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A Hidden Curriculum in Language Textbooks: Are Beginning Learners of French at U. S. Universities Taught about Canada?

Carol A. Chapelle
The Modern Language Journal
Vol. 93, No. 2 (Summer, 2009), pp. 139-152
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40264047
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Hidden Curriculum in Language Textbooks: Are Beginning Learners of French at U. S. Universities Taught about Canada?
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Abstract

This study investigated a hidden curriculum in published language teaching materials by tabulating the number of instances that Canada was mentioned in 9 French textbooks and their accompanying workbooks and CD-ROMs. The materials were used at large public universities in the northern United States. For the present study, 2 raters, a Québécois student and an American student of French, found that, on average, 15.3% of the analyzed sections of the textbooks, 6.5% of the workbook sections, and 29.9% of the sections in the CD-ROMs contained Canadian content. Based on a transnational view of culture, which suggests that cultural content in language materials should be chosen in view of local issues (Risager, 2007), I argue that Canada should play a larger role in French teaching materials used in the northern United States. In particular, increased Canadian content might help to create needs for and interest in French, foster learning about the nonneutrality of language, and stimulate discovery of local historical linguistic and cultural diversity.

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