Learning French in Western Australia: A hedonistic journey
International Journal of Languages’ Education and Teaching
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
When learning a language, motivation and emotions are central to the learning process and have considerable importance in learning. In Australia, despite the growing economic impact of its Asian neighbours and the great physical distance to France, French remains one of the most taught languages in various educational settings at different levels, and it appeals to many Australians. This review focuses on the motivations of West Australian adult learners of French. The aim of this paper is to explore students’ motivation and emotions towards their learning of French in Western Australia, teachers’ perceptions of these feelings, and how they are reflected in their teaching practice. Applying a qualitative approach, fifty students and six teachers from two universities in Perth as well as the Alliance Française de Perth, completed questionnaires and participated in semi-structured interviews. This study shows that French is mostly learned for enjoyment, personal gratification and cultural appreciation, rather than for necessity or professional reasons. The analysis of the survey results clearly portrayed the intrinsic value most students perceived in learning French. Teachers are well aware of these positive emotions, and need to establish how best to harness this passion in their teaching practices in order to maximize learning outcomes.
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