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University of Balamand > News > First PHD in French Language and Literature

Balamand awards its first PHD in French Language and Literature

Mrs. Paulette Ayoub is the first student in the French Language and Literature Department to be awarded a PHD from the University of Balamand. 

The defense took place at Jean Monnet University at Saint-Etienne, France, on December 15, 2016. 

The thesis of Mrs. Ayoub was titled « L’enseignement du français oral en contexte plurilingue libanais: étude comparative ». 

The University of Balamand offers its PhD program through a co-tutorship agreement with Jean Monnet University at Saint-Etienne, France.

Two co-supervisors oversaw the dissertation, Professor Carla Serhan, from Balamand University and Professor Marielle Rispail from Jean Monnet University. 

Reports were written by two reviewers, Pr. FINTZ Claude, Grenoble 2 University, France and Pr. OSSEIRAN Leila, Lebanese University, Beyrouth. In addition to them, the jury was composed of: Pr. BIICHLÉ Luc, Avignon University, France, Pr. DINVAUT Annemarie, Avignon University, France and Pr. TOTOZANI Marine, Jean Monnet University, France. 

An in-depth look takes us to a thorougher set of information where we are lead to a deeper research which investigates the teaching of the oral French language in Lebanon, in public and private educational sectors, as well as in the multilingual society where we can find an assortment of social classes, languages and religious practices.

The thesis puts into display the following issue: What are the parameters that determine the teaching / learning of the oral French language in Lebanon?

In order to answer this question, Mrs. Ayoub carried out a corpus study composed of several oral teaching sessions done in public and private schools in Lebanon. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers, students and school directors; students were also asked to fill out language-cards to determine their religion, origin, social class and cultural levels, as well as their thought about languages. 

The researcher translated; transcribed and analyzed the data collected using various investigative tools. It demonstrated that many factors influence the teaching / learning of the oral French language in Lebanon. 

Consequently, the thesis argued that we can observe a clear effect of the socio-cultural level of the learners on the teaching / learning process, as well as on the students’ attitude toward the languages: students of public schools are zealous to learn; in contrast, those of the private schools are sometimes indifferent, disrespectful to the discipline, and they incarnate the
“ client roi ”. 

On the other hand, religious background has no effect on this context. Ayoub pointed out in her dissertation to  the importance of the teacher who carries within him the oral representations that are always underestimated comparing to the written and often reduced to debates about text materials. 
For this reason, she stressed that it is very urgent to prepare some training sessions to teachers who lack the following skills: professional gestures, act of speech, teaching and evaluation of oral, etc. In addition to this; working on their awareness to the usage of the plurilingualisme in class has to be developed. All of these and more ought to be accompanied by rethinking textbooks.​

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