Histoires Modernes de Paris: Idealization vs. Reality

Presenter: Arielle Ahrendts

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
College: College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Major(s): International Affairs
Graduation Date: 2021

In order to explore the effects that the idealization of Paris, impressions and experiences of the city, and stereotypes of both the people and the city has had on the learning of French abroad, (specifically in the United States) the Histoires modernes de Paris: Idealization vs. Reality research project focused on bibliographic research to connect the city Paris to the French learning community. This work is important due to the changing nature of language learning, many universities and schools are cutting funding for language learning and French language students have been dwindling. One of the most important questions to tackle is why people learn French..This project focused on tying together the complicated process of language learning and the motivations of both teachers and students of French with the idealization of Paris by drawing connections between the two. In order to do this, research databases for academic sources as well as libraries to explore autobiographical literature and movies centered on Paris were utilized. One of the most important implications of the research conducted is that it is evident that in order to foster a new sense of inspiration in more generations of French language learners it is important to foster this same sense of appreciation and yearning towards the French language and culture that has been linked with Paris.