Le feedback dans des approches pédagogiques actives : l’exemple des langues étrangères

Faire un retour sur du travail à l’oral en classe de langue est souvent chose difficile. Faut-il le faire à l’oral ou par écrit, par individu ou par classe, tout de suite ou plus tard ? Quelle place donner à la correction grammaticale par rapport à l’aisance et au contenu, comment identifier des faiblesses sans décourager, et comment aider les étudiants à intégrer nos commentaires ? Ces questions deviennent d’autant plus délicates dans des méthodologies dites ‘actives’ – les approches communicatives et actionnelles proposées dans collèges-lycées, ou encore les pédagogies centrées sur l’apprenant prônées en ce moment dans le supérieur. Ce type de pédagogie met l’accent plus sur la prise de risque, la collaboration, et la communication que sur la correction de la langue. Cependant la généralisation des outils numériques ouvre de nouvelles possibilités de rétroaction. Nous partons d’une position théorique largement acceptée dans les recherches sur l’acquisition-apprentissage des langues secondes pour adopter un enseignement dit par la tâche qui donne une place particulière à la rétroaction corrective (et qui par ailleurs peut intéresser les enseignants d’autres disciplines). Des exemples de feedback seront proposés dans des domaines qui nous concernent dans l’enseignement des cultures et des langues étrangères : la formation des étudiants en langue, la préparation de futurs enseignants de langue, et notre propre formation en tant qu’enseignants universitaires. Ce dernier point est développé en lien avec le projet européen SHOUT4HE, sur les pratiques éducatives libres dans le supérieur.

Au séminaire CAP à l’UCA le 17 septembre 2019.

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AILA 2020: L2 studies and didactique des langues symposium

While applied linguistics is a common English umbrella term including research on the teaching and learning of second languages, or second language studies, the term linguistique appliquée is no longer commonly used by scholars working in French, who prefer the term didactique des langues to highlight a focus on teaching rather than learning. Such divergences in research traditions in different AILA member countries have resulted in fragmentation of the field and often miscommunication. The Crosslinguistic perspectives on L2 studies network seeks to improve collaboration across French-speaking and English-speaking scholarly communities by offering a forum for participants to compare terms and concepts in second language acquisition, second and foreign language teaching, educational linguistics, and didactique des langues (DDL) across the two languages.

This symposium invites contributions on:
– crosslinguistic research on epistemological, methodological, or historical traditions in French and English language education and intercultural studies;
– comparative studies of French and English research in any subfield of applied linguistics related to the teaching and learning of the two languages and cultures (e.g., SLA, CALL, study abroad, teacher education, intercultural competence);
– corpus linguistics research on terminology employed in French and English pedagogical reports, textbooks, or research publications in L2 studies and DDL.

Didactique des langues et second language studies : quelles intersections pour quelle linguistique appliquée ?

PRELA Symposium

Crosslinguistic perspectives on second/foreign language education: challenges and opportunities

Lyon 24 juin 2019 (voir programme)

Organisation : Shona Whyte (Nice), Henry Tyne (Perpignan)

Interventions (6) : Alex Boulton (U Lorraine), Martin Howard (Cork), Françoise Olmo Cazevieille (Valencia), Denyze Toffoli (Strasbourg), Henry Tyne, Shona Whyte

En introduction S. Whyte évoque la place de l’AFLA et du réseau de recherche Crosslinguistic Perspectives (AILA ReN) dans le paysage de recherches francophones avec un retour sur l’histoire de la linguistique appliquée (LA) à partir des années 1950. Dès 1965 les chercheurs en lexicologie, traitement automatique des langues, même en linguistique de l’énonciation ont quitté la LA : c’est l’exception française. La didactique des langues (DDL) s’est construite en France à partir des années 1970 par opposition d’une part à une linguistique appliquée déjà abandonnée, d’autre part aux travaux en méthodologie et en formation des enseignants du FLE, et enfin également à l’exclusion des recherches en acquisition d’une langue seconde (domaine psycholinguistique qui prend forme en France au début des années 1980). Quelles intersections aujourd’hui entre L2 studies et DDL pour quelles finalités ?

Dans une première partie du symposium sur la linguistique de corpus, H. Tyne évoque la diversité de pratiques dans la constitution de corpus écrits et oraux (Boulton & Tyne 2014) et cite Williams (2005) pour admettre les corpus littéraires et non-constitués. Quant à l’utilisation des corpus dans l’enseignement des langues, dans les recherches anglosaxonnes le mot corpus renvoit au développement de la lexicographie, alors qu’en France il est associé surtout aux travaux de Blanche-Benveniste (Blanche-Benveniste et Jeanjean 1987). A. Boulton interroge les pratiques de synthèse de la recherche devenue très courante dans notre domaine. Il prend pour exemple ses propres travaux en apprentissage sur corpus (ASC en français, DDL pour data-driven learning en anglais) et distingue deux types de procédé : la méta-analyse et la synthèse narrative (Boulton & Cobb 2017). Son exposé souligne d’importantes divergences de méthodes, analyses et résultats dans les synthèses et met en garde contre la tentation pour les auteurs de trier sur le volet (cherrypick results). Dans son intervention sur la terminologie en traduction, F. Olmo Cazevieille explique le travail terminographique qui se base sur des corpus de textes scientifiques et techniques et qui permet de faire face à des difficultés telles que absences de terme ou néologismes (Cabré 2016). Ce travail comprend la constitution de fiches terminologiques et la création de glossaires electroniques et peut être entrepris en projet collaboratifs avec des étudiants.

Dans une deuxième partie sur l’enseignement-apprentissage d’une L2, D.Toffoli interroge la relation entre l’apprentissage informel et d’autres moments d’apprentissage. Le domaine de l’apprentissage informel comprend plusieurs acronymes : OILE (online informal learning of English); IDLE (informal digital learning of English); AIAL (apprentissage informel de l’anglais en ligne) et AILL (apprentissage informel des langues en ligne). Les liens et les différences entre enseignement et apprentissage posent également problème et la théorie des systèmes complexes permet de prendre en compte certaines difficultés liées à la complexité de la langue, de l’apprentissage ou de l’apprenant. Notre statut de bilingues et de biculturels nous donne accès à la polysémie avec ses possibilités multiples.

Pour sa part M. Howard évoque un contexte d’apprentissage L2 bien particulier et parfois négligé par enseignants et chercheurs : study abroad (SA), qualifié par Coleman de milieu ‘pseudo-naturel’ (Regan, Howard & Lemée 2009). Il s’agit d’un groupe très divers (court ou long séjour, école / collège-lycée / université) désormais reconnu comme sous-domaine de la LA. L’occasion d’approfondir nos connaissances du domaine est proposé par le projet européen SAREP (study abroad research in European perspective, 150 membres travaillent sur des langues différentes) axé sur des notions clés telles que l’input, development, social integration, individual differences, interculturality – autant de termes qui sont difficilement traduisibles. La dernière communication par S. Whyte reprend les termes acquisition and learning puis communicative competence pour montrer les différentes interprétations des chercheurs travaillant en anglais et en français (Cuq 2006, Galisson & Coste 1976). Elle rappelle le distinguo fait par Long (2017) entre instructed second language acquisition (ISLA) et language teaching research, ce dernier se rapprochant de la didactique des langues. Elle propose également l’exemple d’une étude récente par Pfenninger et Singleton (2018) sur l’apprentissage de l’anglais en milieu scolaire (en Suisse) comme type de recherche qui permet de faire collaborer didacticiens et acquisitionnistes travaillant en français dans une linguistique appliquée renouvelée.

A la suite des interventions les participants soulèvent des questions de recherches en apprentissage précoce d’une L2, et sur la motivation des apprenants. Surviennent également des questions sur le rôle de l’enseignant par rapport à l’autonomie de l’apprenant, la question de cadres et de repères théoriques, l’exploitation des corpus pour l’enseignement-apprentissage des langues (selon de Bot 2015, la première définition de la linguistique appliquée concerne ‘la solution de problèmes du monde réel avec les outils de la linguistique’). Quelle serait l’utilité d’une étude de corpus de recherches en L2 studies et didactiquqe des langues pour dessiner les contours du domaine et souligner des points de divergence et de convergence dans les deux langues ?

Bibliographie

Blanche-Benveniste, C., & Jeanjean, C. (1987). Le français parlé: transcription et édition. Éditions Interco.

Boulton, A., & Cobb, T. (2017). Corpus use in language learning: A meta‐analysis. Language Learning, 67(2), 348-393.

Boulton, A., & Tyne, H. (2014). Des documents authentiques aux corpus. Didier.

Cabré, T. (2016). 2 La terminologie. Manuel des langues de spécialité, 12, 68.

Cuq, J. P. (2006). Dictionnaire de didactique du français langue étrangère et seconde.

De Bot, K. (2015). A history of applied linguistics: From 1980 to the present. Routledge.

Galisson, R., & Coste, D. (1976). Dictionnaire de didactique des langues: la conception de l’ensemble de l’ouvrage. Paris: Hachette.

Long, M. H. (2017). Instructed second language acquisition (ISLA): Geopolitics, methodological issues, and some major research questions. Instructed Second Language Acquisition, 1(1), 7-44.

Pfenninger, S. E., & Singleton, D. (2018). Starting age overshadowed: The primacy of differential environmental and input effects on L2 attainment in an instructional context. Language Learning.

Regan, V., Howard, M., & Lemée, I. (2009). The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in a study abroad context (Vol. 40). Multilingual Matters.

Williams G. (éd.). 2005. La linguistique de corpus. Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes.

Talking data: managing audio and video recordings for language analysis

Our doctoral students are doing fieldwork and here are some recommendations for managing data once recordings (audio, video) are complete.

Language data typically involve a series of recordings — interviews, classroom interaction, presentations — and it’s important to have an overview of the full data set both to organise the analysis and for subsequent presentation (discussion with advisers, preparing articles, writing chapters of the thesis).


Saving data

  1. Backup: download your recordings to your computer as soon as possible after recording. Decide how to label your files in a way that makes sense to you, and make a Word file to record your decisions to help remember your system. Back up your files immediately online and/or to an external drive to make sure nothing is lost.
  2. Field notes: write up notes on the recording sessions as soon as possible. Include details of participants, dates and times, impressions, incidents, questions that occurred to you at the time or as you write your notes. Write profiles for key participants (age, gender, role, background).
  3. Anonymising data: choose pseudonyms or codes to identify participants and keep a file where personal data is recorded. Data protection rules generally call for this information to be kept separately from the rest of your data (e.g., on paper).

Preparing data for analysis

  1. Make spreadsheets to provide an overview of recordings. Include details such as date, participants, type of interaction, length of interaction in columns, using a new row for each recording. You can include a column where you link to the file in question or at least record the filename. If you use Dropbox or Google Drive you will have a revision history where you can recover older versions of files in case of errors, but it’s good practice to back up elsewhere also.
  2. Also include preliminary categories for analysis: since you are going to watch/listen to your recordings as you save and label your files, you can include details which strike you as similar or different across interactions, such as particular speech acts, interesting quotes, or repeated use of particular words and expressions.
  3. You can also have a column for brief notes with questions or comments about the recording which may also help keep track of intuitions and ideas which occur to you during this phase. This part of the work can be interesting and gratifying because it’s your first approach to your data, and will hopefully spark ideas which you should write down before you forget. It’s also a fastidious and repetitive process, and allowing yourself to reflect on what’s interesting and relevant to your project should help maintain motivation.

Starting age overshadowed: Pfenninger and Singleton (2018)

Here’s a great open access paper in Language Learning on the vexed question of early foreign language (FL) teaching, once again calling into question the “early start” policies favoured by parents and policymakers. Here are the bibliographic details:

Starting Age Overshadowed: The Primacy of Differential Environmental and Family Support Effects on Second Language Attainment in an Instructional Context

Simone E. Pfenninger, University of Salzburg

David Singleton, University of Pannonia/Trinity College Dublin

Photo by Marvin Ronsdorf on Unsplash

Keywords age factor; multilingualism; bilingual advantage; young learners; early foreign language learning

The study looks at EFL learning in primary and secondary schools in a German-speaking region of Switzerland with a view to taking home language and other language experience into account, unlike previous early start research. It compares “monolingual” pupils who spoke German at home with “bilinguals” with a different home language, including recent migrants, and includes age of onset (AO) of English learning as well as home language variables, including family support. Since bilingualism is thought to influence L3 learning differentially for early (simultaneous) and late (sequential) bilinguals, and to include a role for literacy, these variables are also included in the study. (Access the full paper here – no paywall.)

The researchers followed pupils over 5 years in order to investigate the effect of age of onset on L2 English proficiency and the role of family support on bilingual and biliteracy development. Participants were some 600 pupils starting secondary school (age 13): 300 early learners, who began EFL as primary school pupils aged 8, and a similar number of late learners, secondary school pupils just starting English. Within these groups, four subdivisions were made

  1. 200 monolinguals with Swiss German as home language and Standard German at school (literacy); they also had French L2
  2. 144 biliterate simultaneous bilinguals
  3. 107 simultaneous bilinguals literate only in German
  4. 185 sequential bilinguals, literate only in German

Pupils were thus learning EFL as an L3 and L2 of literacy in the case of the monolinguals, and an L4 and L3 of literacy for the second group, L2 of literacy for the third and fourth. The home languages included Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, Serbian, Albanian, Arabic, and Italian and were balanced across early and late groups. Bilingualism was reported, not tested, and parental biodata confirmed no socio-economic discrepancies between bilingual and monolingual groups.

Sociolinguistic context was measured by questionnaire, covering

  • books in the home
  • parental support (indirect = English proficiency, direct = English homework help)
  • parental attitudes regarding English

Six EFL proficiency measures were used, all tested and piloted in 2008 with some 50 pupils:

  • listening comprehension (B2)
  • receptive vocabulary
  • productive vocabulary
  • written lexical richness, complexity/fluency/accuracy
  • oral lexical richness, complexity/fluency/accuracy
  • grammaticality judgement

Here’s what Pfenninger and Singleton found:

In all four groups, an earlier AO was a significant predictor of 60% of the tested FL skills at the beginning of secondary school […] Specifically, in each group, the early starters outperformed the late starters in receptive vocabulary, written lexical richness, written fluency, oral lexical richness, oral accuracy, and written grammaticality judgments.

The late group performed less well on all those measures at the start of secondary education, but parity on written and oral complexity, written accuracy and oral fluency was reached after only six months, and by the end of obligatory schooling, 5 years later, no difference remained outside the lexical richness measure. These results show that the late learners made much more progress than the early group over the five years of secondary schooling.

Bilingualism had no effect on results – the monolingual group did not perform differently from the various bilingual groups. However, there was an effect for biliteracy: the early starters among this group outperformed their late-starting counterparts in productive and receptive vocabulary, written lexical richness and fluency, and oral complexity. The authors see this pattern as “reminiscent of age effects in naturalistic settings” (p. 221).

Concerning the second research question regarding environmental effects, it turned out that once data concerning parental attitudes and behaviours were included in the analyses, these variables proved more important predictors of learning outcomes than age of onset. Books at home, parental EFL proficiency and attitudes had a strong influence on results, and these variables also interacted with bilingualism

In the authors’ words,

bilingualism was effective only in combination with in/direct parental support and positive parental attitudes

The same result was found for biliteracy:

biliteracy was always better than monoliteracy, and family involvement/encouragement was always better than no involvement, as the main effects establish. However, biliteracy together with environmental support was particularly effective, compared to either bilingualism or environmental support alone.

The biliteracy group had much more parental support from parents with consistently more positive attitudes to FL learning and multilingualism.

[The authors conclude the results section with a caution regarding random effects, of which they found a good deal: tests like ANOVA, without the cluster-randomised design used here, will be vulnerable to Type-I errors and may “suggest age effects which are not really there” (p. 224)]

The study concludes that age effects are less important in the acquisition of a FL at school than proponents of an early start often think. It showed that any advantage which early starters had over late starters was largely erased by the start of secondary school, and completely washed out five years later, by age 17-18. Bilingual and monolingual pupils in the Swiss EFL classes learned English to the same standard. Only bilingual children who were also literate in both languages maintained the advantage of an early start compared with late-starting counterparts at age 18. The authors entertain hypotheses regarding the cognitive advantage of bilingualism and biliteracy, but prefer an explanation based on the home environment, particularly parental support. They suggest intense parental involvement in a child’s FL learning mirrors naturalistic L2 acquisition and provides “a similar sense of this learning meeting family goals and of its being integrated into family life.”

The authors conclude with a call for more multidisciplinary research to accommodate the sociolinguistic dimensions uncovered in this study. They suggest pedagogy, learner motivation, and attitudes of teachers and peers as factors which warrant further research.