Praise for the artificial in school didactics of languages-cultures

Praise for the artificial in school didactics of languages-cultures
nglish translation of "Éloge de l’artificiel en didactique scolaire des langues-cultures", EDL, Études de Didactique des Langues no. 40-June 2023, pp. 49-62
PUREN_2024e-en_Praise artificial_EN.pdf
Document Adobe Acrobat 281.0 KB



This article proposes a journey through the history of methodologies in school didactics of languages-cultures, which shows that authenticity has not always been opposed to artificiality, but that for a long time these two notions have been considered as both opposed and complementary. The authenticity valued over the criticized artificiality was then successively attributed to different objects: then, to literary documents only at the expense of non-literary documents; to social documents at the expense of documents manufactured for the needs of teaching-learning; finally, to real or simulated communication situations in society at the expense of learning situations in class. With the latest methodological evolution – the social action-oriented approach and its reference pedagogy, project-based pedagogy – the opposition loses much of its relevance with regard to documents and situations. As for language exercises, they have always been and still are "artificial", but this artificiality must be claimed and valued: the core of the teacher's job is indeed pedagogical engineering, that is to say precisely the design of artificial teaching-learning devices. Against the opinion of some didacticians, and in agreement with the empirical observation of many teachers, this article, as its title announces, makes the praise of the artificial in school didactics of languages-cultures.