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French Culture

Amy Ogan, Christopher Jones, Vincent Aleven


Intercultural competence, the ability to “gain insight on native perspectives, opinions, and values; reflect critically and engage with otherness”, is an integral part of any language learning curriculum, yet the increasing ardor for technology in the language classroom has mainly been limited in this area to multimedia presentation, or large-scale, resource-intensive projects that perform little rigorous evaluation. We developed a system that introduces attention-focusing techniques to “teachable moments” in feature film that highlight cultural attributes. An evaluation of this system was conducted in two French Online classrooms. Students were randomly assigned to conditions in which an experimental group using the system we developed was compared to a control group that viewed the same video clips without intervention. We found an increase in the intercultural competence skills of perspective-taking and critical analysis of culture.


Forthcoming, but will probably include

  • Culture
  • Intercultural competence

Research question

How is robust learning of cultural competence affected by attention-focusing techniques in authentic video materials?

Background and Significance

Independent variables


Drawing students’ attention to moments that highlight a noteworthy cultural attribute in narrative excerpts helps students reason deeper about culture, even without providing interpretation

Dependent variables

  • Near transfer, immediate:

The analytical post-test questions that comprised the first main type of assessment were developed with the help of a French citizen and language instructor through a component analysis of the cultural elements in the film clips. Cultural elements in the film were decomposed into a hierarchy that covered the main concepts in the theme. Each element was then formed into a question requiring cultural analysis that was situated within the context of the film.

  • Far transfer, immediate:



Annotated bibliography