Identifier

etd-07062015-212900

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

French Studies

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Louisiana’s French revitalization movement has received millions of dollars in taxpayer funding through its various initiatives such as music and cultural festivals, public school French immersion programs, and academic exchange programs, among others. Over forty years ago, the state of Louisiana created CODOFIL, a government agency dedicated to the promotion of Francophone language and culture in Louisiana, yet the number of Francophones in the state has continued to decline at an alarming rate according to the most reliable data available. My study investigates the ideology and demographics of those involved in French education programs in Louisiana’s public schools. Who decides to become a French teacher and why? What do the administrators in charge of these programs really hope to accomplish and why? Through analyzing the unique corpus of interviews that I have created by speaking with these individuals from around the state, I provide answers to these questions. The people who currently aspire to become French teachers in Louisiana are not deeply rooted in francophone culture through family or upbringing, but they seem to adopt the ideology of the larger French revitalization movement and see themselves within it. The administrators, however, show an opposite profile from both a socio-biographic and ideological perspective. The administrators of immersion schools tend to be Louisiana natives with personal connections to Cajun and Creole culture, but many of them do not speak French and typically find themselves in charge of an immersion program more by accident than design. Yet the administrators and those university students who aspire to teach French share at least one important ideological belief. They both see French immersion schools as an essential part, if not the only essential part of the French revitalization movement.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dubois, Sylvie

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