Every discipline has a history and a historical context, including the teaching of French. Our scholarly association founded in 1987 has been dedicated to this history. The Société Internationale pour l’Histoire du Français Langue Étrangère ou Seconde (SIHFLES) offers conferences and publication opportunities.
Already this association has explored the teaching of French in many contexts around the globe. The Documents pour l’histoire du français langue étrangère ou seconde, the scholarly journal of the SIHFLES, has more than 50 issues, some of which are available online, https://journals.openedition.org/dhfles/. The research in Documents touches on many scientific disciplines and social practices : linguistic and education policies (in different countries at different times), didactic and methodological aspects related to theories of teaching and learning, the study of language teachers and the context of their work, the evolution of institutions, the study of reference manuals (dictionaries, grammar books, reading books, etc.) including questions related to their inventory and analysis, etc.
A major part of this effort is rediscovering teaching manuals of all sorts, collections of dialogues, guides to grammar and pronunciation, dictionaries, treatises on language pedagogy. Hundreds have been described in the pages of this journal, and many more are waiting to be discovered.
The teaching of French to English speakers has a vibrant tradition with a wide variety of teaching methods and ideas. It probably started even before the Norman Conquest, but certainly grew more robust in the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance. One of the early French masters for anglophones, Claude de Sainliens, may have been the model for the character of Holofernes in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost.
The goal of the SIHFLES is « to promote the history of French foreign language education in and outside of France, as well as language education in general, by uniting researchers, publishing the findings of their work, stimulating new research, as well as opening new branches of university study, and the creation of a center for documents and special archives ». The SIHFLES currently links more than 200 members (including researchers, educators, and teachers of French as a foreign or second language), from about 20 different countries. Every year the Society co-organizes a Colloquium presenting research on a specific topic.
The Scientific committee welcomes the submission of articles for the journal. Please send 300-word abstracts (with 7 key words) to the editors:
– Marie-Christine Kok Escalle: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Despina Provata: email@example.com
For further information, please contact the General Secretary Marc Debono (Université François-Rabelais, Tours): firstname.lastname@example.org