The domains of activity to be combined within the didactic units of language textbooks are numerous and heterogeneous: they are grammar, lexicon, phonetics, comprehension and production in writing and speaking, culture and methodology (this last domain corresponding to the objective "teaching-learning to learn"). The consequence is that a constant problematic, during the history of the didactics of languages-cultures, is that of the way in which one can put in coherence these different domains so as to put them in synergy, in other words, of the way in which one builds the unity of the didactic unit. Until the beginning of the 1960s in France, until the audiovisual methodology, the way was always the same, namely that one chose one of the domains to begin the didactic unit, to "enter" it ("approaches" has in this article this sense of "entries"): the didactic units of the textbooks began successively by the grammar, then by the lexicon, then by the culture. The input used later to create the unity of the didactic units was a communication situation, and finally the action (with an action to be prepared throughout the didactic unit). In conclusion, the author argues that all these inputs must now be combined or articulated differently in complex classroom sequences: "their unity is to be made, unmade and remade continuously".
English translation of « L'évolution historique des approches en didactique des langues-cultures, ou comment faire l'unité des "unités didactiques" » (2004c), conference given of November 2, 2004 at the Annual Congress of the Association pour le DÉveloppement de l’Allemand en France (ADÉAF), École Supérieure de Commerce de Clermont-Ferrand, November 2-3, 2004. Published in Le nouveau bulletin de l'ADEAF n° 89, April 2005, pp. 40-51. Also available at www.researchgate.net/publication/367509067.