In Portugal, the knowledge of the teaching practices and its conceptualization by the Portuguese teachers of French as a Foreign Language (FFL) is yet scarcely studied. Actually, the studies that report theorical and methodological applications in the field of writing teaching are manly focused on the field of the Mother Tongue education and, more recently, in the area of EFL teaching. Therefore, this study acquires a special relevance since it enables us (a) to known the conceptions of the FFL teachers about their practices, and (b) to characterize the writing practices of these teachers. We also try to build the theoretical construct of best practices of teaching writing, firstly through the analysis of theoretical and methodological research in this area, and secondly asking the FFL teachers what they consider as their best practices.
We requested the collaboration of all the teachers of FFL of the schools of Third Cycle of Basic Education and Secondary Level of the Algarve region. Later, we selected a small sample through the method of the sample stratification based on representative categories.
Firstly, the collection of data proceeded through a survey questionnaire, that intended (i) to characterize the practices of teaching of writing, and (ii) to assess, through a Likert scale, a great number of writing teaching practices existing actually in schools or proposed by specialized literature as good practices to teach writing. This instrument was sent by regular mail to the schools, with detailed instructions concerning its goals and method for its reply. A total of 155 teachers replied to our request.
Secondly, we carried out 11 depth interviews to a small sample. Whit the interviews we wanted to support the characterization of teaching practices and the conceptions of the teachers concerning what they consider as their best practices.
As a study in progress, we do not have yet final results and conclusions. Therefore, we consider that we will be able to infer implications for the development of writing skills in FFL classes. Moreover, it will provide a critical reflection for the teachers of FFL concerning their writing teaching practices.