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La didactique du français dans la Hongrie de l'entre-deux-guerres : acteurs, outils, représentations

Abstract : The peace treaty signed at Trianon in 1920 reduced by two-thirds the territory and population of defeated Hungary, thus creating a French-Hungarian diplomatic crisis. Might this strife had an impact on French language teaching and on the way French culture was depicted in textbooks? Actually, in 1924, a secondary education reform provided the possibility to learn English, French and Italian besides compulsory German. The result is a huge rise of French language in secondary schools. This rise and also the creation of the first French bilingual school show how influent French culture was in the country and how French diplomats in Budapest supported the reform in spite of limitative instructions from Foreign Office in Paris. Eötvös College, created in 1895 on the model of French Ecole Normale Supérieure, played also a decisive role in French teachers’ training and in the growth of a French-speaking elite. The german Kulturkunde approach, aimed to study the “mind or esprit of a nation” in teaching literature, penetrates into Hungarian educational circles. Hungarian teachers welcomed this new approach but expressed reserves about possible nationalistic drifts. The analysis of French textbooks shows that the authors applied Kulturkunde by making a strict distinction between politics and culture and by associating it with the humanist and universal values conveyed by French culture, in accordance with the francophile tradition of the Hungarian intellectual elite. The balanced and kind attitude of the Hungarian teachers, some of whom had to suffer personally from the political situation between France and Hungary, shows that individual choices can transcend political contingencies and methodological drifts.
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Catherine Tamussin. La didactique du français dans la Hongrie de l'entre-deux-guerres : acteurs, outils, représentations. Linguistique. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCF037⟩. ⟨tel-02081516⟩

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