This descriptive case study examines the writing of eight university learners of French—four during study abroad and four in on‐campus courses—over the course of a semester. The study abroad students all improved their ACTFL writing proficiency scores, while the domestic students' writing proficiency levels tended to stay the same or even decreased. But what specific features of students' writing changed over the semester? This study applied fine‐grained measures focused on the complexity, accuracy, fluency, and form‐function relationships of writing samples collected at the beginning and end of the semester. Results showed that students' writing developed in both study abroad and domestic contexts, although in different ways. Given the complexity of writing development, multiple measures should be used to assess second language writing across learning contexts.
Clandestine migration across the Mediterranean is often discussed for its agitating effects on Europe’s racial anxieties; less acknowledged is the growth of intra-African racism in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Officials in these countries have increasingly demonised sub-Saharan Africans who arrive in the Maghreb en route to Europe, and now even black North Africans describe a climate of heightened racial tension. This article analyses the ways in which black Africans are represented in the contemporary Maghreb. Specifically, I look at print and on-line journalism, novels and films that foreground questions of race to argue that Maghrebi journalists, social media activists, authors and filmmakers are critiquing racism and exposing its neo-colonial underpinnings. Their work is calling for a disciplinary realignment in North African cultural studies that focuses the field as much on ‘Africa’ as it does on ‘North’.
Algerian literary works from the civil war of the 1990s are often described as testimonial—a littérature d’urgence. While the label ignores many experimental and anti-representational works from this period, the décennie noire clearly weighed on authors and provoked particular aesthetic responses. Less has been said of Algerian cultural production from the years following the civil war. Algerian writers have started to leverage fantasy, myth, and the fable to respond to the increasingly surreal relationship between state and society. This article addresses the shift from realism to surrealism in contemporary Algerian fiction, with special attention to the ways in which less representational texts more fully adumbrate the particularities of the Bouteflika era. Specifically, I focus on works by Mustapha Benfodil and Kamel Daoud, two authors born after independence who continue to live, write, and publish in Algeria. Their affiliation with Éditions Barzakh—an independent Algerian publisher — has granted their work the freedom to deviate from the proscribed narratives of terrorism and victimhood more common to Algeria’s export literature. I argue that Daoud and Benfodil create alternative forms of literary engagement that articulate a revised Algerian nationalism, plotting paths to futures beyond the limiting terms of the static present.
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