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Teaching technical communication in France: Challenges and prospects

Abstract : The importance of teaching written communication is a well-established tradition in both the U.S. and Canada, in parts of South America, as well as throughout northern Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Scandinavia and Great Britain. However, while writing instruction in France is heavily emphasized in primary and secondary school education, it has until recently received only very limited attention at the post-secondary (or university and college) level. This situation, of course, has important consequences for potential French degree programs in technical communication since written communication skills are among the most essential for entry into the professional community. This chapter describes the ongoing implementation of a two-year Masters degree program in intercultural technical communication at a mid-sized university in central France (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont 2). The chapter will begin by describing the background context for the curriculum's design, including writing instruction practices at the post-secondary level and a recent reform that allows French universities to begin aligning technical communication programs more closely on North American and northern European practices. After providing a broad overview of the proposed degree program, the chapter will then conclude by briefly discussing implications for developing a curriculum that both raises intercultural awareness and develops necessary written communication skills in French university students.
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Dacia Dressen-Hammouda. Teaching technical communication in France: Challenges and prospects. Barry Thatcher and Kirk St Amant. Teaching Intercultural Rhetoric and Technical Communication: Theories, Curriculum, Pedagogies, and Practices, Baywood, pp.155-172, 2011, Technical Communication Series, 978-0895033772. ⟨hal-01011844⟩

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