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LAIRDIL  / ESPE- Université de Toulouse


INNOVALANGUES - Université de Grenoble

Toulouse, 11 & 12 december 2015


Over the past decades in the field of language didactics there has been an increase in the quantity of research being carried out on the theme of creativity in the teaching/ learning process. In parallel, and mainly due to developments in technology, there have also been an increased number of studies in innovative pedagogies in relation to the design and creation of learning strategiesas well as their assessment. But what unites these two concepts, creativity and innovation, though it may seem obvious to teachers – creativity being the engine and innovation the result -, it has not been sufficiently explored from a scientific perspective. This symposium invites participants to reflect on these questions from a multidisciplinary perspective in humanities and social sciences. Contributions are therefore welcome not only from our colleagues in language teaching and learning but also from philosophers, historians, sociologists, education experts, language analysts, psychologists to mention but a few, who would be able to enhance the reflection of the experts in language didactics and contribute to their on-going research in attempting to better understand the relations between creativity and innovation. Proposals for presentations can be theoretical reflections on either both concepts individually or on the relation between them both. Proposals can also take the form of field research. All proposals must address the issue of teaching and learning foreign languages.


In the act of creating, putting together existing elements to create something new, lies the idea of « bricolage » introduced by Levi Strauss in « The Savage Mind », in the field of anthropology, in 1962. Removed from its common sense where it would have rather a pejorative meaning, this concept spread in the field of humanities and social sciences and its objective is to express the condition of the individual who throughout life must constantly compose and recompose with the means available. Developing creativity (with or without the teacher), the learner can improve his/ her own learning techniques. The developmental or interactional theories of Piaget, Bruner, Vytgostky, or even Varela’s embodied cognition, to quote only the most important, invite us to go beyond a strictly cognitivist vision of creativity. Engeström, for example, in his theory of activity, uses a larger model that places most importance on emotional and social factors. These theories have substantially influenced recent research in teaching and learning languages in Europe particularly in the field of learner creativity as well as that of teacher creativity. The symposium organized by the CRINI in 2012 on « Languages in Motion: Language Learning/Teaching and the Performing Arts" and the special issue of Synergie Europe (Aden and Picardo, 2009) La créativité dans tous ses états : enjeux et potentialités en éducationreflect this influence. Researchers are endeavouring to construct the concept of creativity in language didactics and study its application (Lapaire, 2011; Aden, 2004). In reality, constraints forge creativity, be they institutional, social, financial, psychological, cultural or any other kind of interference that can make its way into the language classroom (Rinvolucri, 2009). It is because the world and its objects are dense, opaque, and it evolves at different rhythms at different levels and scales that are not identical that creativity must stimulate, make its way and be clever enough to contribute to this renewal which it carries and not give in to discouragement nor to the impression of « having arrived too late in world that is too old » nor to the conformity of official instructions, editorial constraints or other pressures coming from society. (Puozzo Capron & Piccardo, 2013)


Concerning innovation, we can first ask ourselves when and why this concept replaced that of the invention. The history of technology and theories of communication provide us with answers to these questions by showing how the paradigm of innovation followed that of invention to finally end with ownership (Millerand, 1998 ; Flichy, 1995). From that point on, we should question whether innovation in teaching/ learning languages has some sort of specificity. Proposals could address this question by researching the role of the CRAPEL, GERAS and RANACLES or that of the journal ALSIC to quote but a few. Contributions focused on research in the fields of educational innovation in areas such as bilingualism and API(xxx), CLIL/ EMILE, the silent way, language awareness, etc. are also welcome. The question that must then be asked is that of the diffusion or non diffusion of innovation, because, if innovation is more generally associated with a positive axiology in that it is associated with creativity, change, collaboration (today we never or at least rarely, innovate alone), innovation can also be subject to/ attract a certain amount of reticence, opposition and rejection. Finally we would also encourage papers on innovation in the field of research, itself, using a mise en abyme approach. As Dornyëi (2009) showed, new methods specifically adapted to institutional/ academic situations have developed in recent years and the innovating paradigm seems to be that of mixed or triangular methods. What share do these new methods provide for the creativity of researchers?

Interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches (philosophy/ phenomenology, linguistics, psycholinguistics, neurosciences etc.) in relation to teaching/ learning languages may be considered. Theoretical contributions as well as those based on field work (questionnaires, narration, textbook analysis…) may also be envisaged


Aden, J. & Piccardo, E. (éds). (2009). La créativité dans tous ses états. Synergie 4.

Akrich, M. (1993). Les objets techniques et leurs utilisateurs. De la conception à l'action. Raisons pratiques 4. 35-57.

Blin, F. (2004) CALL and the development of learner autonomy: Towards an activity-theoretical perspective. ReCALL 16, 02. 377 - 395-

Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The psychology of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Guichon, N. (2012). Vers l'intégration des TIC dans l'enseignement des langues. Paris : Didier.

Flichy, P. (1995). L'innovation technique. Récents développements en sciences sociales. Vers une nouvelle théorie de l'innovation. Paris : Édition de la découverte

Lapaire, J. R. (2011). Corps dansant, espace grammatical dansé in Les rythmes du corps dans l’espace spectaculaire et textuel2 : Arts ouverts, 25-42. Agathe Torti-Alcayaga et Jean-Pierre Simard (éd.). Paris : Le Manuscrit Recherche-Université.

Puozzo Capron, I. & Piccardo, E. (2013). L’émotion dans l’apprentissage des langues, LIDIL 48.

Mangenot, F. (2000). L'intégration des TICE dans une perspective systémique. Les langues modernes 3. 38-44.

Millerand, F. (1999). Usages des NTIC : les approches de l'appropriation-2ème partie. Revue COMMposite.

Rivolucri, M. (2009). The Inevitability of Student Creativity. Synergie Europe 4, 167-172. 

The symposium

The LAIRDIL international symposium will be held in Toulouse (France) on December 11th and 12th 2015. « Attending in person » and « virtual » presentations are welcome (please note : in person presentations only for doctoral students)

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