The extensive use of technology during the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped the way students communicate and interact in French cultural studies courses. With the return to traditional and hybrid course format, some of the challenges faced by instructors are curriculum redesign, content integration, and student engagement. This study brings particular focus to the issue of quality instruction by identifying teaching strategies and activities that increase student motivation and learning beyond the classroom in hybrid French cultural studies courses. It furthers describe the role of background knowledge in providing relevant, meaningful context in relation to selected online teaching tools. Exposing students to authentic texts, images and video clips allows them to activate previous cultural knowledge and stimulates high levels of enquiry and autonomy. Additionally, the incorporation of an online experiential learning module in a French cultural studies course is examined. In this context, cross-cultural activities aimed at encouraging students to be reflective and to think about how their study of French culture helps them to learn proper etiquette, unbiased behaviours and transferable skills in experiential learning settings is discussed. Finally, several methods used to investigate students’ participation and the qualitative data obtained from online anonymous student surveys provides valuable details for understanding the effect of the shared strategies and activities on student learning.
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of French, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hybrid learning, Digital teaching tools, Cross-cultural communication, Transferable skills