To highlight the multiple uses of the French language, the Ministry of Culture and Communication launched “Mars, le mois des mots”. The first edition of this event gathered under its banner several operations dealing with the place – and expression – of French: the poetic expression with the “Spring of poets”; all the uses of our language, from the most daily to the most singular, with the “Semaine de la langue française”; the deciphering of a particular language, that of information, with “Semaine des médias dans l'école”.
5.For media literacy
Forums, radio broadcasts, reports... Media education mobilizes teachers and students of the Lycée Blaise Pascal in Brie-Comte-Robert (77). A way for students to question information and cultivate space for freedom. Report ahead of the 25th Press and Media Week in the school from 24 to 29 March 2014.
No future and Let it be
The pressure is going up. It has to go fast. Wait for the signal to say your text to the microphone, listen to everyone around the table, do not interrupt, do not make mistakes, make sure of the technique, watch the sequence of voices and musical extracts, anticipate the reactions of the audience, all in the conditions of the live. The class of 2nd 7 of the Lycée Blaise Pascal de Brie-Comte-Robert records his own radio show, a Top Ten the best bands in British rock history – a subject concocted with their English teacher Sophie Deguelle. Clash, David Bowie, Sex Pistols, Madness, singer Adèle or Amy Winehouse are announced in English with a few words about their musical identity and the social, political or cultural context in which they fit. Finally, the big winners in the standings will be the Beatles.
The press at the service of education
The class of 2nd 7 is part of a specific curriculum, the “Media Literacy Project”. Chris Trabys, the high school’s documentalist, has been developing the module since 1991, in connection with the CLEMI (Centre de liaison de l'enseignement et des médias d'information) through personal interest in the media and passion for «the work of journalists». School Press and Media Week is the highlight of this year-long work. “All teachers,” she explains with communicative energy, “volunteer to use their discipline for media literacy.” Thus, the French teacher takes the students to dawn for a report at the Halles de Rungis, as a kind of continuity with «Le Ventre de Paris», described by Zola. The physics teacher answers questions from students about the ear and sound in the radio studio in a high school room...
An intense week of activities
In advance of the Week, visits are organized in the editorial offices, as recently in France 2. Students attend the production of a show on France Inter. A way for them to realize «how we make a headline», says Anaïs.
The TV, the net, the print press, «Le Parisien, BFM TV, I tv, but also social networks» are the main targets for information. With a clear preference of high school students for Twitter. «With Twitter, the news, everyone is talking about it» adds Lévana who remembers how quickly the announcement of the death of Nelson Mandela was broadcast on the microblogging site. And to maintain a continuous link with the news, to interact with it, to leave a trace.
An area of freedom
Media literacy contributes to greater student cohesion, according to the school’s principal, Ms Destas. “At the age of 15,” she continues, “young people have to look at the world around them. They are encouraged to distinguish and understand the specificity of each medium.” In short, they are taught to balance information and opinion. It is also a way of questioning the other side of the news: human rights, as was the case when Lampedusa sank off the coast of Italy in October 2013, with 500 illegal African migrants on board.
Media literacy “brings these 15-year-olds often critical of each other,” Destas continues, “to sharpen their sensitivity to words.” An awareness that influences their daily lives. “It’s a way to think about the consequences of what they’re going to say, to be attentive to each other.”
According to Jean-François Fagnen, a teacher of French and history-geography in a professional classroom, media education is “a space of freedom” that can trigger real motivation among students.