Getting under their skin: towards a cross-cultural approach for the teaching of literature

  • Vanessa Everson School of Languages & Literatures, French Section, Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, South Africa


The article starts with a brief overview of what and how French is taught in South African universities and attempts a critical appraisal of this teaching. Reference is made to the evolution of French didactics and methodology which has taken place in language teaching at tertiary level in this country and mention is made of the relative absence of any concomitant development within literature teaching. Chevallard\'s didactic triangle is explained and curriculum planners are advised as a consequence to establish learner profiles; the University of Cape Town\'s learners of French are used as an example of a typical South African tertiary student population. Reasons are advanced in justification of the teaching of literary texts written in French and a corpus of texts is suggested. Current assessment procedures are evaluated critically and a classwork-assessed, cross-cultural model with examples of pedagogical activities is proposed as the most appropriate form of literature teaching for French Sections of South African tertiary institutions.

Keywords: South African tertiary education, French didactics, didactic triangle, French literature teaching, Moroccan women\'s fiction, cross-cultural approach

Journal for Language Teaching Vol. 39(1) 2005: 52-64

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0259-9570