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Congrès RANACLES 2017 | Corte
Call for communications

 

Choosing « diversity » as the topic of our annual congress means putting into question the use of the Language Centre (now called LC [1]) within the institution and pondering over its unifying role. Indeed since it lies at the crossroads of several academic, economic and social logics, the Language Centre embodies diversity and appears as the place where this diversity can express itself.

 

Diversity of the offer, the users and the actors

The Language Centre is a « satellite » tool or an integrated device - open to the students of all the faculties of the university - which proposes courses in several languages that are often aimed at a wide audience, whether they be members of the institution or not. By doing so, the LC reduces the barriers existing between spaces, teachers and languages. The LC drives an uncommon dynamic at the university, where diversity (particularly a didactic one) is often synonym of division (each one defining its own training objectives) and therefore of a loss of quality regarding the training offers.

 

Linguistic and cultural diversity

Since the publication of the CEFR, and more precisely of the common reference levels, the value of some languages could be reasserted thanks to the LC; it is the only unit which, in numerous cases, enables the emergence of other languages (LANSAD[1] courses) than the ones proposed in the strict framework of the curricula. It is indeed now possible to validate a European level of competences in a regional, MODIME or international language. The LC gathers what seems to be opposite if you take the example of English or Corsican : with on the one hand a lingua franca, international communication language par excellence, and on the other hand a vernacular language, a strongly identity stamped regional language. The diversity of status gets then coloured with a cultural diversity.

 

Diversity of stakes

The LC also allows meeting diverse and other than linguistic stakes. The didactic stakes (at the micro-level) are the most significant ones but they are coupled with social stakes (at the meso level) due to the evolution of the university missions towards the professionalization and training of the European citizen meeting thus economic and political goals at national and European levels (macro level). The political issue can also be located at the regional level, with the potential role the LC can play for the protection of a language. Finally, the institutional challenge is also made more significant thanks to the readability brought by the LC. Indeed the production of performance indicators, which will be taken into account as part as the assessment of higher education establishments, make the actions more visible and enable the promotion of the institution.

 

Thus the LC is a unit which is able to assemble, but can it unify? In other words, can the LC lead to the definition of objectives and common cross-disciplinary training offers and give sense to the different actions?

 

[1] In this call for communication, we use the phrase « Language Centre » (LC) in a generic way, as LC can be distinguished from Language Resource Centres (LRC), which refer to learning areas as such, whereas the LC are spaces where the teaching/learning of languages (in every sense) is organised.

Communications may relate to the following axes (illustrative but not exhaustive list):

The Language Centre, unifying needs?

  • Needs in terms of teaching staff

  • Needs in terms of training (individual projects)

  • Needs related to the training policy of the establishment

  • Needs related to the language policy of the territory (regional languages)

 

The LC, unifying research initiatives?

  • From the teacher to the researcher, the LC as a lever towards research

  • Action-research, a coherent type of research in a LC?

     

The LC, unifying language diversity?

  • Can languages be considered on an equal footing?

  • What kind of actions (cultural, academic, social etc) can be proposed by the LC to enhance the status of certain languages?

  • Can the LC open on multilingual projects?

  • Which place and role for the LC as regards the definition of the university language policy?

     

The LC, unifying didactic diversity?

  • What forms of support to the learner?

  • Language Centre, Language spaces, Resources centre…. Which teaching methods behind such diversity of designations?

  • What are the different ways in which the students ‘work at the LC can be taken into account within the curriculum?

     

The LC, unifying human diversity?

  • Users and customers? External users? Internal users (administrative staff, teacher-researchers)?

  • Which teachers? Statutory or contract teachers, language assistants…?

  • How can the LC help manage the diversity of LANSAD students?

  • How can the LC unite teachers who were previously working in the specialist teachers’ shadow?

  • Who are the diverse actors in the LC?

What are the unifying tools available in the LC?

  • Language certifications?

  • The CL teams: piloting, pedagogical and management councils?

  • The LC, a privileged place for freedom? Or, the appropriation of a place for the expression of the individual (tandems etc)?

 

[1] LANguages for Spécilaists of (A)Other Disciplines

Page mise à jour le 14/05/2017 par STEPHANIE MAC-GAW