First EDiLiC Congress Le Mans (France), 5-7 July 2006

The language awareness as a lever for the development of plurilinguisme - L'éveil languages as a lever for the development of multilingualism


The first international EDiLiC congress took place in parallel with the 8th international congress of its sister association  : TO THE. The notion of "  plurilingual competence  »Was at the heart of the discussions carried out in each of the congresses and EDiLiC more particularly addressed questions relating to the awakening of languages.

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Description of the theme of the congress

Since the work of the pioneers of the 1980s in Great Britain, the awakening to languages has gained ground, gradually developing in various European countries under the impetus of coordinated initiatives between teams of various nationalities, then in other countries and regions of the world.

The theme chosen for this first congress invited the participants to share experiences from the most diverse contexts, linking their experiences to the perspective of the development of plurilingualism, conceived both as the construction of plurilingual skills and education for plurilingualism. We are  interested:

•  the way in which the links between the “awakening to languages” approach and the development of plurilingualism can be designed beforehand, depending on the sociolinguistic and educational contexts (level of objectives);

•  the concrete means used by this approach: What educational approaches and content in class, with what supports, what (self-) evaluation of the pupils? (level of teaching practices and teaching materials);

•  to the way in which the awakening to languages is inserted in the curricula: where and when? With what progression, what intensity? How does it relate to other school subjects (including the language (s) of the school) and existing programs? (level of curriculum strategy);

•  to the reactions of the protagonists of the educational scene aroused by this approach: What reception by the pupils, the teachers, the parents? What support / rejection from the education authorities? (level of reception by the actors);

•  the choice, training and support of those tasked with implementing the tool: What teacher profiles and skills? What place in initial or continuing training? What training strategies and materials? What help after training? (level of provisions relating to teachers);

•  the observed effects of awakening to languages and their links with the development of plurilingualism (level of the assessment of the approach).