La Francophonie Diverse: French Adjective Agreement Through Art

byBrittany Zezima Dilworth

This unit was written as part of 2023 cycle of Yale National Institute. Its purpose is to address the lack of diverse representation of the Francophone world currently found in many novice-level French language curriculums. Written for 8th or 9th graders taking French I, the unit centers on using art from the French-speaking areas of Africa and the Caribbean to emphasize the demographic range of la francophonie. Using paintings from Haiti, Senegal, and New Orleans, among others, it presents themes found in works by people of color that are important to understanding the impact that colonialism has had on these places and their cultures. The unit also utilizes the content to create a meaningful context for introducing the concept of noun/adjective agreement to beginner students of the target language. Using their newly-acquired background on the subject, students participate in classroom activities that encourage communicative competence by asking them to interpret the art work of others, discuss their observations of different pieces, and present their own recreations of Francophone art as “curators" of their own installations. Simultaneously, the unit’s objective is to broaden students’ understanding of linguistic diversity and their own identities as speakers of the target language.

(Developed for French I, grade 8; recommended for French I, grades 8-9; French II, grades 9-10; and Intro to Language Study, grades 6-8)

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