Local Eyes for
Can human intelligence and technology help?
Neurophysiology tells us that we see
what we have been programmed to see and hear what we have been programmed to
hear. The interplay of our emotions, which triggers our cognitive responses
to facts and events, largely escapes our conscious control. Basically, we
can say that we process what is new according to the way we have processed
things so far. Ledoux states that if neurophysiological processes are
universal, individual responses depend on the history of the individual.
Theoretical knowledge about the processes of acquisition of a new culture
and language (C2 and L2) is universal and useful, but the applications are
local and specific as well as being conditioned by the social and cultural
environment in which learning takes place. Some kind of mediation is
necessary to help to bridge the gap between what individuals make of what
they see and hear and what the events mean for their interlocutor(s). There
is a gap between C2 and L2 acquisition theory and learners’ beliefs, which
means that it is necessary to take these beliefs into account and provide
mediation to bridge that gap. ICT both enables greater and easier
interaction between people of different cultures and languages and
facilitates learning. However, without some form of mediation and some form
of metacognition, intercultural misunderstanding and inadequate acquisition
might prove to be the rule. This presentation will describe some of the ways
of tackling this problem, focusing on task-based learning and the
development of flexible systems offering valid alternatives to traditional
classroom activities in order to foster learners’ epistemological
responsibility and a capacity for lifelong autonomous learning.
Byram, M. & Flemming M. (1998) Language Learning in intercultural
perspective. CUP, England.
Ledoux, J. (2003) Neurobiologie de la personnalité. Paris :Odile
Narcy-Combes, J.-P. (2005) Didactique des langues et TIC: vers une
recherche-action responsable. Paris : Ophrys.
Narcy-Combes, M.-F. (2006) La Communication interculturelle en anglais
des affaires. Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes.
Zarate, G. & Gohard-Radenkovic (eds.), (2004) La reconnaissance des
compétences interculturelles: de la grille à la carte. Paris, Didier.
Marie-Françoise Narcy-Combes is a full
professor at the University of Nantes where she is involved in the
coordination of the Applied Languages Department. Her main teaching fields
include business English within this department as well as pre-service and
in-service language teacher training. She has published two books: Precis
de didactique des Langues (published by Ellipses in 2005) provides a
task-based approach to language teaching methodology and applied
linguistics; and La communication interculturelle en anglais des affaires
(published by les Presses Universitaires de Rennes in 2006) links language
learning and culture learning through raising learner awareness.
is a full professor at the University of Paris 3
(Sorbonne nouvelle). He lectures in Applied linguistics and language
teaching (mainly epistemology and research methodology) and is in charge of
courses of English for students in language studies. His research focuses on
learning systems and tasks in a context where ICT plays an increasing role
and where L2 cannot be dissociated from the culture and the disciplinary
knowledge of its speakers. His theoretical and practical position is
described in his latest book, Didactique des langues et TIC, vers une
recherche-action responsable published by Ophrys in 2005 and followed up
by articles in journals such as ALSIC, CALL, Le Français
dans le monde and Les Cahiers de l’APLIUT.