How to teach a foreign language
in a creative context?
The challenge here was also to make students learn a foreign language as complex as French while working on their creative projects. Most of the vocabulary taught to strengthen their oral and written skills varied according to the topics chosen while other words were more constant regardless of the project. These latter are technical terms regularly used in creative fields (tools, colours, verbs of action, etc.). As there are methods to design projects, there are also methods to practice a language in an Art context. Language is present before the project begins, during the process and when it ends. First, students may be asked to follow project instructions, which arouse their comprehension skills. Once it is all completed, they may be asked to explain how they made the project by presenting the process and its stages.
Students can solicitate orally their teacher or their classmates to get help and advice while doing their project. Projects’ topics may find an echo in Art history and stimulate the study of artists, designers and architects’ works. As such, students learn to observe, analyse and describe artworks. They also learn to express an opinion or feeling, to discuss their likes and dislikes. After few years, they may even know to justify their answers, taking part in a wider debate. As it is to be noticed, students’ works are of great inspiration, for us teachers, to continually develop inventive teaching methods.