Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

La culture universitaire comme culture en soi

Gohard-Radenkovic, Aline

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2002, vol. 36, p. 9-24

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    Summary
    We take it as axiomatic that each university is a social culture with its own rites, norms, values, practices, and hierarchies. All of these codes are most often implicit and depend on assumptions shared by actors in the same professional culture. Although these shared assumptions are reproduced unconsciously by those within the culture, they are invisible and incomprehensible for those outside. In order better to understand the difficulties which non-francophone students who study at our university for one year will encounter, we investigated a small group of students for whom this was their first study experience in another country. Using an anthropological approach, we collected the evidence from their voices concerning their experience of their home university culture and of the new university culture they had encountered in another country. Our analysis of this data provides a rich description of the values, norms, behaviour and discursive practices which define our own institution. However, the question remains as to how to integrate consciousness-raising about sociocultural differences between the two university cultures into our language education so that we would be able to offer students the means to make a success of their time in a new context, both socially and in terms of their study aims.