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Events for Teachers

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Diversity in French and Francophone Studies: A CPD workshop series for teachers of French

This series of workshops focused on the theme of diversity as a key point of contact between A-level French teaching, where it features both as a highlighted aspect of contemporary society and as a theme in prescribed literary works and films, and current work in French and Francophone Studies at University level, where it represents a core principle in curriculum development and broader institutional priorities.

The series aimed to:

1.    To share insights into the centrality of diversity, as a theme and as a disciplinary and institutional priority, to current work in French and Francophone Studies at University level.
2.    Through these insights, to (a) enrich A-level teachers’ sense of their subject; (b) inform advice for students on course choices (both GCSE to A-level, and A-level to University) by highlighting current developments in approaches to material from the French-speaking world on University courses; and (c) enrich University provision, especially in first year, by increasing understanding of current approaches at A-level.
3.    To provide extension and enrichment activities and materials to support A-level teaching. 
4.    To define a set of online resources to be developed on the basis of participant feedback and reviewed in a follow-up event.
5.    To develop networks among teachers and between teachers and academics that will sustain future outreach work in the subject.



Thanks to the generous support of the ASMCF, te series ran as projected, with a programme of online sessions between October 2022 and February 2023 and a summative half-day in-person workshop on 12th April 2023.

The online sessions were led by members and PhD students of the French Section, and were devoted to the following topics: ‘Diversifying French Studies: From the francophone to the transnational’; ‘Writing Contemporary France’; ‘Literature between France and Algeria’; ‘Film between France and Algeria’. A fifth session had been planned on ‘Diversifying French Film’, but as this fell on a UCU strike day, it did not take place. The sessions were attended by teachers of A-level French from a range of schools and locations; across the four sessions held, the average attendance was 19 per session.

As planned, in addition to its core agenda, the in-person workshop provided opportunities for the teachers in attendance to expand professional networks and discuss areas of common concern, notably with reference to the presence, significance, and treatment of the topic of diversity within existing A-level specifications. 8 teachers were able to attend this session, ranging from a current PGCE student to colleagues with over 20 years’ experience. Support towards travel costs was provided to those from state schools travelling from outside Cambridgeshire. The core agenda, pursued through structured workshop discussions led by Dr Sura Qadiri (Outreach Officer, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics) and Prof. Martin Crowley (lead applicant for this series), addressed three clearly-identified objectives: (a) to share thoughts and experiences around questions of diversity in teaching French at Key Stage 3, GCSE, and A-level, with particular focus on teaching contemporary France and teaching literature and film; (b) to identify the presence of questions of diversity within current teaching, areas where this might be strengthened and developed, and particular areas where the Cambridge French section can contribute supporting resources; and (c) to generate initial ideas for these resources. Discussions were rich and extremely productive, giving rise to an extensive list of possibilities. Dr Qadiri and Prof. Crowley are now working actively with those who attended the workshop to formulate precise descriptions of a set of resources which might feasibly be developed by members of the Cambridge French section; once these are clearly defined, further external funding will be sought to support this work.


Our supporters

With thanks to the ASMCF for their generous support for this project.

Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (ASMCF)