The popularity of the French language in California is undisputed: it is the second most popular of the 40 languages on offer according to the California Department of Education. Similarly, there is a relative abundance of higher education courses on French literature and typical aspects of the French culture. However, it is hard to find college and university courses on the broad subject of French civilization and very few scholarly resources address the issue of how to teach it in an approachable, student-friendly way. At San Diego State University (SDSU), where French civilization has been taught for years, teachers have had difficulty addressing the student struggles in learning both the course content and the language at the same time, because such a topic compels learners to process authentic materials using abstract reasoning and critical thinking skills. For this reason, efforts have been made at SDSU to develop a course that focuses on both the linguistic and cultural awareness through content-based instruction, while helping students develop their academic skills and learning autonomy. Now that this process of creation has been achieved, it is now possible to work on a broad spectrum of research questions aiming to determine most efficient teaching and learning practices in a course of civilization.
If you want to access the French civilization material for the purpose of a research or desire to collaborate with its investigators, please contact Dr. Lyman-Hager or Dr. Vanleene.
Dr Mary Ann Lyman Hager
French civilization project director
Professor of French civilization at the Department of European Studies
Phone: (619) 594-5480