Title

Ideology and Pedagogical Practices: The Case of the Direct Method and the French Educational System Model.

Subject Area

Foreign Language Pedagogy

Abstract

This proposal aims at exploring the relationship between ideology and pedagogical practices. Very often, the role of ideology in the development and implementation of the methods of language teaching appear to be ignored or underestimated. It is however important to question the roots and the wisdom of certain common practices in language instruction by exploring the historical context in which they emerged and the reason for their emergence. In many methodology books, teachers of foreign languages will find historical accounts that describe the evolution of foreign language teaching methods from the most traditional to the most up-to-date practices. Rare are in-depth analyses and historical descriptions of these methods; in other words, there is a need for an archeological approach to the analysis of methods. A critique of the methods’ sociopolitical and ideological motivations is necessary to understand their origins and the motivation behind their implementation in schools. My goal in this proposal is to approach foreign language methodology from a sociolinguistics viewpoint. In doing so, I discuss the French state’s consistent use of the educational system to build national identity through language, and France’s use of methodological principles of language teaching to strengthen French language and marginalize other languages and cultures within and outside of France. This proposal explores teachers’ need to make informed decisions about methodologies and the ideology that gave birth to these practices. As some authors have already suggested, teachers should “adapt and not adopt” methods but they need to be informed of their ideological underpinnings.

Brief Bio Note

Ali Alalou, French Linguistics PhD. UC Davis, is Associate Professor of French and Applied linguistics at the University of Delaware where he directs the French Language program and Coordinates the Foreign Language Education Program. He publishes in pedagogy, sociolinguistics and Afro-asiatic linguistics. Publications: forthcoming a Chapter titled: “Les langues au Maghreb: identité, enseignement, culture et politique” in an edited collection on Languages of/in Africa (Forthcoming Fall 2015). His textbook titled: Portail de la Francophonie. Kendall Hunt publishing, (Forthcoming Spring 2015).

Keywords

Ideology, Nationalism, Language teaching, Methodology, Francophonie

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

4-7-2016 9:40 AM

End Date

4-7-2016 10:00 AM

Embargo

10-18-2015

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Apr 7th, 9:40 AM Apr 7th, 10:00 AM

Ideology and Pedagogical Practices: The Case of the Direct Method and the French Educational System Model.

Coastal Georgia Center

This proposal aims at exploring the relationship between ideology and pedagogical practices. Very often, the role of ideology in the development and implementation of the methods of language teaching appear to be ignored or underestimated. It is however important to question the roots and the wisdom of certain common practices in language instruction by exploring the historical context in which they emerged and the reason for their emergence. In many methodology books, teachers of foreign languages will find historical accounts that describe the evolution of foreign language teaching methods from the most traditional to the most up-to-date practices. Rare are in-depth analyses and historical descriptions of these methods; in other words, there is a need for an archeological approach to the analysis of methods. A critique of the methods’ sociopolitical and ideological motivations is necessary to understand their origins and the motivation behind their implementation in schools. My goal in this proposal is to approach foreign language methodology from a sociolinguistics viewpoint. In doing so, I discuss the French state’s consistent use of the educational system to build national identity through language, and France’s use of methodological principles of language teaching to strengthen French language and marginalize other languages and cultures within and outside of France. This proposal explores teachers’ need to make informed decisions about methodologies and the ideology that gave birth to these practices. As some authors have already suggested, teachers should “adapt and not adopt” methods but they need to be informed of their ideological underpinnings.