Researching the teaching and learning of specialised languages: DidASP

Research in the teaching and learning of languages is a field which is gaining visibility in higher education in France. Referred to as language didactics (didactique des langues) as distinct from the more practically oriented language pedagogy, this research seeks to understand how second or foreign languages are learned in instructed contexts, and may or may not have direct implications for teaching.


Archives Nationales, site de repli pour GERAS 2016 (manifestations à Paris 8)

Some new and more established outlets and groups for research in this area in France include

  • ARDAA (Association pour la Recherche en Didactique de l’Anglais et en Acquisition), a recently formed affiliate of the Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur, the French society for English studies in higher education. ARDAA focuses on research on all aspects of teaching English, particularly in French contexts.
  • DidASP, focusing on research in the teaching and learning of English for Specific Purposes, as a new special interest group in GERAS (Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche en Anglais de Spécialité). GERAS runs the open access journal ASp which publishes on all aspects of ESP research, including ESP didactics.
  • Research and Teaching Languages for Specific Purposes (RPPLSP, Cahiers de l’APLIUT). This open access journal has its roots in foreign language instruction in technical universities; its scope has recently widened to include special issues edited by ARDAA and RANACLES members.
  • Research on the Teaching of Second Languages and Cultures (RDLC, Cahiers de l’Acedle), the publication of the Association of Researchers, Teachers and Didacticians in Foreign Languages (Acedle).
  • Mélanges CRAPEL (Centre de Recherches et d’Applications Pédagogiques en Langues) for research and development in language teaching and learning.

Cédric Sarré and I have been considering how ESP didactics might fit into this picture in an article just published in ASp on Research in ESP teaching and learning in French higher education: developing the construct of ESP didactics. The paper includes an overview of recent work by our colleagues teaching and researching ESP in higher education contexts in France. It attempts to propose a framework for ongoing research in ESP didactics, defined as

the branch of English language studies which concerns the language, discourse and culture of English-language professional communities and specialised social groups, as well as the learning and teaching of this object from a didactic perspective.

Sarré & Whyte, 2016: 150

At our ESP Didactics SIG meeting at this year’s GERAS conference in Paris, we heard presentations on English for veterinary science (Muriel Conan) and designing a hybrid English course in musicology (Aude Labetoulle). We also discussed possible collaborative research projects for the group, and provided an update on the seminar on Teaching ESP today we are co-organising at this summer’s ESSE conference in Galway.



“A sophisticated and ingenious procedure” for language teaching and research

Dictogloss is a teaching technique developed for teaching grammar wfile000368977040hich involves learners collaborating in groups to reconstruct in writing a text they have heard read aloud several times. It was first proposed and described by Wajnryb (1990); Kidd (1992) and Teddick (2001) provide accessible overviews for teachers.

Unlike dictation, the aim is not to have learners transcribe verbatim a text read very slowly and deliberately. Nor are learners expected to gloss or paraphrase the expressions they hear. Instead the original aim of the dictogloss technique was to help learners focus on particular grammatical constructions by (a) devising a short text with several examples of the structure, (b) encouraging learners to notice and engage with the meaning of this structure by listening, discussing and writing, and then (c) providing feedback on the structure in focus by correcting the texts produced by learners and discussing their choices. Presumably reconstructing a text seems a more cognitively challenging and motivating activity than reproducing it via traditional dictation, where learners may write without comprehending. And interacting with language samples in this way also seems more likely to promote understanding and learning than approaches favouring explicit rule learning such as PPP (presentation, practice, production).

a sophisticated and ingenious procedure

(Kidd, 1992)

Second language researchers consider the technique suitable for developing proficiency in the language classroom because it includes a number of features thought to support second language acquisition (SLA), at least in cognitive-interactionist accounts of this process. With appropriate pre-listening activities, the activity encourages focus on form in a meaningful context (noticing hypothesis, Schmidt 1990). It also provides opportunities for pushed output (Swain & Lapkin, 1995), where learners strive to use language beyond their current productive competence. Finally, discussion among learners during the reconstruction phase is likely to produce meta-talk (Swain, 2001) in which learners articulate their reflections on language form, an activity also thought to aid acquisition.

But before looking at these arguments further, a closer look at the dictogloss teaching technique.

What do we mean by dictogloss?

Kidd (1992) describes this teaching activity as follows (my emphasis):

The dictogloss procedure contains four stages, which I summarize below in what I hope is sufficient detail to allow interested teachers to try out the technique with their classes.

In the first stage, preparation, the teacher introduces the topic of the passage in some imaginative and interesting manner. This activates the students’ background schema and promotes receptivity and comprehension. T also pre-teaches any unfamiliar vocabulary items necessary in the text, and then organizes the students into groups of 3 or 4.

In the dictation stage, a short text containing a number of instances of the target structure (or structures) is read to the students twice at normal speed. During the first reading, the students do not write-they simply listen for meaning. On the second reading, they jot down important words and phrases that will ultimately help them to reconstruct the text. Content words like nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., are best for this purpose; function words like prepositions, articles, etc., should generally be ignored, as students will not have time to copy everything. (T should pause 2 or 3 seconds between sentences in the second reading.)


Then, in the reconstruction stage, the students work in their small groups to produce their own written versions of the text. They pool the information they have written down and try to “reconstruct a version of the text from their shared resources” (Wajnryb, 1990).

One student in each group acts a scribe, writing down the group’s text as it emerges from discussion and negotiation. Both text interpretation and text reconstruction depend heavily on intragroup cooperation, and it is this collaborative aspect which most obviously distinguishes dictogloss from dicto-comp.

Finally, the different group versions are examined and compared during the analysis and correction stage, with special attention devoted to the target structure(s). There are many ways of conducting this final phase. For example, representatives from the different groups could write their versions on the chalkboard, and these could be compared sentence by sentence. Overhead transparencies, with all first sentences written on one transparency, all second sentences on another, etc., could also be used. Other variations (e.g., using photocopies) are possible. But whatever method is chosen by T, the students should be encouraged to compare the various versions and discuss the language choices made. By doing this, they will be led to understand the source of their errors, and (ideally at least) the resulting “consciousness raising” will help to promote the internalization of the correct rules.

Kidd distinguishes dictogloss from dictation with the following caveat:

the aim of a dictogloss activity is not for the students to reproduce the original text exactly. As Wajnryb (1990) observes, the objective is for each group of students to produce “its own reconstructed version, aiming at grammatical accuracy and textual cohesion but not at replicating the original text.” Students are asked to try to maintain the informational content of the dictated passage, however, so even though the actual sentences may differ in structure from those of the original text, their basic meaning should be the same. Clearly, the dictation task under these conditions becomes an exercise in creative language production rather than a matter of mere imitation.

Kidd (1992), pp. 57-8.

What does the research say?

As noted earlier, second language researchers have seized on the dictogloss activity as a good example of a teaching/learning task from a task-based language teaching perspective (see Long, 2014, for a full theoretical treatment, Ellis, 2009 for a pedagogical overview). The dictogloss activity fits criteria for a task as opposed to a pedagogical exercise, since it involves a (a) communicative outcome, (b) learners using their own linguistic resources, and (c) a primary focus on meaning (see Erlam 2015 for task criteria; Whyte & Alexander, 2014, for contrast with pedagogical exercises). As such, researchers use this task for research on classroom interaction, often as an alternative to better-known activity types such a jigsaw or information gap tasks.

A number of studies of the effectiveness of dictogloss activities for language learning have been conducted since Wajnryb’s initial work (1990), including Nabei (1996), Swain and Lapkin (2001), VanPatten et al (2009) and most recently Prince (2013), Gallego (2014), and Lindstromberg et al (2016). Acquisition studies have used dictogloss simply as an appropriate task for measure proficiency and/or acquisition. Other studies have, however, sought to establish the effectiveness of dictogloss for particular teaching and learning contexts: for example Gallego (2014) found better results among higher proficiency learners. Still other work has explored different ways of conducting dictogloss activities. Prince (2013) explored learner production as a function of variations in the implementation of tasks, and Lindstromberg et al (2016) examined its effectiveness for learning formulaic sequences in two contrasting formats.

Further reading …


Ellis, R. (2009). Task‐based language teaching: Sorting out the misunderstandings. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 19(3), 221-246. PDF
Erlam, R. (2015). ‘I’m still not sure what a task is’: Teachers designing language tasks. Language Teaching Research, 1362168814566087.
Gallego, M. (2014). Second language learners’ reflections on the effectiveness of dictogloss: A multi-sectional, multi-level analysis. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(1), 33-50. PDF
Kidd, R. (1992). Teaching ESL grammar through dictation. TESL Canada Journal, 10(1), 49-61. PDF
Lindstromberg, S., Eyckmans, J., & Connabeer, R. (2016). A modified dictogloss for helping learners remember L2 academic English formulaic sequences for use in later writing. English for Specific Purposes, 41, 12-21.
Long, M. (2014). Second language acquisition and task-based language teaching. Wiley.
Nabei, T. (1996). Dictogloss: Is It an Effective Language Learning Task?. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 12(1), 59-74. PDF
Prince, P. (2013). Listening, remembering, writing: Exploring the dictogloss task. Language Teaching Research, 1362168813494123.
Schmidt, R. W. (1990). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied linguistics, 11(2), 129-158.
Swain, M. (2001). Integrating language and content teaching through collaborative tasks. Canadian Modern Language Review, 58(1), 44-63.
Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (2001). Focus on form through collaborative dialogue: Exploring task effects. Researching pedagogic tasks: Second language learning, teaching and testing, 99-118. PDF
Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1995). Problems in output and the cognitive processes they generate: A step towards second language learning. Applied linguistics, 16(3), 371-391.
Teddick (2001). Dictogloss procedure. CARLA. PDF
VanPatten, B., Inclezan, D., Salazar, H., & Farley, A. P. (2009). Processing instruction and dictogloss: A study on object pronouns and word order in Spanish. Foreign Language Annals, 42(3), 557-575.
Wajnryb, R. (1990). Grammar dictation. Oxford University Press.
Whyte, S., & Alexander, J. (2014). Implementing Tasks with Interactive Technologies in Classroom Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL): Towards a Developmental Framework. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40(1), n1. PDF

Pour une “didactique de l’ASP”

Cédric Sarré & Shona Whyte

Les frontières de la recherche sur l’enseignement-apprentissage de l’anglais de spécialité : pour une didactique de l’ASP

La didactique des langues est, par définition, un domaine de recherche transfrontalier, se nourissant de l’apport de disciplines contributoires aussi variées que « la linguistique, la sociolinguistique, la psycholinguistique, les sciences cognitives, l’ethnologie, la sociologie, la psychologie, les neurosciences, etc. » (Tardieu 2014 : 86). Lorsque les situations d’enseignement-apprentissage étudiées par les chercheurs portent sur les langues de spécialité, et l’anglais de spécialité (ASP) en particulier, les frontières du domaine semblent encore plus complexes à cerner. En effet, nombre de travaux dans la littérature française semblent poser comme acquises les notions de “didactique des langues de spécialité” (Spillner 1992, Bertin 1994, Sturge-Moore 1997, Isani 2006 & 2010, Rossi 2007) ou encore “didactique de l’ASP” (Claisse 1995, Thily 1996, Brouat 1997, Rézeau 2001, Zumbihl 2004, Isani 2006, Coquilhat 2008, Isani 2014), en s’intéressant cependant parfois à des considérations plus pédagogiques que didactiques (Brouat 1994, Celotti & Musacchio 2004, Deschamps 2004), et sans jamais définir ces concepts. Serait-ce à dire que ces notions sont des évidences qui se passeraient d’explication ? A la suite de Bachelard (1938), nous considérons les évidences comme des obstacles épistémologiques qui empêchent de progresser dans la connaissance des phénomènes. Il nous faut donc franchir ces obstacles épistémologiques pour contribuer à la construction de connaissances nouvelles, une rupture épistémologique s’avérant ainsi nécessaire à la construction de toute nouvelle notion.

Fig1 Notre communication se penche sur la question de la recherche sur l’enseignement-apprentissage de l’anglais de spécialité (ASP) et présente les premières étapes d’un travail sur le développement d’un cadrage théorique spécifique à ce champ de recherche. Nous nous interrogeons ainsi sur la pertinence du développement du concept de “didactique de l’ASP”, et sur ses liens et intersections avec la didactique des langues et de l’anglais, d’une part, et avec la recherche en ASP, d’autre part.

Nous proposons donc, dans un premier temps, une analyse des différentes acceptions des concepts clés relatifs à l’enseignement-apprentissage des langues issus non seulement de la littérature propre au contexte français, mais aussi au-delà, comme nous y invite Bailly (2014). Nous dressons ensuite un bref panorama de l’enseignement-apprentissage des langues dans l’enseignement supérieur français, et de l’ASP en particulier, panorama qui nous conduit à présenter la didactique comme zone d’intersection entre l’ASP et les autres branches de l’anglistique. La recherche sur l’enseignement-apprentissage de l’ASP est ensuite abordée à travers l’analyse des travaux présentés au sein du Groupe de Travail (GT) Didactique et ASP (DidASP) du GERAS, analyse qui nous permet de pointer la variété des contextes et des approches et d’identifier un certain nombre de thématiques et préoccupations communes. Les nombreuses spécificités de ces situations d’enseignement-apprentissage ainsi mises au jour, nous justifions la nécessité du développement d’un cadre spécifique à la recherche sur l’enseignement-apprentissage de l’ASP et esquissons les contours de l’objet “didactique de l’ASP”.


Bachelard, Gaston. 1938. La formation de l’esprit scientifique. Paris: Librairie philosophique J. Vrin.

Bailly, Danièle. 1997. Didactique de l’anglais, vol. 1 & 2. Paris: Nathan Pédagogie.

Bailly, Danièle. 2014. “Préface”. In Tardieu, C., Notions-clés pour la didactique de l’anglais. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Baïssus, Jean-Marie. 2008. “Le préGERAS”. ASp, numéro spécial – Les trente ans du GERAS, 7.

Belan, Sophie. 2015. “Approches de l’anglais de spécialité dans la filière LEA”. DidASP SIG meeting, Paris, October.

Bertin, Jean-Claude. 1994. “L’enseignant, le professionnel et l’apprenant : confrontation des cultures et choix des matériaux pédagogiques”. ASp 5-6, 69–78.

Bertin, Jean-Claude. 2008. “Le mot du Président”. ASp, numéro spécial – Les trente ans du GERAS, 2–6.

Bertin, Jean-Claude. 2012. “Didactique et anglais de spécialité”. DidASP SIG meeting, Paris, October.

Bertin, Jean-Claude & Patrick Gravé. 2010. “In favor of a model of didactic ergonomics”. In Bertin J.-C., P. Gravé & J.-P. Narcy-Combes, Second-language Distance Learning and Teaching: Theoretical perspectives and didactic ergonomics. Hershey: IGI Global, 1–36.

Bertin, Jean-Claude & Cédric Sarré. 2015. “Didactique des langues et LSP : entre adaptation à un objet spécifique et émergence du concept original de didactique des LSP”. Journée d’étude DidASP, CeLiSo et ESPE Paris. Paris, 10 April.

Bloor, Tracy. 2015. “La théorie de l’action conjointe en didactique comme outil descriptif de la perspective actionnelle”. Journée d’étude DidASP, CeLiSo et ESPE Paris. Paris, 10 April.

Brantley, Kate. 2015. “An approach to LSP classes based on functional linguistics”. DidASP SIG meeting, Paris, October.

Braud, Valérie, Philippe Millot, Cédric Sarré & Séverine Wozniak. 2015. “Pour une formation de tous les anglicistes à la langue de spécialité”. Les Langues Modernes 3/2015, 67–76.

Brouat, Thérèse. 1994. “Qu’y a-t-il de commun entre Napoléon et un ordinateur portable ? La culture comme vaste réservoir à analogies”. ASp 5-6, 79–88.

Brouat, Thérèse. 1997. “Le dire et l’induire : l’argumentaire dans les publicités informatiques anglo-saxonnes ; contribution à la didactique de l’anglais des spécialités scientifiques et techniques”. Unpublished doctoral thesis, université de Chambéry.

Carnet, Anaïs. 2014. “Utilisation de la série HOUSE, MD en anglais médical”. DidASP SIG meeting, Marseille, March.

Carnet, Anaïs. 2015. “Vers une didactique de l’anglais médical à visée professionnelle”. Journée d’étude DidASP, CeLiSo et ESPE Paris. Paris, 10 April.

Celotti Nadine & Maria Teresa Musacchio. 2004. “Un regard diachronique en didactique des langues de spécialité”. Ela. Études de linguistique appliquée 3/2004 (no135), 263–270 <>.

Claisse, Dominique. 1995. “De divergences en convergence : Value, ou le triomphe du consommateur à l’américaine”. ASp 7-10, 263–275.

Colin, Catherine. 2015. “Les certifications en anglais de spécialité : révélatrices de dynamiques didactiques”. DidASP SIG meeting, Paris, October.

Conan, Muriel. 2015. “Enseigner l’anglais vétérinaire à Alfort : LSP, perspective actionnelle et certification”. Journée d’étude DidASP, CeLiSo et ESPE Paris. Paris, 10 April.

Coquilhat, Jean-Christophe. 2008. “Mise à distance d’un enseignement de l’anglais de l’informatique : expérimentations et analyses de quelques aspects méta-didactiques et cognitifs de l’acquisition en anglais de spécialité”. Unpublished doctoral thesis, université Bordeaux 2.

d’Alifé-Martinez, Laurence. 2014. “Réduire les inhibitions par le biais d’un atelier-théâtre en LANSAD”. DidASP SIG meeting, Paris, 10 October.

Dechamps, Christina. 2004. “Enseignement/apprentissage des collocations d’une langue de spécialité à un public allophone : l’exemple de la langue juridique”. Ela. Études de linguistique appliquée 3/2004 (no135), 361–370 <>.

Doughty, Catherine J. & Michael Long. 2003. “Optimal psycholinguistic environments for distance foreign language learning.” Language Learning & Technology 7, 50–80.

Douglas, Dan. 2004. “Discourse domains: The cognitive context of speaking.” In Boxer D. & A. Cohen (Eds.), Studying Speaking to Inform Second Language Learning. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 25–47.

Douglas, Dan. 2010. “This won’t hurt a bit: Assessing English for nursing”. Taiwan International ESP Journal 2/2, 1–16.

Dudley-Evans, Tony & Maggie Jo St John. 1998. Developments in English for Specific Purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ellis, Rod. 1997. “SLA and second language pedagogy”. SSLA 20, 69–92.

English for Specific Purposes. Journal aims and scope. <>.

Gass, Susan. 1995. “Learning and teaching: The necessary intersection”. In Eckman, F. et al. (Eds.), Second Language Acquisition Theory and Pedagogy. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 3–20.

Hamilton, D. (1999). The pedagogic paradox (or why no didactics in England?). Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 7(1), 135-152.

Harjanne, Pirjo & Seppo Tella. 2007. “Foreign language didactics, foreign language teaching and transdisciplinary affordances”. Foreign languages and multicultural perspectives in the European context, 197–225.

Hutchinson, Tom & Alan Waters. 1987. English for Specific Purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hyland, Ken. 2006. “The ‘other’ English: Thoughts on EAP and academic writing”. The European English Messenger 15/2, 34–38.

Isani, Shaeda. 2006. “Langue, lecture et littérature populaire : FASP et didactique des langues de spécialité”. Cahiers de l’APLIUT XXV/3, 92–106.

Isani, Shaeda. 2010. “Dynamique spéculaire de la fiction à substrat professionnel et didactique des langues de spécialité”. ASp 58, 105–123.

Isani, Shaeda. 2011. “Developing professional cultural competence through the multi-layered cultural substrata of FASP: English for Legal Purposes and M. R. Hall’s The Coroner”. Cahiers de l’APLIUT XXX/2, 29–45.

Isani, Shaeda. 2014. “Ethnography as a research-support discipline in ESP teaching, learning and research in the French academic context”. ASp 66, 27–39.

Kansanen, Pertti. 2004. “The role of general education in teacher education“. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 7/2, 207–218.

Kansanen, Pertti. 2009. “Subject‐matter didactics as a central knowledge base for teachers, or should it be called pedagogical content knowledge?”. Pedagogy, culture & society 17/1, 29–39.

Kansanen, Pertti & Matti Meri. 1999. “The didactic relation in the teaching-studying-learning process“. Didaktik/Fachdidaktik as Science (-s) of the Teaching profession 2/1, 107–116.

Kramsch, Claire. 2000. “Second language acquisition, applied linguistics, and the teaching of foreign languages”. Modern Language Journal 84/3, 311–326.

Lancereau-Forster, Nicole. 2014. “Vers une didactique de l’anglais de spécialité à visée professionnelle”. DidASP SIG meeting, Paris, October.

Master, Peter. 2005. “Research in English for specific purposes”. In Hinkel, E. (Ed.) Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning. London/New York: Routledge, 99–116.

Mémet, Monique. 2001. “Bref historique de l’enseignement et de la recherche en anglais de spécialité en France : de l’anglais pour non-spécialistes à l’anglistique du secteur LANSAD”. In Mémet M. & M. Petit (Eds.) L’anglais de spécialité en France : Mélanges en l’honneur de Michel Perrin. Bordeaux: GERAS Éditeur, 309–319.

Mémet, Monique. 2003. “L’enseignement à contenu intégré augmente la motivation pour l’apprentissage de la langue : vrai ou faux ?” Étude portant sur des cours d’anglais de spécialité en médiation culturelle. ASp 39-40, 131–142.

Mémet, Monique. 2013. “Historique de l’ASP”. ASp. <>.

Mémet, Monique & Michel Petit (Eds.). 2001. L’anglais de spécialité en France : Mélanges en l’honneur de Michel Perrin. Bordeaux: GERAS Éditeur.

Messaoudi, Leila. 2013. “Les technolectes savants et ordinaires dans le jeu des langues au Maroc”. Langage et Société 2013/1, 143, 65–83.

Mourlhon-Dallies, Florence. 2006. “Le français à visée professionnelle : enjeux et perspectives”. Synergie Pays riverains de la Baltique 3, 89–96.

Paltridge, Brian & Sue Starfield. 2011. “Research in English for specific purposes”. In Hinkel, E. (Ed.) Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning. Volume 2. London/New York: Routledge, 196–121.

Petit, Michel. 2002. “Éditorial”. ASp 35/36, 1–3.

Rézeau, Joseph. 2001. “Médiatisation et médiation pédagogique dans un environnement multimédia. Le cas de l’apprentissage de l’anglais de l’histoire de l’art à l’université”. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Université Bordeaux 2.

Rossi, Micaela. 2007. “Didactique des langues de spécialité au niveau universitaire : l’apport de la terminologie. Description de deux expériences didactiques”. Synergies Italie, 3, 46–56.

Spada, Nina. 2014. “Instructed Second Language Acquisition Research and Its Relevance for L2 Teacher Education”. Education Matters 2/1, 41–54.

Spillner, Bernd. 1992. “Textes médicaux français et allemands : Contribution à une comparaison interlinguale et interculturelle”. Langages 105, 42–65.

Sturge-Moore, Olivier. 1997. “La mondialisation de l’économie : de nouveaux enjeux, de nouveaux contextes culturels”. ASp 15-18, 325–338.

Taillefer, Gail. 2013. “CLIL in higher education: the (perfect?) crossroads of ESP and didactic reflection”. ASp 63, 31–53.

Tardieu, Claire. 2008. “Place de la didactique dans l’anglistique”. Journée d’étude SAES Caractéristiques et fonctions de la didactique de l’anglais, IUFM de Paris. <;.

Tardieu, Claire. 2014. Notions-clés pour la didactique de l’anglais. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Terrier, Linda. 2013. “De la linguistique à la didactique, de l’anglais général à l’anglais de spécialité – quelques réflexions sur la notion de didactique de l’anglais de spécialité à travers le cas de la compréhension de l’anglais oral”. DidASP SIG meeting, October.

Thily, Hervé. 1996. “L’apport des nouvelles technologies d’information et de communication dans la didactique de l’anglais de spécialité. Sections de techniciens supérieurs (conception de produits industriels)”. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Université de Chambéry.

Trouillon, Jean-Louis. 2010. Approches de l’anglais de spécialité. Perpignan: Presses universitaires de Perpignan.

Whyte, Shona. 2011. “Learning theory and technology in university foreign language education. The case of French universities”. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 10/2, 213–234.

Whyte, Shona. 2012. “Quelle didactique pour l’anglais de spécialité?” DidASP SIG meeting, Paris, October.

Whyte, Shona. 2013. “Teaching ESP: A task-based framework for French graduate courses”. ASp 63, 5–30.

Whyte, Shona. 2014. “Contextes pour l’enseignement-apprentissage des langues : le domaine, la tâche et les technologies”. Note de synthèse pour l’Habilitation à diriger des recherches.

Whyte, Shona. 2015. “Quand tout le monde sera spécialiste : la place des langues dans l’enseignement secondaire”. Journée d’étude DidASP, CeLiSo et ESPE Paris. Paris, 10 April.

Williams, Christopher. 2014. “The future of ESP studies: building on success, exploring new paths, avoiding pitfalls”. ASp 66, 137–150.

Yassine-Diab, Nadia & Françoise Raby. 2014. “SMILE, une déclinaison d’un dispositif EMILE”. DidASP SIG Meeting, Marseille, March.

Zumbihl, Hélène. 2004. “Cadre théorique et méthodologique d’une étude sur l’acquisition de la compétence de médiation culturelle en milieu universitaire”. ASp 43-44,125–134.

Zumbihl, Hélène. 2013. “Anglais de spécialité et autonomisation de l’apprenant”. DidASP SIG meeting, October.

YouTube You Teach: audiovisual resources for language education

YouMT241216Tube You Teach is a course for second/foreign language teachers on using audiovisual resources in the language classroom. Offered to French pre-service secondary school teachers of English, German and Spanish, it comprises 8 modules using a variety of digital tools to explore different teaching methods, some rules for online collaboration, and resources for language teaching with images, audio and video resources.


University of Nice St Jean campus

YTYT was offered at the University of Nice to undergraduate and masters in education students from October to December 2015 using the university platform Jalon. This Moodle-like environment allows teachers to plan modules with files, links, and activities which can be opened to course participants progressively. It also gives the possibility of creating forums and internal links to the university podcast platform UNSPod and Microsoft online tools via OneDrive. Some eighty students participated: undergraduate, first and second year Masters in German; first and second year Masters in English; second year Masters in Spanish on both Nice and Toulon campuses.

Course modules included
1. introduction: video selfie, forum contributions, comments on Video for All (translated by English students into French for other participants)
2. Foreign language teaching methods: collaborative research and write-up in multilingual groups using One-Drive
3. Digital tools: collection of image, audio and video applications on Padlet pages in language groups.
4. Online resources: searching, tagging, filtering and sharing audiovisual resources for secondary school language teaching using curation tools ( in language groups
5. Rights and responsibilities for online collaboration: safety and copyright; commenting on external resources
6. Teaching/learning activities: design (and implementation) of classroom activity (lesson, unit) involving audiovisual resources for target population
7. Reflective writing: report on teaching/learning activity; tutorials for selected digital tools
8. Evaluation and feedback: reflection on work accomplished and course experience.

First year Masters students

First year English Masters students

Different participants were involved in different ways in this course, with undergraduates and first-year Masters students focusing on digital tool affordances and the design of teaching activities, and student-teachers in their second year of the Masters programme implementing activities in class. Some students presented their work at a workshop associated with the SoNetTE project final meeting, while others shared with peers in final face-to-face sessions.

Beyond powerpoint: tools for novice language teachers


My colleague in our technology in language education course, Bianka Fuchs

What kind of digital tools appeal to student teachers of foreign languages? Masters students in education in France, that is, pre-service primary and secondary school teachers, are expected to use technology in their classes during teaching placements. Often, however, opportunities are limited by technology provision in schools, and by uptake by the practitioners who act as tutors to our students. This means that implementing technology in the foreign language class may not go much beyond Powerpoint, with the teacher showing a slide presentation from the single class computer via a videoprojector.

Following a course on using audio-visual resources in the language classroom, Masters students in language education working with English, German and Spanish were asked to implement classroom activities with their learners and I was interested to see what kind of other applications these new teachers decided to use.  Here are the top ten selections, all free, cross-platform sites, often with mobile applications. Only the first is my own suggestion, in response to numerous accounts of difficulties getting pupils started on webquests; the others are student selections, many finding favour with student teachers of all three languages in focus.

Top ten applications

  1. Bitly: link shortener
  2. Bitstrips: cartoon creation app
  3. Phrase it: add speech bubbles to photos
  4. Pons: bilingual dictionaries (DE, EN, ES, FR)
  5. Popplet: mindmapping
  6. Tellegami: animated video app
  7. Vocaroo: voice recording
  8. Voicethread: collaborative multimedia presentation
  9. Subtitle Workshop: open source video subtitling tool
  10. SoundCloud: audio recording and sharing

The teachers also of course used slides, and collaborative tools for working together amongst themselves. Here are some that came up frequently:



Teaching resources

The course, YouTube You Teach, was designed as part of the EU project SoNetTE, which has just ended.