Lessons from the past: The case of French in Swiss commercial training at the end of the 19th century

Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2023, 12.15 Uhr bis 13.00 Uhr
Sentimatt (SE)
SE 108


«How do we organize supervision to prevent our students from speaking a language other than French?»*

In the 1890-1900s, as l’École de commerce de Neuchâtel was establishing itself as the place to be for learning French as a foreign language, teachers were faced with a question that is still relevant today: how to make the use of a foreign language, French or any other, a part of everyday life? What is necessary for pupils to continue using a foreign language outside the classroom?

At the crossroads of sociolinguistics, language didactics, and the sociology of education, this project has two major aims:

  • Anchor the production of knowledge about language teaching and learning in a historical perspective.
  • Benefit from the creative and innovative potential of history in the design of contemporary tools for language teaching and learning.


* Original in French : « Comment voulons-nous organiser la surveillance pour empêcher nos élèves de parler une autre langue que le français », teachers’ meeting, École de commerce de Neuchâtel, January 23, 1900.

Referentin: Zorana Sokolovska


Assistentin Geschäftsstelle F+E / Kommunikationsverantwortliche F+E
Priska Aregger
Sentimatt 1
6003 Luzern