The focus of this thesis is the use in a university course of reading/literature in French as a Foreign Language of iconotexts written originally for children. The primary objective of the research is to show that works of this nature, proposed ab initio for extensive reading, engage students in the reading and writing process. The research also aims to demonstrate the contribution that creative writing, and in particular writing tasks within set constraints, can make to the teaching and learning of French as a Foreign Language at university level. The research was undertaken during the first semester of 2009 at The Australian National University (ANU) (Canberra), and was based on a case study. The data collected comprise two sets of 26 pieces of writing produced by the students following the study of multimodal works-picture books or illustrated stories-and two questionnaires distributed at the beginning and end of the semester. It is important to note that the teaching environment of the ANU is a multilingual and multicultural one in that there are many international students enrolled in the French programme at this university. The framework for the analysis was developed in order to highlight the extent to which students became engaged both in the reading of the selected iconotexts and in the creative writing task itself. This framework, which was based on the three notions of creativity, "literarity" and "the subjective reader" (Rouxel and Langlade 2004), was adapted to the particularities of each of the two writing tasks. In the first of these it was broadened to include the distinction of the "degree of variation" used by Pintado (2006) and the system of classification according to type of rewrite proposed by Beckett (2002). The conclusion drawn from the analysis of both sets of writing is that all the students involved became engaged in the reading of the selected iconotexts and their investment in the two proposed writing tasks was evident. The analysis also highlights the different ways in which students may engage with writing and emphasises the sophistication, subtlety and richness of many of the pieces, as well as the way in which elements drawn from the iconotexts read in class are blended together with elements from the student reader/writer's own repertoire in the final written production. Furthermore, the results of the analyses and their comparison with the responses provided in the questionnaires completed by the students demonstrate the relevance of ambitious writing activities at a relatively low level of mastery of the target language and show that the use of iconotextual works written for children, that are both accessible and complex, is appropriate for the development of reading and writing skills at this level.
|Translated title of the contribution||The contribution of children's literature to the teaching and learning of French language and culture: a case study of an Australian University|
|Number of pages||529|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|