n French Studies in Southern Africa - Éléments sociolinguistiques pour une réflexion didactique du FLE en milieu universitaire plurilingue : questionnements et innovations universitaires




Against the backdrop of South Africa's linguistic panorama of eleven official languages, the « Initial French IA » module offered by the School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Cape Town each year, attracts a significant number of students from different cultural backgrounds. A steady annual increase in the number of students registering for this first-semester introductory course testifies to its success and to the status of French as the most sought-after language at the school. However, we have noticed that after the first semester of Initial French I, the number of registrations for second-semester, « Initial French IB », decreases considerably. Keeping in mind the exceptional prominence enjoyed by French in this multilingual university environment, we describe Initial French IA and analyse its function and demographic. Further, we investigate the reasons for its popularity and for the subsequent fall in the number of students registering for Initial French IB. The aim is to provide pedagogical guidelines in order for the department to maintain the prominence of French Studies.


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