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The New Alliance: Pedagogy and Student Experience in Intercultural Professional Learning. Hazel Crichton Brian Templeton. Background to study The two courses (FLE/PGDE) Findings Outcomes Discussion. Aims of Research. Effective Practice in Host university

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The New Alliance: Pedagogy and Student Experience in Intercultural Professional Learning

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The New Alliance: Pedagogy and Student Experience in Intercultural Professional Learning

Hazel Crichton

Brian Templeton

  • Background to study

  • The two courses (FLE/PGDE)

  • Findings

  • Outcomes

  • Discussion

Aims of Research

  • Effective Practice in Host university

  • Comparison of perceptions of theory-led and practice-led pedagogies

Background- Masters FLEyear 1

  • Acquisition of French as a foreign language;

  • Linguistics;

  • French and francophone culture and literature;

  • Phonetics;

  • Pedagogy

Masters FLE year 2

  • PGDE/teaching pathway

  • Business pathway

  • Academic research pathway


  • 36 weeks

  • 18 in Faculty

  • 18 on placement in schools

  • 3 components: Understanding learning and teaching; evaluating learning and teaching; subject methodology

  • Teaching and learning organised in seminars and collaborative groupings

The Student Cohort

  • 4 women, 1 man

  • All with degrees in French literature and language

  • All had previously lived and worked abroad

  • All wanted to teach

Semi-structured interviews

  • 5 weeks into the first term (Faculty only)

  • At end of the course (Faculty + school placements)

Initial Findings from first interviews

  • ‘I think university in France is designed to make you a researcher. It’s a very theoretical approach.’ (Student 5)

  • ‘I cannot find any similarities actually … in France most of the time, I won’t say we’re passive, but it’s not the same way of teaching so we’re more into taking notes and listening for hours…’ (Student 4)

Collaborative Learning

  • ‘I did the training for the CAPES, but it’s not the same; it’s more about academic excellence in the theory, rather than if you have a good personality for a teacher’ (Student 5)

  • ‘Here you are asked to work in groups. I like it because you can learn from others. It’s not just the teachers; it’s also about us.’ (Student 3)

Findings from second interviews

  • ‘The good thing is that it’s really complementary with what we’ve done (Student 4)

  • ‘… when you are in the university you have the whole time for the reading and theory and in school you put it into practice and reflect on why you’re doing it.’ (Student 3)


  • ‘The way of reflect as well, the way of learning by writing a journal; in the beginning it was quite tough … but now it’s like a companion, it’s something really useful.’ (Student 1)

  • ‘[Reflection]’s not something we do quite naturally … At the beginning it was hard, working and always reflecting, but very useful.’ (Student 4)


  • ‘…it’s better for teachers to have opportunity to share their way of teaching and their feelings. I think that collegiality doesn’t exist in France.’ (Student 2)

  • ‘I like that you work in a team with your department, because in France you’re really on your own … you don’t share resources.’(Student 1)

Action points regarding PGDE course

  • Greater input on Scottish education system, more closely focussed on CfE

  • Use of ‘buddies’ (pairing FLE student with Scottish student)

Areas for further investigation

  • Follow-up interviews at end of probation year

  • New round of interviews with present cohort

  • Three way ‘buddy’ system for mutual support with FLE student, UK national and ex-FLA assistant

  • Further investigation into research led and research active programmes

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