Arousing and managing astonishment; brief considerations on inter/cultural education in the classroom of French taught as a foreign language
[Susciter et gérer l’étonnement ; brèves considérations sur l’éducation inter/culturelle en classe de français enseigné comme langue étrangère]
Due to the polysemy of culture and inter-, intercultural education receives various interpretations in the teaching of French as a foreign language. Overall, they tend to subordinate "cultural" activities to language teaching, and they make little use of their educational potential. We propose here an interpretation of "interculturality" as education to otherness, which is central in the learning of a foreign language. It can take place on a regular basis in the classroom, in the form of specific teaching sequences and without any stated linguistic objectives. These "intercultural moments" in the language class have the role of arousing astonishment (if necessary) at societal otherness, as produced by "raw" (non-explanatory/descriptive) documents concerning singular facts. They should lead to group exchanges, which aim to soften ego-ethnocentric or alienating attitudes and to make these encounters with a difference an opportunity for personal development.
Key words: intercultural, education, foreign language, astonishment, otherness