Enseigner les langues-cultures à l’ère de la complexité / Teaching Language and Culture in an Era of Complexity
Approches interdisciplinaires pour un monde en reliance / Interdisciplinary Approaches for an Interrelated World
Edited By Joëlle Aden, Trevor Grimshaw and Hermine Penz
INTRODUCTION. Relating Universes of Beliefs to the Language Classroom. A European View (David Newby) 15
15 INTRODUCTION Relating Universes of Beliefs to the Language Classroom A European View David NEWBY University of Graz (Austria) The title of the conference at the Université de Cergy-Pontoise in- cludes two terms that point both to the diversity and to the complexity of themes discussed during the three days of presentations and workshops. These terms are univers de croyance, which brings with it not only a universe of beliefs but also a universe of accompanying theories, and reliance, or interdependence, which presents researchers with the task of finding a principled coherence and a unified paradigm within which theoretical insights and research findings may be made accessible and relevant to teachers of languages and culture. This is a daunting task, even more so in the light of what Joëlle Aden refers to in her conference introduction as the “asymmetries” to be found in current language teaching: “Une asymétrie entre professeurs et élèves, élèves et locuteurs natifs, élèves et documents supports ou élèves entre eux.” The overrid- ing goal of the conference may thus be seen as the search for greater symmetry, both in theories and in practice. For many years, the language classroom represented a safe and clear- ly structured haven for learners and teachers, in terms of both the lan- guage being learnt and the cultures of its speakers. In the case of the former, a view implicit in many teaching practices prevailed: i.e. that the skill of communicating in the foreign language...
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