- This event has passed.
Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language in France: A Strange Situation and some lessons for Japanese Language Pedagogy
March 22, 2019 - 16:15-17:45
Guest Lecture: Professor Christian Galan
Large-scale teaching of Japanese as a foreign language (TJFL) is relatively new in France and dates from the late 1990s. TJFL presents several peculiarities and makes Japanese a language a little apart in the scope of French education. One of these peculiarities is that it is a language “requested” by students, and TJFL has thus often been initiated by heads of schools in response to such demands. Another peculiarity is that TJFL is mainly allotted to non-titular teachers with very heterogeneous profiles and abilities – which is a source of some difficulties.
The difficulties encountered by French secondary school teachers of Japanese – whom I have observed in the field for nine years now – can mainly be divided into two categories: those relating to the subject which is taught (i.e. the Japanese language) and those relating to the teachers’ vision and understanding of their role and its practical execution (i.e. the teaching profession). While the first category is often the focus of reflection and research in the field of Japanese language education, the second one, rightly or wrongly, is much less frequently addressed – if not completely forgotten or denied.
Because these difficulties result from pedagogical practices that are insufficiently or unstably anchored, or from a lack of awareness among teachers that several anchor points are possible (e.g. learners, the teacher, language, methods or textbooks) but not equal, they give us precious information on what really constitutes the difficulty to teach – and learn – Japanese within an institutional and national frame.
In this seminar I first present the French situation, followed by reflections and remarks that can help us to think about the specificity of Japanese language pedagogy.
(NB! Access to the building via inner courtyard from Fabianinkatu 24 and Vuorikatu 3)