What is the rationale for the 2019 French Syllabus?

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The pace of development in the present world makes it important that we acquire more knowledge in a variety of subjects and also develop the capacity to communicate in more than one language.

Some major international languages at the moment are English, French, Chinese and Spanish. Being able to communicate in at least two of these languages has strategic importance in such areas as etc.


Besides, the current trend towards international co-operation, peaceful co-existence and technology transfer, necessitates that a person be able to communicate in a language that is understood by his/her neighbours.

Given the geographical position of Ghana, surrounded, as it is, by French speaking countries, the ability of the Ghanaian to communicate effectively in French will promote as well as strengthen, socio-economic and political interaction with our neighbours, in particular, and indeed with other French-speaking countries, in general.


PHILOSOPHY


Philosophy of teaching the French language
The philosophy of teaching French is based on the task-based approach of teaching and learning.
The task-based approach involves the ability to perform language related tasks using the French language in the most appropriate manner to convey meaning.

It is focused on preparing the learner more actively to become a social agent capable of engaging in any meaningful interaction in order to solve various problems of
everyday life.

As such, it recreates in the classroom and even outside the classroom, various communicative contexts in which learners can adopt appropriate language knowledge to address the issues.


In the current dispensation, an eclectic method of teaching that combines all approaches helps to promote various kinds of interaction such as the personal, social,
educational and professional problem solving as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning French.

As such, they tend to emphasise activities such as real-life or simulated tasks, role-play, pair work, group work, interviews, information gap, opinion sharing, scavenger hunt, etc.


There is a change from the traditional language teaching which places emphasis on grammar and teacher-centred classroom, to that of the active use of authentic
language in learning and acquisition. Thus there is a link between classroom language learning and the language used outside the classroom.


The teacher plays different roles. On one hand, he/she is a “facilitator, a guide and a helper,” and on the other hand a “coordinator, an idea-person and a cocommunicator”. (Oxford, 1990, p.10)


Philosophy of Learning the French Language


French language learning was originally considered a cognitive matter, mainly involving memorization. It was later thought to be socio-cognitive. This means it could be learned through the process of social interaction.

Today, however, the dominant techniques of learning the French language are through the task-based, communicative as well as functional approaches. At this level, we propose the task-based approach which puts the learner in real-life language learning situations, but which equally includes the some of the major characteristics the communicative approach.

With the development of linguistic theories, French language acquisition evolved from placing emphasis on lexis and structure to carrying out tasks based on speech acts. It is no longer studied as an academic subject but as a tool for communication.


Learners are to carry out activities or tasks that will enable them acquire the four basic communicative skills of listening, speaking (that promote basic oral understanding and practice), reading and writing (for the understanding and practice of basic written discourse).


Activities and tasks such as introducing themselves or colleagues, identifying objects and describing them, listening to instructions and obeying them, filling out forms, making simple and short announcements, writing postal cards, engaging in simple telephone conversations, sending text messages, reading articles from children’s magazines or cartoons, listening to French songs and music, telling simple stories, etc. are what will constitute the basis for learning the French language.


General Aim


The curriculum is aimed at developing literacy so that the individuals become good problem solvers with the ability to think creatively and have both the confidence
and competence to participate fully in the Ghanaian society as responsible local and global citizens.


Subject Aims


The general aim of teaching and learning French at the Key Phase 2 level (B4 – B6) is to enable pupils to communicate in basic French in day-to-day life situations.
Therefore, the aims consist of:


1. understanding and responding to basic spoken and written French,
2. reading and writing simple messages and texts in French,
3. attaining the basic linguistic skills for further learning of French in subsequent phases of their education.

Source: NaCCA, Ministry of Education 2019

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