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Canon Vs. Culture by Jan Groak

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Curricular Shifts in the Study and Teaching of French

PHILIP THODY

A twofold canon governed the course which I followed to obtain an Honours degree in French from the University of London in 1951. The first principle was that nobody could read, speak or write modern French without a detailed study of the way the language had evolved from the Vulgar Latin spoken by the Roman settlers in first-century Gaul to the version existing in 1900. The second was that while the study of French literature was important enough to occupy the other half of the syllabus, it was the student’s own responsibility to find out what he could about French history and modern French society by his own efforts. Since coming to Leeds University as a professor of French ...

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