The article presents a project where the concept of fanfiction is introduced in a Francophone literature course taught at Dalarna University (Sweden). The project presented in this study is based on the idea of online communities as an informal learning environment. The corpus consists of material gathered during four semesters, when the fanfiction project was introduced as a course assignment to undergraduate students of contemporary Francophone literature. The results indicate that the use of fanfiction in the University’s formalized learning environment creates some challenges. For instance, the fundamental online principle of anonymity and the use of English as the lingua franca of web-based communities cannot be easily transferred to an academic course where French is the target language – and where the students’ achievements must be assessed and graded by the teacher at the end of the term.
Nonetheless, the overall conclusion of the project is positive. In order to write a fanfiction story based on an existing literary work, the students had to appropriate the original oeuvre; in the sense of incorporating it and making it their own. The work process was partly based on the principle of interaction. Thus, a collaborative learning environment was created, where students constructed knowledge and negotiated meaning together – a type of learning very much rooted in the sociocultural tradition.
Copyright (c) 2019 Mattias Aronsson
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