Adieu! What once was, no longer is: The time has come for French as a second language educators (FLE) to decolonise their curricula and diversify their classroom lessons




French as a second language, French teaching, Francophone world, teaching French, multiculturalism, international French, Francophonie


For decades, France has been at the cultural centre of teaching French, even though the majority of the language’s speakers reside elsewhere. Despite its multicontinental global reach, this mischaracterisation is further perpetuated in French as a second language (FLE) textbooks whose curricular materials often focus on outmoded tropes that minimise or marginalise the world’s other Francophone regions. Because educators rely on these materials and since they are the primary ambassadors of French, this pedagogical bias influences how students, administrators, and outsiders consume the language. To counteract these curricular deficiencies in FLE classrooms, a more realistic approach to teaching French is needed. In this paper, we make the case that educators at all levels should liberate and decolonise the French language from France. In doing so, we offer some pedagogical suggestions how French can be taught more realistically. A more pragmatic presentation of the language also has additional potential benefits. As learners and the public become more mindful of the French language’s increasingly growing footprint across the Global South (the area of the world that it is the home to most of its speakers), this can increase interest and present French as a vernacular of the future in terms of employment and success. An approach such as this is especially important at a time when administrative decisions in educational facilities continue to threaten the survival of FLE programmes across the United States and beyond.

Author Biography

  • Scooter Pégram, Indiana University Northwest

    Scooter Pégram is Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Director of the Masters of Liberal Studies programme, and Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Minority Studies at Indiana University Northwest. Scooter Pégram has extensive experience researching immigrant and ethnocultural communities, particularly youths from Francophone countries. Scooter Pégram has multiple academic research publications regarding topics as they concern identity, racism, integration, gender, linguistics, literature, and language. Additionally, Scooter Pégram is a scholar of a wide variety of subjects in Francophone and Black Studies such as hip-hop, film, and sociolinguistics, concentrating in particular on Africa and the African Diaspora and Brazil.


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Pégram (2024)







How to Cite

Pégram, S. (2024). Adieu! What once was, no longer is: The time has come for French as a second language educators (FLE) to decolonise their curricula and diversify their classroom lessons. Journal of Language Teaching, 4(2), 1-11.

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