Research axis n°3: Didactics

Contacts: Cédric Brudermann, Cédric Sarré

Questioning the issues arising in the field of language didactics means adopting an epistemological stance by considering key notions such as identifying the object of research, theoretical choices, and methodological approaches (e.g., quasi-experimental study, action research, research and development, ethnomethodology). Research in language didactics necessarily relies on a theoretical exploration which expands to various empirical sciences, including linguistics. Our research is, therefore, based on applied linguistics, that is to say, on a fully “scientific” approach to the humanities.

Among the components of this approach to language didactics, the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning plays a special, but not exclusive, part. The ever more massive use of digital technologies has, indeed, opened up new perspectives for research in didactics. New opportunities for experimentation and observation are multiplying: hybrid learning, face-to-face instruction, and online activities, mentoring, contact with peers, communities of learning and practice, formal and informal learning, use of corpora for learning purposes, etc. These new frameworks (current or future) are opening up many new avenues for research in acquisition and learning in general. Researchers will have to adopt the appropriate distance from their work and methodological requirements by bearing in mind that the most relevant element for a didactic approach is not the technologies per se but the analysis of their impact on language learning.

The Lansad sector (Language for specialists of other subjects), which deals with very heterogeneous audiences (regarding their level and/or motivation) and very diverse organisations (depending on the number of hours, the type of training, available resources and scenarios, the fact that students may not study the same major, etc.), is also a field in which pedagogical innovations can be quite easily implemented. Because of its complexity, it also offers a vast array of possibilities for research in didactics.

Thus, the multiple facets of language didactics will be explored within this research area by tracking the evolution of the issues and theoretical frameworks and by following a reasoned and coherent methodology.