Negotiating the Syllabus: Autonomy and the Teaching of Literature in French Lycées


Although multiple benefits of teaching literature in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom have been cited in contemporary academic discourse, including gaining cultural awareness, enhancing creative abilities and developing critical skills in a second language, there has been a dearth of empirical work on what resources teachers actually use in their courses. Studying the use of literature in secondary school classes provides valuable insights, as language courses at this level are part of the standard curriculum and secondary school students have typically become fluent enough to begin studying literary texts. In France, the role of literature teaching is in flux, currently existing both in the periphery of the general English course and leading the Literature in a Foreign Language course for students in the literary section of Baccalauréat preparation. Within these spaces, teachers are bound by the national objectives for their courses, though they are able to make their own choices about what texts to bring into their classes and how to teach them. This presentation shares part of a mixed-methods study on how literature is taught in French EFL lycée classes that included face-to-face interviews, textbook analyses, and a survey of more than 250 teachers. In the data, teachers raised concerns about teaching literature and described how they have overcome various challenges in order to expose their students to exciting authentic materials.

Author Information
Ashira B. Greene, University College London, UK

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2015
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ECLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon