L'utile et l'agréable dans les <i>méthodes familières</i> et autres ouvrages utilisés pour l'apprentissage du français aux Pays-Bas (XVIIIe-XIXe siècles)

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In this paper we analyse a selection of the numerous French language teaching methods published in the Netherlands during the 18th and 19th centuries. We look upon them as cultural products that are meant to be both useful and agreeable to read. “Useful” and “agreeable” are qualifiers revealing a certain set of ideas about the teaching of a foreign language: in a description of linguistic competence the agreeable and the useful always go together. Both authors of grammars and teachers agree on the importance of the practical use of the language studied, and look upon conversation skills as a pleasurable activity. From the beginning of the 18th century, scientific aspects, such as a comparative approach and grammatical description, appear in Marin’s teaching method; they add to the useful character of the cultural outfit represented by the vocabulary. However, it is only at the end of the 19th century that learning a foreign language becomes a discipline and a science, and that the more specialized methods develop into more theoretical grammars.


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