Addressing Sociolinguistic Competence in #FSL

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This blog post is more of an itching question that I’m looking for answers from from my professional learning network.

This week we started our CEFR regional collaborative inquiry work. Through this collaborative inquiry we are looking to deepen our understanding of the CEFR and to determine what strategies we can use as teachers to help move across this grid towards full implementation. We had two full days of that included webinars, coupled with very rich discussion.

Our group is a great mix of teachers between 7 through 12 who teach core and/or immersion. As I come from an elementary core French background this discussion has been really great to broaden my horizons and is helping give me some insight as to what FSL can look like in an immersion classroom or in a secondary classroom. 

The overall learning goal that our group decided to work towards is: 

We are learning to communicate information, using a variety of strategies and grade appropriate language, so that we can communicate about past events.

This learning goal was then tweaked to suit each individual classroom in student friendly language, based on their needs.  Essentially, we want students to be able to talk about experiences they have had, or what they did on the weekend.

When having discussions around the success criteria we were challenged to think about how we can ensure we touch on three of Communicative Language Competences from the CEFR (Pages 108-130 for more detail):

 

Linguistic, Sociolinguistic & Pragmatic

 


I am particularly intrigued by the Sociolinguistic competence, as I find it the hardest to teach not being French First Language.  When you look at the CEFR, it tell us that:

 

Sociolinguistic competence is concerned with the knowledge and skills required to deal with the social dimension of language use….The matters treated here are those specifically relating to language use and not dealt with elsewhere: linguistic markers of social relations; politeness conventions; expressions of folk-wisdom; register differences; and dialect and accent.

 

Effective Assessment Practices in FSL: Connecting Growing Success and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Kindergarten to Grade 12
From: Effective Assessment Practices in FSL: Connecting Growing Success and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Kindergarten to Grade 12

As per usual, my mind started racing. 

As I am not French first language, my question always becomes how do we address these socio-cultural differences in our lessons, particularly when it comes to the slang, expressions, idioms, nuances, social appropriateness (register, politenesss) etc. that are specific to different Francophone regions, when we don’t always have the answers ourselves and haven’t had the opportunity to live there?

  Do you have any great resources (books, videos, webites, etc) that help?  How do you teach your students about these things so they can begin to see the differences of meaning behind word choice, or how we interact with someone (without ofending them or embarassing ourseles)?

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