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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: January 2021

14 - Immersion and Transformative Pedagogy in the French Language Department of the French War College

from Part II - Transformative Language Learning and Teaching Applications in Government Programs


Immersive teaching of a foreign language seems a priori the best way to soak in a language and culture and promote an active, participative, and transformative pedagogy. However, immersion can create a number of obstacles to students taking charge of their own learning. This chapter, which takes its examples from the experience of the French Language Department of the French War College in Paris, addresses the concepts of pedagogical disengagement and sociolinguistic insecurity, as well as the discrepancy between the language of the classroom and language as used in the culture. Solutions for managing these obstacles are proposed, such as accounting for learner differences, developing open architecture curricula, moving beyond the four walls of the classroom, and averting potential overload by promoting the expressions of the learners' own cultures in the process of becoming acquainted with the foreign culture.