A new way to read “Candide”

5 October 2015

It is difficult to find new ways to approach the study of “Candide”.  Students in the French Seconde classes, as part of a French-teaching exercise, used Twitter to replace the realization of reading cards, giving a new dynamic to the discovery the masterpiece of Voltaire.

You can follow the live experience and read these new adventures of Candide by subscribing to Candide_Leconte account.

Throughout the chapters of the book the teachers make suggestions to help the students write posts. The aim is to assist the students not only with the reading of the work, but also in their understanding of the fundamental issues surrounding it. The contents are then compiled and edited together, namely tweets making the characters talk, or relating to the narrator, a meta discursive Instance (iil_seconde) or even Voltaire himself.

The publication of posts in turn leads to a dynamic exchange that quickly exceeds the process of questions and answers, thus offering subscribers a true rewriting of the work. It also produces a lively and elegant conversation similar to the spirit that animated the salons during the Enlightenment.

The use of technology enables the creation of an area of innovative exchange that facilitates the transition from analytical reading to interpretation. Because the student begins as a subject-reader, the debates begin with direct experience of the work, and in this way initiates critical comment.

When students are more engaged in the learning process, they make better use of observations that they have created. The method of teaching Candide is therefore revived by the freshness of the readings as if those creating them were actually experiencing them for the first time.

In addition to setting up the exercise, there was also the opportunity to define a working method guaranteeing the protection of data and its users. The skills acquired in this area will willingly be shared with anyone else who might be tempted to undertake a similar adventure.