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Third EDiLiC congress Lausanne (Switzerland), 5-7 July 2010

Awakening to languages, pluralistic approaches. From teacher training to classroom practices


During this third international EDILIC congress which took place in Switzerland, the research presented made it possible to better define the institutional interest of awakening to languages and pluralistic approaches, their presence and their impact in school systems and in training. of teachers and classroom practices.

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Description of the theme of the congress

After having questioned the role of awakening to languages as a lever for the development of plurilingualism (Le Mans 2006), then considered this current as an integrative curricular approach aimed at the development of plurilingual and pluricultural competence (Barcelona 2008), the moment was come to enter more specifically in the training of teachers and to open the doors of their classes. An opportunity also, for this third congress, to make room, on these two selected themes, for the other plural approaches which are the integrated didactics of the learned languages, the intercomprehension between neighboring languages and the intercultural approaches putting the language at the heart of their concerns.

These trends are characterized, like the awakening to languages, by teaching / learning activities simultaneously involving several linguistic and cultural varieties. They all question the initial and continuing training of teachers as well as classroom practices, from the angle of what is prescribed by the policy, what is achieved by the teachers and what is actually acquired by the students. . The articulation of these different elements thus made it possible to define three axes which shaped the architecture of the Lausanne congress.


Axis 1. Awakening to languages and teacher training

To what extent is the awakening to languages present in educational policies? And above all, to what extent is it then found in the study plans or programs that guide the training of teachers? Does the training space offer a place for this didactic approach, and if so, how? In connection or not with one or more particular disciplines? What effects do these training courses have on the representations that teachers construct of awakening to languages and of its place in school? Do they change their own relationship to languages? Do they change their conception of the plurality of languages and of plurilingualism in general? What do the professional briefs written by future teachers tell us in this regard? And - in connection with the second axis - what about the impact of training on classroom practices?


Axis 2. Awakening to languages and classroom practices

In the order prescribed, this axis 2 offered participants the opportunity to question the place given to the awakening of languages in the study plans or programs which serve as a frame of reference for teachers. Do these study plans or programs provide for activities of this kind and, if so, do they include a reflection on the evaluation of the related learning? In the order of what is achieved,  teachers' interest in awakening to languages, if it is observed, is it translated into action? Do they practice this approach? What activities do they prefer, what goals do they aim for? What then of the actual classroom curriculum and student learning? What do they really learn when the education they receive includes such approaches?


Axis 3. The others  pluralistic approaches  : curricula, teacher training and classroom practices

Within this third axis, the participants in the congress questioned themselves on several other plural approaches by asking themselves the question of their relevance at the same time cognitive, didactic and social (formation with the plurality). More specifically, the following questions were addressed  : does integrated language teaching or intercomprehension between neighboring languages have a place in educational policies, in teacher training plans and in study plans or programs intended for pupils? Are they really implemented, what echo do they find with professionals? What are students' learning when teaching includes them and how are they integrated into a curriculum that seeks coherence by articulating programs, teacher training, teacher practices and student learning?  


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