Outils numériques pour l’enseignement des langues

Une formation sur le numérique pour les langues de spécialité au Pôle langues à Paris 2 avec l’accent sur quelques outils gratuits simples et des exemples de mise en oeuvre dans des activités pédagogiques qui visent une communication spontanée et le travail collaboratif, et permettent un feedback individualisé par l’enseignant.


Outils numériques pour travailler en langues dans le supérieur

Des tutoriels courts avec un bref descriptif, lien internet, idées pédagogiques, puis petit guide de prise en main ; également des outils comparables et un mot sur les inconvénients éventuels.

Exemples de pratique

1. Un projet de storytelling

Donner des retours individuels et collectifs sur une production orale en utilisant

2. Re-écriture d’un conte

Partage de ressources libres et rédaction collaborative sur Google Docs

Pour aller plus loin

Mieux comprendre l’enseignement-apprentissage par tâches

Monter un projet télécollaboratif

Les ressources et les pratiques éducatives libres (REL, PEL)

  • Déclaration de Paris sur les ressources éducatives libres 2012 PDF
  • Kurek, M. & Skowron, A. (2015). Going open with LangOER. PDF



Is task-based language teaching just a variation on presentation-practice-production?

Many language teachers are interested in the question of what makes a task a task. Pre-service teachers are often under pressure to conform to some see as the hegemony of task-based language teaching (TBLT) which they feel is imposed on teachers by the Common European Reference framework (CER). They want to know whether their textbook which claim to follow CER principles offer genuinely task-based teaching activities. Or they wonder how the demands of “authentic” language use associated with TBLT can be squared with the seemingly artificial language used in the foreign language classroom where everyone shares a native language.

Teacher educators, too, struggle with strong versions of a task-based approach, as opposed to weaker, task-supported incarnations, which often seem to overlap with the production phase of the PPP approach, where structures are Presented and Practiced with the teacher before learners are encourage to Produce their own contributions. Does this seem a reasonable compromise, or does it mean abandoning the principles of TBLT?

In the slides above I summarise two articles, one by Jason Anderson in defence of PPP, and another by Rod Ellis, one of the main proponents of TBLT. Anderson argues that PPP has admirably stood the test of time and is suited to a wider range of teaching contexts than TBLT. Ellis, on the other hand, defends TBLT against a number of misconceptions about this approach, and to my mind invalidates many of Anderson’s points. My own view is that TBLT is quite different from PPP, and that there are good reasons, related to how languages are learned, to favour TBLT (see Jordan for instance).

Update 15/03/17: more from Jordan on Two versions of task-based language teaching, drawing in Long’s book on TBLT and SLA, and Breen’s process syllabus.

Anderson, J. (2016). Why practice makes perfect sense: the past, present and potential future of the PPP paradigm in language teacher education. Practice, 19.

Ellis, R. (2013). Task-based language teaching: Responding to the critics. University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, 8(1), 1-27.

Jordan, G. Principles and practice. Critical EFL.

Resources, tools, and training: Open educational practices for language teaching

Open educational practice: taking care in the design and creation of digital materials with a view to future sharing and repurposing, working towards a goal of sustainable development for (language) teachers.

I ran a workshop for language teachers at the University of Limerick covering a range of resources, tools, and networks to try and answer some of these questions.
  • How can teachers best select teaching and learning materials and adapt them to their own particular needs?
  • Which digital tools are most versatile, and how can they be integrated into learning activities?
  • And what can teachers do as their careers progress to try and keep up with technological innovation?

From open resources to open practices

We talked about the Paris Declaration on Open Educational Resources, and how open resources lead to open practices. My own epiphany about openness came when teaching a course on technology in language education to a group of teachers of several European languages. The course encouraged participants to share teaching resources publicly, and some of my students’ selections – for languages I don’t speak – were picked up by colleagues at other universities.

work that would otherwise be invisible or lost to the wider community once a course assignment is completed here can be recovered and exploited by others

Read the full paper

I used Google forms for a background questionnaire to gauge participants’ interests and knowledge, then we used Padlet to share open resources collected by myself and others using the curation platform Scoop.it. (See the resources.)

One of the difficulties in supporting language teachers in integrating technology is the vast array of digital tools at our disposal. Conventional wisdom suggests focusing on pedagogical objectives rather than the affordances of tools, so we looked at a task I used with one of my undergraduate EFL students: a story slam based on the Moth format.

A storytelling task

In my university EFL class, I used the open resources from the Moth website to set the task and provide examples for my students. I think this makes a decent task because it meets most of the criteria for task-based language teaching: it’s a real-world activity (target language speakers do it), there’s a clear outcome (a story that meets certain pre-determined standards), and learners have freedom in the language they choose to use.

There are also opportunities for reflection and collaboration, because the Moth also has a transcription system where volunteers can check and correct automatic transcriptions of existing stories. Students used the audio platform SoundCloud and Google forms to allow students to record their own stories as they performed in class, upload and safeguard their recordings, and share with the teacher. I used the canned response gadget in the Labs section of Gmail to provide individual feedback to students, together with a link to a blogpost with ideas for work on pronunciation. I tried to encourage reflection with a post-task activity where students were asked to react to this feedback.

Incidentally, as I prepared my introductory lesson for my students using a specific Moth story, I cleaned up the machine transcription of the story so that my students could analyse the storyteller’s technique and language. In so doing, I made my own small contribution to the Moth project by leaving a full, correct transcription for others to use (either native-speaking storytellers or L2 learners). This provides an argument for openness in itself, and one which also suggests another type of task where learners perform this transcription checking task themselves, to work on listening and writing skills.

Most of the links to the activities and tools for this storytelling task are here.

Playing safe and playing fair

Of course, open education also imposes some particular requirements on teachers and learners. It’s important to respect learners’ privacy and make sure we have permission to share their work. With adults this can often be done simply using the following suggestions:

  • ask learners to create their own accounts on free platforms
  • allow learners to choose pseudonyms if work is shared publicly
  • offer the chance to share only with specific individuals (e.g., the teacher) or a restricted group of learners
  • remind learners to hide or remove files, or delete their accounts once the course is completed.

Similarly, both teachers and learners need to respect the intellectual property of others. Gosia Kurek and Anna Skowron produced a very useful guide to help language teachers understand what can be shared and how, as part of the LangOER project. This guide also has up-to-date references to places to find images that can be used freely without attribution, for example.

Going further for language teachers

The last section of my presentation (see slides above) includes telecollaborative platforms and some reflection on my experience in teacher education in this area. We didn’t get that far in Limerick, but in the interests of openness it’s still there.

It was great to hear about work in languages at the University of Limerick with Catherine Jeanneau, including a French-language debating team (another real-world task) and a very active Facebook page.

And as a quick coda to the session, we looked at Plickers, a paper-based clicker app that allows learners to respond to multiple choice questions by holding up QR codes which the teacher records using the app on their phone. Results can be displayed in a browser at plickers.com and projected for the class to see. I like this tool for myself because I don’t always have internet access in class. For the secondary school teachers I train, it can be used in schools where pupils are not allowed to use phones in class. In Limerick, however, the teachers were working with adult learners who all had smartphones with wifi access: they showed me Kahoot, which offers similar opportunities for their teaching context.


Kurek, M. & Skowron, A. (2015). Going open with LangOER. PDF

Paris Declaration on Open Educational Resources PDF

Whyte, S. (2014). Bridging gaps : Using social media to develop techno-pedagogical competences in pre-service language teacher education. Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité – Cahiers de l’APLIUT, 33(2):143-169.


ITILT: Interactive Teaching In Language with Technologies


iTILT, Interactive Teaching in Languages with Technology, is a professional development project to support interactive approaches to language teaching with classroom technologies.  The project builds on a previous project involving 44 teachers of 6 languages at 4 different educational levels in 7 countries, all using the IWB for language teaching. An open educational web resource was developed which includes over 250 video clips of IWB-mediated language teaching practice (http://itilt.eu); we also published a collective volume with case studies of IWB use in language education (Cutrim Schmid & Whyte, 2014) and a research monograph focusing on collaborative action research in a task-based framework (Whyte, 2015).

The new three year project moves beyond the IWB to focus on developing effective teaching and learning of second languages with a wider range of new and emerging interactive technologies (such as tablets, smartphones and video). It involves supporting teachers in task-based approaches to technology integration though observation, reflection and sharing via an online community of practice.

We will briefly present ways to exploit iTILT’s currently available resources in teacher education and continuing professional development (Koenraad et al., 2013) and report on the interim results of the new project, including examples of technology-mediated language tasks.

LPM Saarland: Links to slides, resources, and activities from webinar, 21 November 2016


Shona Whyte, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, France.
Ton Koenraad, TELLConsult, Netherlands


  1. iTILT: interactive technologies in language teaching itilt.eu


2.Task-based language teaching

  • Criteria for TBLT
  • ITILT video examples (video selfie exchange, video report, video communication)

3. ITILT 2: Interactive Teaching In Languages with Technology www.itilt2.eu






LPM Saarland: Links to slides, resources, and activities from webinar, 21 November 2016, including

  • presentation slides
  • 90 minute webinar recording (Adobe Connect)
  • video feedback activities with participant input (Padlet)
  • links to participant background questionnaire (Google Forms – see below)

Taking to task(s): Task design and CALL

Taking to task(s): Exploring task design by novice language teachers in technology-mediated and non-technological activities

XVII International CALL research conference. Tarragona, Spain, 6-8 July 2015.

This paper examines language teaching and learning activities in EFL classes in the French secondary school context with the aim of understanding factors affecting the design and implementation of such tasks. Participants are pre-service teachers in a university Masters in Teaching English programme with a practical component involving classroom observation and teaching. These student teachers designed communicative activities following a common design brief which leaves the technological component open (Samuda, 2005). Data include teaching materials and activity descriptions, reflective writing, questionnaire data, semi-structured individual and group interviews, and practitioner analysis of learner language. Analysis combines coding of the resulting tasks (Erlam, 2015) with qualitative analysis of questionnaire, interview and reflective writing data. Results suggest wide variation in proposed teaching and learning activities, in the design process, and in reflection on classroom implementation in both technology-mediated and non-technological tasks.

Task design & language learning and teaching

The design of language teaching and learning activities as defined broadly with the terms “task” and “exercise” in the theme of the conference has recently emerged as an important issue in second language teaching research. Viewed as an element of materials development alongside implementation, evaluation, and analysis of materials (Tomlinson, 2012), task design has long been considered a practical activity which is “still largely a practitioner-led practice, not always informed by theories of learning” (Reinders & White, 2010). Task-based and task-oriented teaching have however begun to attract increasing research interest both in technology-mediated contexts (Doughty & Long, 2003; Thomas & Reinders, 2010; Van den Branden et al., 2007) and in non-technological environments (Bygate et al., 2001; Ellis, 2003, 2009; Johnson, 2003; Samuda, 2005).  Indeed, pedagogy and design, as opposed to the integration of technologies per se, have recently been identified by leading CALL figures as both current areas of interest and priorities for ongoing research in our field (Colpaert, 2013; Levy et al., 2015). The academic study of task design offers the chance to improve our understanding of language learning opportunities in the (physical and virtual) language classroom and our models of professional development for language teachers.

Practitioner involvement via action research (Burns, 2005), for instance, or teacher engagement with research more generally, can contribute both to this research enterprise directly and to continuing teacher development.  In recent reviews of research in this area, Borg (2010, 2013) highlights the role of teacher research engagement in helping teachers reflect on their planning and decision-making processes, and thus in promoting “new ways of thinking.” Research in task planning has examined one aspect of this process using think-aloud protocols to study communicative activities developed by expert practitioners and materials writers using the same prompt or “design brief” (Johnson, 2003; Samuda, 2005).  These researchers call for further work to include both more diverse contexts (beyond the commonly studied university or private adult ESL class) and data on the actual implementation of the tasks designed by participants.

The present study seeks to address this gap in the literature by investigating task design and implementation in state school settings and by looking at new teachers rather than expert task designers.  It constitutes a partial replication of the Johnson and Samuda studies to investigate how novice EFL teachers design and implement tasks with their learners and the technological opportunities and constraints of their own classrooms.  By avoiding a specific focus on technology in the design brief, data can be collected on both technological and non-technological tasks and information gathered on the impact of technological considerations on the task design process. In this way, the study sheds light on how new teachers take to tasks in the process of becoming ELT professionals.

Baralt, M., Gilabert, R. & Robinson, P. (2014) (Eds.), Task Sequencing and Instructed Second Language Learning, (pp. 1-34). London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Bonnet, G. (2007). The CEFR and education policies in Europe. The Modern Language Journal, 91(4), 669-672.

Borg, S. (2013). Teacher research in language teaching: A critical analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Borg, S. (2010). Language teacher research engagement. Language Teacher, 43(4), 391–429.

Breen, M. P. (1987). Learner contributions to task design. In C. N. Candlin, & D. Murphy (Eds.), Language learning tasks. Lancaster Practical Papers in English Language Education, Vol. 7 (pp. 23-46). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall International.

Breen, M. P., Hird, B., Milton, M., Oliver, R., & Thwaite, A. (2001). Making sense of language teaching: Teachers’ principles and classroom practices. Applied linguistics, 22(4), 470-501.

Burns, A. (2005). Action research: An evolving paradigm? Language Teaching, 38(2), 57–74.

Butler, Y. G. (2011). The implementation of communicative and task-based language teaching in the Asia-Pacific region. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 36-57.

Bygate, M., Skehan, P and Swain, M. (Eds.) (2001). Researching pedagogical tasks: second language learning, teaching, and assessment. London: Pearson.

Byrnes, H. (2007). Perspectives. The Modern Language Journal, 91(4), 641-5.

Carless, D. (2009). Revisiting the TBLT versus PPP debate: Voices from Hong Kong. Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 19(1), 49-66.

Colpaert, J. (2013). Sustainability and research challenges in CALL. WorldCALL Glasgow.

Cutrim Schmid, E. & Whyte, S. (2012). Interactive Whiteboards in School Settings: Teacher Responses to Socio-constructivist Hegemonies.  Language Learning and Technology 16 (2), 65-86.

Doughty, C., & Long. M.(2003). Optimal psycholinguistic environments for distance foreign language learning. Language Learning and Technology, 7(3), 50-75.

Ellis, R. (2009). Task-based language teaching: sorting out the misunderstandings. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 19(3), 221-246.

Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Erlam, R. (2015). ‘I’m still not sure what a task is’: Teachers designing language tasks. Language Teaching Research.

Erlam, R. (2013). Listing and comparing tasks in the language classroom: Examples of Willis and Willis’s (2007) taxonomy in practice. The New Zealand Language Teacher, 39,7-14.

Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2015). Spanish instructors’ operationalisation of task complexity and task sequencing in foreign language lessons. The Language Learning Journal, (ahead-of-print), 1-20.

Johnson, K. (2003). Designing Language Teaching Tasks. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Krahnke, K. (1987). Approaches to Syllabus Design for Foreign Language Teaching. Language in Education: Theory and Practice. New York: Prentice-Hall.

Lee, J. (2000). Tasks and Communicating in Language Classrooms. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Levy, M., Hubbard, P., Stockwell, G., & Colpaert, J. (2015). Research challenges in CALL. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 28(1), 1-6.

Little, D. (2006). The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Content, purpose, origin, reception and impact. Language Teaching, 39(3), 167-190.

Littlewood, W. (2004). The task-based approach: Some questions and suggestions. ELT journal, 58(4), 319-326.

Long, M. H. (1985). A role for instruction in second language acquisition: Task-based language teaching. Modelling and assessing second language acquisition. In Hyltenstam, K., & Pienemann, M. (Eds.). (1985). Modelling and assessing second language acquisition. (pp. 77-99). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Narcy-Combes, J.-P. (2006). Deux modes de fonctionnement mémoriel en production langagière et tâches d’apprentissage des langues. Cahiers de l’APLIUT, 25(2), 77-87.

Nunan, D. (2004). Task-Based Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reinders, H. & White, C. (2010). The theory and practice of technology in materials development and task design. In: Harwood, N. (Ed.). Materials in ELT: Theory and Practice (p. 58-80). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Samuda, V. (2007). Tasks, design, and the architecture of pedagogic spaces. Unpublished plenary presented at the Second International Conference on Task-Based Language Teaching, University of Hawai’i. Available at: http://www.hawaii.edu/tblt2007/PP/presentations.htm.

Samuda, V. (2005). Expertise in pedagogic task design. In K. Johnson (ed.), Expertise in second language learning and teaching. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 230–254.

Skehan, P. (1998). A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thomas, M. & Reinders, H. (Eds.) 2010. Task-Based Language Teaching and Technology. New York: Continuum.

Tomlinson, B. (2012). Materials development for language learning and teaching. Language Teaching, 45(2), 143-179.

Van den Branden, K. (2009). Diffusion and implementation of innovations. In M. Long & C. Doughty (Eds.), The handbook of language teaching (pp. 659–72). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Van den Branden, K. (2006). Introduction: task-based language teaching in a nutshell? In K. Van den Branden (Ed.), Task-based language education: From theory to practice. (1-16). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Van den Branden, K., Van Gorp, K., & Verhelst, M. (Eds.) (2007), Tasks in action: Task-based language education from a classroom-based perspective. Cambridge Scholars.

Whyte, S., & Alexander, J. (2014). Implementing tasks with interactive technologies in classroom CALL: towards a developmental framework. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40 (1), 1-26.

Willis, J. (1996). A Framework for Task-based learning. Harlow: Longman.

Bio data

Shona Whyte is associate professor of English at the University of Nice where she teaches EFL and TEFL and researches classroom interaction, interactive technologies, and teacher education. Recent work focuses on the integration of the interactive whiteboard by language teachers (Implementing and Researching Technological Innovation in Language Teaching, Palgrave Macmillan; Teaching languages with technology, Bloomsbury).

Authenticity in the FL classroom

How can we offer an “authentic” experience to second language learners in a foreign context?  Is authentic language use at all possible for secondary school pupils in France, for example, who share French as a native language and have no special need to learn English beyond its presence in the curriculum?


I have talked about differences between pedagogical exercises and communicative tasks elsewhere.  But here are three other ideas worth considering:

Spontaneous language use

Authenticity can come from using language in an unplanned, spontaneous way.  Instead of practising language forms, memorising rules or words in isolation, simply using the language to communicate meaning can be a more natural, and so authentic approach.  Gavin Lamb discusses this in relation to language and then to music on his Leaky Grammar blog.  He has this quote:

“Improvisation can be considered the fifth skill — the skill which follows reading, listening, speaking, and writing. In many ways, it is the most important because it is the real test of whether students can use what they have learned without being told exactly what to do or say.” (Maurer, 1997)

Read more from here.

Content and language integrated instruction

If the meaning communicated by teachers and learners relates to learning new information in a particular discipline, then we are in the domain of CLIL, sometimes called CBI (Content-Based Instruction).  This type of teaching and learning brings its own problems, notably how to articulate the presentation and evaluation of new content and new language at the same time.  The advantage, however, is in providing a ready-made context for learning: learner needs, resources and activities related to the discipline in question.

I’m happy to see these Dutch Kennisnet CLIL videos are still accessible online: try this short video on pair and group work, for example.

Authentic texts

Finally, Genevieve White has an example of authentic texts and tasks for lower-level proficiency EFL learners.  She has the advantage of working with second language learners who need survival English to live in the UK, rather than the foreign language, school population learning English for No Obvious Reason (Medgyes, 1986).

FL teachers are used to adapting such tasks by simply pretending: planning a possible trip/visit/application … The authenticity here lies in the resources, not written specially for language learners, and in the design, implementation and evaluation of the activities.  It’s easy to trip up here and end up with exercises to practice language forms rather than communicative activities, so some caveats are worth mentioning.

I suggest the following: activities should be

  • worth doing in the native language,
  • set up to model and encourage actual collaboration (as opposed to minimal, unsupervised cooperation)
  • evaluated in terms of content, not just language accuracy.

Easier said than done, on the whole, but worth a try.

Going further

Erkan Kulekci’s blog has a good bibliography for this topic, and led me to Peacock (1997) and an impressive empirical study in Language Learning by Alex Gilmore, who conducted a 10-month study with some 60 Japanese university EFL learners, half of whom were taught from textbooks and half using authentic materials.

The results of this study strongly suggest that the authentic materials used with the experimental group in the investigation were better able to develop a range of communicative competencies in the learners than the two EFL textbooks used with the control group. This finding was predicted on the grounds that the authentic materials, with their associated tasks and activities, provided richer input for learners to work with in the classroom, which, in turn, allowed them to notice and then acquire a wider variety of linguistic, pragmatic, strategic, and discourse features. The consciousness-raising was therefore facilitated by (a) providing participants with rich input and (b) drawing learners’ attention to useful features through careful task design and follow-up practice activities

Gilmore used a battery of tests to measure subjects’ communicative competence and includes a very interesting discussion of each to tease out the effects of authentic materials on different aspects of language learning.  His conclusion, unsurprisingly, favours the use authentic materials, but is very sanguine about the difficulties of this approach.


Gilmore, A. (2011). “I Prefer Not Text”: Developing Japanese Learners’ Communicative Competence with Authentic Materials. Language Learning, 61(3), 786-819.

Kulekci, E. Relatively authentic. WordPress blog.

Maurer, Jay. (1997). Presentation, Practice, and Production in the EFL Class. The Language Teacher Online, 21 (9), 42-45.

Medgyes, P. (1986). Queries from a communicative teacher. ELT journal, 40(2), 107-112. PDF

Peacock, M. (1997). The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of EFL learners. ELT Journal, 51 (2), pp. 144–156. PDF

Whyte, S., & Alexander, J. (2014). Implementing tasks with interactive technologies in classroom CALL: towards a developmental framework. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40 (1), 1-26. PDF