Why are language and civilization often associated?
Whether in college or in French-language schools, learning French is most often associated with courses on French culture and civilization. This inextricable link can be explained by the fact that an interest taken in French history, philosophy, literature or art drives many students to achieve mastery over the language in order to discover the richness of what constitutes the French cultural heritage.
Indeed, for these students, learning French responds to a personal desire to deepen their knowledge of France, its culture and its way of life. An opportunity to discover the differences and similarities between French culture and their own, a task that promote mutual understanding and tolerance.
A great historical heritage
When it comes to French civilization, we are talking about a history that goes back millenniums, and an influence still spanning over the world. A relevant and efficient French-language lesson should therefore be coupled with a discovery of the historical heritage of France, emphasizing the major stages that shaped this country along the centuries.
The French civilization courses thus strive to introduce students to this rich history, from the Gauls to the birth of the Fifth Republic which constitutes the legal foundation of today’s French society.
Language and Literature
The French language is known for the richness of its vocabulary which has contributed to the prestige of its literary productions and novelists. Literature participates in the global influence of France, that is why French teachings often refer to a civilization that shines through its written gems.
French and Francophone literary study encompasses different resources such as novels, plays or poetry. International students who study French language and civilization will have the privilege to discover the work of the most famous writers such as Victor Hugo, Albert Camus, Guy de Maupassant, Emile Zola and many others.
Arts and culture
Many of today’s international students are passionate about art in all its forms; here again France is not to be outdone and is also characterized by numerous and prestigious artistic productions in painting, architecture, sculpture, photography, etc.
This interest taken by some international students for art can also contribute to increasing their desire to know French civilization, and to master its language in order to discover the philosophy that underlies the major artistic works and currents – classicism, realism, impressionism, romanticism or even rococo.
Through French civilization courses, international students could not only improve their knowledge of the French language but also develop a sense of aesthetics and critical thinking in matters of art.