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UBC Theses and Dissertations

French language resources and the secondary school library, with recommendations for British Columbia Herring, Walter A.

Abstract

Examination of educational literature reveals a wealth of suggested materials and procedures to provide independent study facilities for students of the sciences, social studies and English. Very little mention is made of library resources for students of French or other foreign languages. This thesis proposes to survey the present relationship between secondary school French teaching and school libraries in British Columbia, and to make recommendations for the future growth of libraries offering independent French language study facilities. From questionnaires completed by French teachers and school librarians across the province, summaries of their respective holdings were obtained. Typical situations could be described, although few consistent patterns of organization were found. The questionnaires were analyzed in three school-size groups: under 500 pupils, between 500 and 1000, and over 1000. As expected, the larger schools have an advantage in obtaining most types of supplementary materials and equipment. With British Columbia's present situation clearly in mind, some attention is given to the relationships, personal and organizational, between French teachers and librarians. From recent literature and a visit to a leading American high school, a modern, realistic role for both language department and library resources is proposed. The thesis examines audiovisual learning in some detail. It was found through the questionnaires that many libraries are prepared to adopt the "materials centre" concept which implies a wide variety of electronic and other non-print resources. Some cautionary statements are directed to librarians after a discussion of the limited ability of modern technologies to serve students of French in secondary school library settings. Appendices explore the usefulness of the Bell and Howell Language Master, an audio-instructional device which purports to have applications to all learning tasks. Pupils who used the Language Master extensively during a two-week period made progress similar to that of a control group who remained under regular classroom instruction. A further attempt to use the machine for individual remedial study revealed some apparent deficiencies in such an application. It is concluded that it is of minimal value for language training, and recommendations are made for further research. Finally, a list of reading materials related to French courses is offered as an aid to teachers and librarians.

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