Cultural action and the French language
As a mother tongue for some, the language of the host country for others, the French language allows communication between all. With a dual objective of cultural democratization and the fight against linguistic and cultural insecurity and in liaison with the relevant ministerial departments (Interior, National Education and Youth, Justice, City Policy, Agriculture, Health and Solidarity, Overseas), the Ministry of Culture proposes a program «Action culturelle et langue française». The challenge is to contribute to reducing inequalities in access to the French language and culture through cultural or artistic projects conducted with people involved in the acquisition or strengthening of French. Special forms of mediation are set up with the help of cultural operators, such as integration, socio-cultural and socio-educational fields, training and justice.
Culture, a powerful vector for access to language
The objectives of this annual program are to:
- To encourage cultural and artistic practices as levers for the appropriation of French;
- To promote partnerships at the territorial level between cultural professionals and specialists in the appropriation of French;
- To enhance the languages spoken by populations of foreign origin or regional languages.
The proposed projects must bring together stakeholders with expertise in cultural mediation as support in the field of French and basic skills (numeracy and computer use and other digital tools). Particular attention is paid to priority areas (city policy districts, rural and ultramarine areas). Actions offered to employees as part of the training provided by companies can be supported.
The beneficiaries of the projects supported are born in France or abroad: adults who do not master the written language, non-francophone migrants, children and young people in a situation of linguistic fragility, school (excluding school time), minors covered by social assistance for children and the protection of adolescents, minors covered by the judicial protection of young people, young people aged 16 to 25 without qualifications or employment and persons placed under the control of the courts.
The DGLFLF ensures the overall coordination of this program as well as its restitution, in consultation with the other departments of the Ministry of Culture and the ministerial departments responsible for public policies relating to the mastery of French, and the National Agency for Combating Illiteracy. The call for projects is led at regional level by the Regional Cultural Affairs Directorates (DRAC) and the Overseas Cultural Affairs Directorates (DAC), in collaboration with the other decentralized departments of the State.
Tools related to the “Action culturelle et langue française” program
1/ An online training module on FEI+
This training module 3 hours of free badging is offered on the FEI+ (France Education international) online training content platform. Intended for cultural and socio-cultural actors and specialists in the appropriation of French as a mother tongue or foreign language, it aims to understand the challenges of cultural action for the mastery of French. It allows users to become familiar with a typology of projects and to identify the parameters necessary for their development.
2/ The storms, it finit papass
Ghislaine, Michel, Karl, Paulin, Déborah, Raphaëlle, Nadia, Kahina… Forgotten about academic success, they are often detained or exiled in situations of exclusion or great precariousness. Some were, until recently, illiterate. Exiled from words, meaning, imagination.
Les orages, ça finit par passe, Philippe Worms, Petit à petit production, 2018
3/ Detbear and Declics #2 – Cultural action and the French language, 2021 Edition
This book, reissued in 2021, lists thirty projects from organizations working in the cultural, social and educational fields throughout the country. They were selected as part of the national call for projects “Action culturelle et langue française” and carried out actions in the direction of people in difficulty with the French language, whether or not it is their first language.
4/ Resources: national tooling projects and local projects supported under the call for projects "Action culturelle et langue française"
You will find here some examples of projects supported by the Ministry of Culture, General Delegation to the French language and languages of France. They are aimed at a wide range of beneficiary audiences and are marked by a variety of approaches. Additional examples are available in the training module.
1. Compagnie Un Excursus (Guyana) - Storytellerss -Message to Zétwal (2017 recipient)
The theatre company Un Excursus conducted this project with 6th graders at the Collège Arsène Bouyer d'Angoma in Saint-Laurent du Maroni (French Guiana). The children wrote and directed the video Message to Zétwal ” which tells the story of Robert Saint-Rose, a Martinican who wanted to be the first black man in space.
2. Association Faire des livres (Haute-Vienne and Charente) – Read-Write (2017 recipient)
Make books acts to prevent and combat illiteracy and to give a taste for reading by organizing a youth book week. As part of the project Read-write Some sixty 6th-year-old students, mostly spotted in reading and writing difficulties, benefited from cultural outings and prepared a show.
3. Centre de promotion du livre jeunesse en Seine-Saint-Denis (Montreuil) – Self-books (2019 winner)
Experienced in 2013 in Clichy-sous-Bois, the operation Self-books expanded into several cities and regions before spreading across the country. Objective: that books enter the homes that are deprived of them and that gather around them children and parents. In short, create an appetite to read and “tell stories” (p.22-24 of D&D Online)
4. Théâtre de la Cité (Marseille) – tooling program Theatrical play for a better learning of French and an awakening to the diversity of languages (2019 winner)
One method under construction to introduce theatrical practice in the learning of French, consisting of 90 practical exercise sheets, intended to equip future speakers in the socio-educational field (French and language teachers, artist trainers) for an audience of allophone and non-allophone adolescents, educated or not in cycle 3 and 4 and in vocational high school.
5. Espace CESAME (Val-d’Oise) – Esther Award (2017 recipient)
L'Espace Cesame is an establishment of the Sauvegarde du Val-d'Oise, an association for the protection of children and adolescents in danger. The Esther Award, which rewards a contemporary theatre text, was created with young people without qualifications and without employment. It was awarded in 2018 to Geoffrey Dahm for his text Mathilde (or how to save his skin).
You can find more information about the Esther Prize and about the young people of the CESAME space in the documentary Les orages, ça finisspar par.
6. Local Mission South – Lontan proverbs (2017 recipient)
The Mission locale Sud has enabled young Reunionnais to acquire new knowledge about their Creole heritage while making them aware of the importance of improving their skills in French. The young people of the audiovisual creation workshop wrote, directed and performed the film Lontan proverbs.
7. Departmental Library of the Ardennes (Charleville-Mézières) – The language in all its states (2017 recipient)
The Departmental Library of the Ardennes coordinated the project «La langue dans toutes ses états» for people in illiteracy or in literacy classes. Writing and illustration workshops were used to create the exhibition Characters which is included in a collection.
8. Departmental Library of the Somme (Amiens) – The Easy to read (2017 recipient)
The departmental library of the Somme involves the 26 libraries of its network in the fight against illiteracy and access of all audiences to education and culture. The project ' The easy to read » provides training for library staff in the reception of prevented or «dys» audiences.
9. Association Accoord (Nantes) – French on a daily basis (2017 recipient)
One discovery trail of the cultural resources of Nantes was offered as part of the sociolinguistic workshops offered to allophone adults. «Invitations coup de coeur», audio and audiovisual testimonies were produced in this framework.
10. Compagnie 7 Arts et plus (Paris) – audiovisual series Not in prefecture (2021 winner)
Not in prefecture is a living dictionary. In the form of screenplays played in a prefecture setting, it is a practical ludo-pedagogical tool, allowing the learner to translate the familiar or common language into supported language.
11. Radio France International – radio series Neighbours of the 12 bis (2019 and 2021 recipients)
Des bilingual podcasts, exercise routes, teaching sheets and a BD on Instagram to learn French with Billie. The episodes are available in French-Ukrainian, French-Portuguese; French-Arabic; French-Persian; French-English. In collaboration with France Éducation international.
12. Association Vallée aux renards animation (Fresnes, Val-de-Marne) – The world tour of illusions (2017 recipient)
Located in the Fox Valley district of Fresnes, the socio-cultural center AVARA offered participants of its sociolinguistic workshops a research in visual arts related to their life path on the theme of illusions.
13. Liancourt Penitentiary Centre (Oise) – Tell me in the walls (2017 recipient)
A weekly writing workshop allowed detainees to work on writing by different means: writing one or more synopsis, scenario(s) and voice-over. The beneficiaries of the action made the animated film Tell me in the walls.