conférence internationale ARDAA Paris juin 2024
Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language in educational settings:
Issues and specificities
(List of keynotes to come)
Call for papers ARDAA Conference 2024 – 26, 27 & 28 June 2024
Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris
© photos Michel Hasson - http://phototheque.net/
The starting point for the conference, “Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language in educational settings: Issues and specificities” will be the study of language and education policies around the world so as to position EFL teaching and learning in France. This particular interest arises because of a competition between two hegemonies: the French language and the English language. This rivalry has resulted in the development of teaching practices in France, such as the teaching of French as a Foreign Language or the teaching of languages in general, that were not fully centered on English. It is therefore necessary to clarify the meaning of “English didactics” as well as its place in the world.
First, the notion of “English didactics” makes one think of English Learning/Teaching for the purposes of communication, in the context of the academic discipline, English and Anglophone studies. One of the goals of this conference is to establish what we mean when we say “English” today, since the word could refer to English as a second language, English as a foreign language, English as an academic language, English for specific purposes, or English as a lingua franca.
One must also consider the difference between teaching English and teaching through English (intensive courses, CLIL programs, the internationalization of certain degree programs, etc.). This discipline could be interpreted as belonging to the field of the didactics of languages and cultures (Galisson & Puren, 1999; Galisson, 2002), a discipline centered around observation, analysis, interpretation and intervention in the interconnected environments, practices and processes involved in teaching and learning.
One may also consider English didactics as a unique branch within the field of language didactics, that can be divided into several sub-fields: linguistics (Bailly, 1998), history (Puren, 1988), praxeology (Galisson & Puren, 1999; Bailly, 1998; Narcy-Combes, 2005), among others. It may also fall within the field of the didactics of plurilingualism (Huver & Macaire, 2021; Candelier, 2008; Moore, 2006; Macaire et al., 2003), which focuses on the language user’s linguistic and communicative repertoire when exchanging with the “other,” as well as on the intercultural dimension in which the native speaker is not the only point of reference.
English didactics therefore appears as a complex domain, requiring further reflection. To summarize, this conference aims to understand and define the peculiarities of English didactics and its place in today’s globalized world.
This conference will be an opportunity to analyze the epistemology of the field, in relation to its historical evolution and other types of didactics (French and other foreign languages, plurilingualism). Also, it will offer a chance to study common objects of research (the most salient, those which require further development, and those which have become obsolete), the teaching-learning environments including tools and resources (pedagogical practices, classroom contexts, etc.), and lastly, methodological questions and the relationship between research, fieldwork, and training.
4 subthemes are proposed:
Subtheme 1 – Epistemology
The first subtheme will allow us to establish a new epistemological anchor.
How do the didactics of English today relate to the didactics of French as a foreign language, the didactics of languages, the didactics of languages-cultures, the didactics of plurilingualism, etc.? What are their foundations? How have they evolved since it became a field of research? This subtheme calls for a genealogical approach that will allow us to complete the history of English didactics up to the present day, taking into account how its role has evolved in educational settings (Sarré & Whyte, 2016; Smith & McLelland, 2018 ; Tardieu, 2021, 2023). Here, we are referring to the predominance of English over other languages in France and Europe as a whole. How is this “hegemony” dealt with in the world, in terms of language policy? This approach will also attempt to situate English didactics in relation to other didactics and the other research disciplines that contribute to didactics (linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive sciences, neurosciences, etc.) and/or teaching (linguistics, literature, civilization, translatology). Reflections could also focus on the geographical evolution of the discipline, potentially in parallel with the historical evolution (France, Great Britain, USA, Europe, Asia, world…) or its evolution in institutions (primary, secondary, higher education).
The contributions within this subtheme will help clarify the position of English didactics in the global landscape.
Subtheme 2 – Objects of Research and contexts for teaching-learning
Presenters could talk about the focus of their current research: foreign/second language learning, LANSOD (LANguages for Specialists of Other Disciplines), English for Specific Purposes (translation, literature, grammar, history, etc.), English for Academic Purposes, Specialized English, Content and Language Integrated Learning, inclusive & Special Needs Education, etc. These topics can be applied to different contexts: primary and secondary school, higher education, continuing education, teacher training and professional development. Different course setups, in formal and less formal learning contexts, can be studied: in-person, blended learning, flipped classrooms (Alsowat, 2016), distance learning, synchronous and asynchronous learning. This subtheme is meant to give a full view of current research in English didactics. It will show the most salient and frequently studied research objects, including those which have been abandoned and those which require further attention. For example, it will include contributions about evaluations and certifications, autonomous learning, oral interactions in class, corpus-based learning, the use of online translators, remote tutoring, the use of technology, e-tandems (Jauregi & Melchor-Couto, 2017), the use of plurilingualism (Gabillon, 2022), and the link between formal and informal learning (Sockett, 2016; Toffoli & Sockett, 2015).
Research presented as part of this subtheme will help to establish a more stable definition of English didactics and its signature research foci (specific objects, common points with language didactics, etc.), while also offering a critical look at its issues and limitations.
Subtheme 3 – Teaching aids, resources, tools, and educational materials
Research under this subtheme will cover teaching aids, resources, and pedagogical tools that result in reflective practices. Within a course, different tools are utilized: note sheets, logbooks, learner diaries, games (serious games, video games, board games, simulations, children’s games, etc.). They pertain to different fields: children’s literature, the arts, drama, the professional world, the world of culture, academia, etc. What is the function of these educational tools? How are they used: in their original state or modified, transformed, and adapted? Do they facilitate English learning or add to reflections in this field? Can the use of these educational materials be guided by specific theories in teaching?
Presenters can reflect on various types of resources and how teaching aids are selected in relation to concepts such as authenticity, creativity, or engagement. They could also consider their own use of teaching/learning materials to facilitate task completion, solve problems, or develop language skills, and question their relevance to the needs and interests of the learners. Lastly, presenters may also focus on the advantages and disadvantages of using a variety of resources.
Essentially, presentations within this subtheme will encourage the sharing of teaching practices and experimenting with new concepts and approaches in English didactics.
Subtheme 4 – Theory, methodological questions, and training reflective teachers
Research in English didactics is backed by linguistic theories and learning theories. These theories could be explained, along with the pedagogies they inspire.
Those presenting under this subtheme could discuss specific methodological practices within often restricted research contexts. Different approaches could be presented: comprehensive or experimental research, action-research and development, research and creation, etc. Researchers in English didactics are often faced with institutional and ethical obstacles: difficulties obtaining authorization to observe classrooms, a lack of means, personal data protection, data management plans, etc. Meanwhile, English didactics training courses are being offered to students in universities via teacher preparation and continuing education, professional development, research training and research-based training (Wright, 2010).
Presentations could focus on research methodology and field research, with a focus on the “practitioner-researcher” perspective (Narcy-Combes, 2005): experiential, participatory, and collaborative approaches; the creation of corpora; data collection procedures; analyzing qualitative, quantitative, and mixed data; data processing tools, etc.
Discussions will allow us to situate English Didactics in terms of its contributions to society.
Languages: English (preferred) and French (in order to facilitate the participation of our international colleagues, communications in French should be accompanied by slides in English)
Format: 300-word abstracts (excluding bibliographical references)
Deadline: 10 sept 2023
Notification of acceptance: 30 October 2023
Abstract submission: sciences conf , tab “new submission”
Anonymization: make sure you leave no trace of your identity anywhere in your abstract (may it be in your text or in your files, if applicable)