Teaching business French with macrosimulation
Keywords:macrosimulation, simulation, business French, language learning, rhizomatic, autonomy
This paper focuses on a description of an innovative approach to the teaching of foreign languages. It is constructed on the notion that learning is a highly individualized process that depends essentially on each person’s life experience: his or her history. As a consequence, and in order to best meet the needs of students, any learning structure needs to be highly individualized. In turn, such individualization requires personalized feedback/information for the problems encountered by students. This paper describes a solution to the above issues which consists of (a) an operational learning space constructed around a “macrosimulation”: a long-term learner-managed simulation designed to engage each participant’s personal history thus eliciting each person’s learning needs and (b) a support structure based on the postmodern notion of “rhizome” which meets learners’ needs by providing a model for sequencing learning activities based not on traversing a pre-determined network of knowledge representation nodes, but rather on the creation by the learner of a dynamic, unpredicted and unpredictable sequencing of events. On the basis of the above principles, the paper details a possible implementation of a macrosimulation-based, rhizomatically-constructed, course/set of activities focusing on the teaching of business French for university students in the United States.
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