Face-to-face and distance language learning: competing university practices

Recent developments in university language courses have been brought about by gradual increase in student population, coupled with factors such as successful marketing strategies (Coleman, 2008) and noticeable socio-educational changes. In France, and more widely in Europe, the Bologna Process can be considered a motivating factor for many of these changes. In light of this exponential demand, universities have made massive use of digital technology as evidenced by the "Digital Strategy" launched in 2013, by the Ministry of Research and Higher Education. At the same time, some researchers view the increasing use of digital technology in language learning as a tool fostering augmented reality: i.e. a tool which allows language instructors to look at existing language issues through new prisms and to venture further into yet uncharted territory (Karsenti & Larose, 2001).

The purpose of this symposium is to study the opportunities created, in the broadest sense, by the use of digital technology in higher education language programs. In particular, it will bring together researchers and language instructors interested in confronting different university practices, in which digital tools are used to personalise the learning experience and to empower the learners. In the same vein, it will question the relevance and the effect of teaching practices in face-to-face, hybrid or 100% distance learning. Finally, it will consider the possibility of pooling resources and pedagogical engineering to offer new perspectives to in order meet the changing needs of higher education, such as the introduction of corpus (Boulton & Tyne, 2014) or the study of pedagogical needs to better target the development of tools and platforms for traditional, hybrid and distance learning.

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