing focus and concentration, when they are presented with the non-traditional job choices? I’m thinking of a carrot to dangle in front of them, to keep them centered. What are your thoughts?

  2. Libby Malone says:

    RonMon, I love this question! I think if the students treat it as acting, the ones who portray recruiters might be more apt to stay focused on asking questions. If this is the case, the students with non-traditional job choices may get silly but see their peers staying on task. Another thing that seems to help is grading for participation. If they’re not staying on task, they lose participation points.

  3. Rachel Jones says:

    Congratulations Libby!! I’m so proud of you!!

  4. Libby Malone says:

    Rachel!!! Thanks girl!!

  5. Abby McFarren says:

    Congrats Libby! Great work!

  6. Libby Malone says:

    Thank you so much, Abby!! <3