Elements of Second and Foreign Languages Teaching to Indigenous Learners of Canada

Theories, Strategies and Practices

by Pierre Demers (Author)
©2021 Monographs 152 Pages


For an Aboriginal, to learn a foreign or second dominant language such as English, French or Spanish, can constitute a threat to his or her identity.
The book presents a theoretical framework for different second and foreign language didactics paradigms used today in second or foreign language teaching and describes practical procedures and techniques that can be used with Aboriginal learners with respect to their own language, identity, cultural values and traditions.
The emphasis is put on the radical paradigm because it is this paradigm that best answers Aboriginal learners needs.
Discover a podcast by the author on the webpage of the "Matices en Lenguas Extranjeras" journal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8a-c5nccwM

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Dedication
  • Table of Contents
  • Figures
  • Tables
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Theoretical Considerations
  • Chapter 1 Definitions of Concepts of L2 Didactics
  • The Concept of Language
  • The Concepts of L1 and L2
  • Example: Cree in Québec
  • Canada’s Official and Aboriginal Languages
  • The Concept of Culture
  • The Concept of L2 Learner
  • The Concept of L2 Teacher
  • The Concepts of L2 Teaching and Learning
  • The Concept of L2 Method
  • The Concept of L2 Didactics Paradigms
  • Chapter 2: Eurocentric L2 Didactics Paradigms
  • Historical Aspects
  • Pedagogical Aspects
  • The Action-Oriented Approach
  • The Neurolinguistics Approach
  • The Radical Approach
  • Chapter 3: Descriptions of Eurocentric L2 Didactics Paradigms
  • The Classical Paradigm
  • Typical Teaching Procedures for a Classical Lesson
  • The Progressivist Paradigm
  • Typical Teaching Procedures for a Progressivist Lesson
  • The Behaviorist Paradigm
  • Typical Teaching Procedures for a Behaviorist Lesson
  • The Communicative Paradigm
  • Typical Teaching Procedures for a Communicative Lesson
  • The Immersion Programs
  • The Radical Paradigm
  • Typical Teaching Procedures for a Radical Lesson
  • Beyond the Concept of L2 Didactics Paradigms
  • Questions to Explore the L2 Didactics Paradigms
  • Chapter 4: A Suggested L2 Didactics Paradigm for Aboriginal Learners
  • Elements of Aboriginal Teaching
  • The Wheels
  • The Circles
  • Suggestions for L2 Teaching to Aboriginal Peoples
  • A Successful Experience of L2 Teaching to Cree Learners
  • Exclusive Use of Oral Language
  • A Trustful Relationship
  • The Four Facets of a Person
  • Teacher’s Awareness of Learners’ Needs
  • A Strong Self-Esteem
  • The Use of Many Senses
  • Learning Is a Group Process
  • Integration of Aboriginal Culture in the Class
  • Part II: Practical Considerations
  • Chapter 5: Before Teaching Procedures
  • Class Preparation
  • The L2 Program
  • The Technology
  • Learning Objects34
  • Classroom Layout
  • Preparation to Class
  • Transactional Distance
  • Chapter 6: Teaching Procedures
  • Teaching the Oral Components of the Language
  • Teaching Listening Skills
  • Teaching Speaking Skills
  • Teaching Interaction Skills
  • An Induced Daydream: The Forest37
  • Teaching the Written Components of the Language
  • Teaching Reading Skills
  • Teaching Writing Skills
  • An Induced Daydream: The Beach
  • Lesson Zero
  • Suggested L2 Teaching Procedures
  • Procedures for Illiterate Beginners41
  • Procedures for Beginners
  • Procedures for Intermediate Learners
  • Procedures for Advanced Learners
  • Chapter 7: After Teaching Procedures
  • Correction of Errors
  • Oral Error Correction with the Help of Gestures
  • Writing Error Correction
  • Phonetic Correction
  • Basics of Verbotonal Phonetics
  • Testing
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Annex I: L2 Teaching to Aboriginal Learners in Québec
  • Historical Perspective
  • Geographical Perspective
  • Annex II: Teaching French L2 to Different L1 Learners
  • Annex III: IPA Transcription of the Québec Cree
  • Québec Cree Phonemes
  • Afterword
  • Book Summary
  • About the Author
  • Series index

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I wish to thank all the students I taught either French or English all over Canada and abroad and, in a particular way, Mrs. Christine Coonishish Mattawashish, Mrs. Laurie Ann Mianscum Brien and Mr. John Wapachee, my Bush People1 of Mistissini2 for their desire to learn that inspired me to write this book.

I also wish to thank future L2 teachers and teachers I taught all over Canada or abroad and who asked me questions that inspired me. A special thank you goes to my linguistics students from the Université de Moncton, campus d’Edmundston (UMCE) and my education students from the Université Sainte Anne.

1A person who was born and raised in the bush, away from Eurocentric culture.

2The easternmost Cree community of Québec and therefore of North America.

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Being able to speak a second or a foreign language has always been a necessity for many people and the intense globalization period we are living in will even increase that necessity.

In the Antiquity already, languages such as Latin, Greek, Aramaic, Sanskrit or Mandarin were communication tools for peoples from different mother tongues depending on their needs and the areas they came from.

This book is intended for practicing or future language teachers and, more generally, for everyone who is interested in second or foreign (L23) language teaching to Aboriginal4 learners (however not exclusively).

The book is an essay. That is the reason why the style differs from a traditional scholar book or even a textbook. Also, the book is written in a more personal style as it is a testimony of the author’s expertise and experience as a researcher and teacher in the area of L2 teaching to students of various academic levels, from children to adults and, of course, to Aboriginal learners. Indeed, if there are books on the market that deal with L2 didactics and methodologies in general, (Howatt with Widdowson, 2004; Puren, 1988; Varga, 2014; Cuq and Gruca, 2018, for example) no book specifically targets the L2 Aboriginal learner.

If the L2 paradigms described in the book do exist in L2 didactics nowadays, the way to understand them is subjective and could be seen in a different manner by other didacticians. The L2 teaching techniques suggested and described in the book are not all the techniques that could be used by a L2 teacher. All the testimonies presented come from the personal experience of the author.←19 | 20→


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2021 (August)

Biographical notes

Pierre Demers (Author)

A Québec Métis, Pierre Demers holds a Ph. D. in Education from the Université de Montréal. He specialized in Second Langages Didactics. He retired from the Université du Québec and the Cree School Board. He is now a part time lecturer in Education at the Université Sainte Anne (Nova Scotia) and a freelance consultant for language teaching to Aboriginal learners.


Title: Elements of Second and Foreign Languages Teaching to Indigenous Learners of Canada
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154 pages