Subversive identities at the art museum: An ESL university student’s experience at the National Gallery of Canada

Geneviève Cloutier, Awad Ibrahim, David Pratt


Abstract: Art education became interwoven with cultural mediation when a university-level English language certification class was taken on a field trip to the National Gallery of Canada. This article focuses on one ESL student who locates her subversive identity as she engages with and interprets an artwork in an interview. This student’s memorable, affective, and intimately personal thoughts and feelings, as we shall see, expose the semiotic and pedagogical importance of employing strategies that honour students’ identities and lived experiences. The authors call for more research in what they refer to as ‘critical ESL art museum education’

KEYWORDS:Anglais langue étrangère; apprentissage de langue; culture; éducation muséale artistique; identités opposantes; pédagogie; affectif.ESL

Résumé: Éducation artistique et médiation culturelle se sont entremêlées lors de la visite au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada d’une classe de certification de langue anglaise de niveau universitaire. Cet article se concentre sur une étudiante d’ALS qui trouve son identité subversive en découvrant et en interprétant une œuvre d’art dans le cadre d’une entrevue. Nous noterons à quel point les pensées et sentiments affectifs, extrêmement personnels et inoubliables de cette étudiante soulignent l’importance sémiotique et pédagogique du recours à des stratégies qui valorisent l’identité et le vécu des étudiants. Les auteurs souhaitent qu’il y ait davantage de recherches menées dans le domaine qu’ils nomment « l’éducation critique en ALS pour les musées des beaux-arts ». 

MOTS CLES: Language learning; culture; art museum education; subversive identities; pedagogy; affect

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