European Journal of Language Policy

Moving with the times: new developments in languages in French higher education contexts

European Journal of Language Policy (2020), 12, (2), 193–214.

Abstract

Since the turn of the century, the increasing internationalisation of French higher education has been felt in research and teaching across a broad range of disciplines. The challenges and opportunities affect different sectors of foreign language (FL) education, including modern foreign language (MFL) studies, languages for specific purposes (LSP) and FL certification. This paper offers a review of recent developments in these three areas in France and other European countries, before examining a key difference in French higher education (HE), that is, the schism between second language acquisition (SLA) and language didactics (didactique des langues, DDL). A historical overview of developments in applied linguistics is followed by a panorama of the French language education research community today. The last section of the paper presents three new research networks taking an interdisciplinary perspective on SLA and FL education offering ways to bring together different interests within an expanded understanding of applied linguistics and opening up promising avenues for future collaboration.

Depuis le début du siècle, l’internationalisation progressive de l’enseignement supérieur français se fait sentir à travers la recherche et l’enseignement dans un large éventail de disciplines. Les défis et les opportunités affectent différents secteurs de l’enseignement des langues étrangères : les langues, littératures, civilisations étrangères et régionales (LLCER), les langues de spécialité et les langues pour spécialistes d’autres disciplines (LANSAD), et la certification. Cet article examine les évolutions récentes dans ces trois domaines en France comme ailleurs en Europe, avant de considérer une spécificité de l’enseignement supérieur en France, à savoir le clivage entre recherches en acquisition d’une langue seconde (AL2) et en didactique des langues (DDL). Un survol historique du développement de la linguistique appliquée est suivi d’un panorama de la recherche en matière d’enseignement des langues en France aujourd’hui. La dernière partie de l’article présente trois nouveaux réseaux de recherche qui travaillent dans une perspective interdisciplinaire sur l’AL2 et la DDL, afin de proposer des pistes pour rassembler des traditions de recherche différentes sous une conceptualisation plus large d’une linguistique appliquée renouvelée.

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Author details

Whyte, Shona