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Babylonia sends 3 to 6 Newsletters in a year. Our Newsletters provide an overview of the newest issues; they also inform you about conferences or news in the area of Second Language Learning/Teaching, Multilingualism and Language Policies.
 
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  • Call for Papers - Babylonia 2/2023: Questioning Assumptions

    2021-11-11

    This issue of Babylonia is dedicated to questioning what is often assumed as a given in foreign language classrooms and profiting from mistakes made and discussing the lessons that can be learned from them. For instance:

    • Teachers need to have measurably “high” levels of the target language themselves in order to teach that language - or do they?
    •  Recasts are great ways of correcting learners, or are they?
    • Word lists that learners are asked to study should be organized semantically – or not?
    • Pre-reading or listening always needs explicit vocabulary teaching – or does it?
    • With primary school children literate in the local language before foreign language instruction starts, learners should always hear a word pronounced in the foreign language before they pronounce it themselves …or should they?
    • Grammar doesn’t change, so what we taught 25 years ago should be the same as today…or should it?
    • Teachers should scaffold reading by using the pictures to support what is in the text….or should they?
    • We need to help the learners by making the task more accessible through scaffolding….or do we?
    • Learning strategies explicitly focused on in one language will automatically transfer to the other language….or will they?
    • The younger you learn a foreign language, the better – or not?
    • Multilingualism makes you smarter - or does it?
    • Girls are better at learning languages – or are they?

     Do you have a question that you don’t dare ask in public because you’re afraid of shaking up the status quo? For this issue of Babylonia, we are looking for short articles that concisely demonstrate or discuss these and other such issues. Articles may also be reflections on teaching or classroom experiments that are perhaps counterintuitive but where there’s a thought in there to help foreign language educators and researchers think outside of the box!

    Please send your abstract (max 2,000 characters including spaces) in German, French, Italian, Romansch, French or English to Amelia Lambelet amelia.lambelet@unifr.ch or Laura Buechel laura.buechel@phzh.ch by September 1, 2022.

     If you want to submit a teaching taster linked to this issue, please contact Laura Buechel (laura.buechel@phzh.ch). More info on teaching tasters: https://babylonia.online/index.php/babylonia/TT.

     

    Dates:

    Abstract (max. 2,000 characters): September 1, 2022

    Notification of acceptance: October  2022

    Article submission (max. 16,000 characters including spaces, 4 pages): January 1, 2023

    Text revisions and final submission: April 2023

    Publication: August 2023

    Read more about Call for Papers - Babylonia 2/2023: Questioning Assumptions
  • Call for papers - Babylonia 1/2023 Heritage Languages and Cultures

    2021-10-29

    According to recent data, in 2020, slightly more than a third of the population residing in Switzerland - approximately 2.7 million people - came from an immigration background. Among these 2.7 million people are many school children who navigate in two or more languages on a daily basis. On top of learning the local language, some of them also participate in heritage language and culture (HLC) classes to maintain their parents' language in their linguistic repertoire.

    In this issue of Babylonia, we focus on the preservation of heritage languages and their teaching in the context of HLC courses, as well as on issues related to the linguistic integration of students with a migrant background in the (Swiss) school system. 

    The teaching of heritage languages in the Swiss context represents a special situation. While some languages - such as English, Spanish or Russian (and even Italian, German or French, depending on the linguistic region) - are also taught in schools as "foreign" languages, other heritage languages, whose status is different or whose linguistic community is smaller, are not present in the official school system. Some languages have also been taught as part of HLC courses for decades (e.g. Spanish, Italian and Portuguese), while others are taught on a smaller scale and in semi-private initiatives. 

    What is the place of heritage language teaching in the Swiss context, and more specifically in the Swiss school system? Which socio- or geopolitical discussions may have an impact on the development of HLC courses? Are there any official documents guiding the teaching of heritage languages? What is the reception of these documents by HLC and regular teachers?  How are the structures for heritage language teaching organized? What about teacher training? What experiences and good practices can be highlighted?  Are there points of contact between the teaching of different languages of origin and/or between the teaching of languages of origin and the teaching of local and foreign languages?

    These and other topics could be the subject of a research article or practical experience in Babylonia 1/2023.

    We welcome empirical contributions (research projects, action-research), practical (instructional materlals, exercises, good practices, etc.), and socially engaged contributions (position papers, interviews, etc.). Babylonia favors a clear and easily understandable writing style. Concrete examples - directly in the text or in boxes - are welcome. Article size: 16'000-20'000 characters (4-5 pages). 

    If you would like to contribute to this special issue of Babylonia, we invite you to send us a short summary (max 2000 characters) of your contribution by April 1st, 2022 to veronica.sanchez@irdp.ch and/or amelia.lambelet@unifr.ch.

    You can also propose a "teaching taster" related to the theme of the issue. To do so, please contact laura.buechel@phzh.ch. 

    Deadlines:

    • submission of abstracts: April 1, 2022
    • Notification of acceptance: May 2022
    • submission of articles: July 31, 2022
    • feedback from the editorial team on the article: September 2022
    • revision and sending of the final version: December 1, 2022
    • publication of the issue: April 2023
    Read more about Call for papers - Babylonia 1/2023 Heritage Languages and Cultures
  • New partnership between Babylonia and CeDiLE

    2021-10-21

    Babylonia and CeDiLE, two organizations that share a common interest in foreign language learning and teaching, have recently formed a partnership that will allow for a more comprehensive coverage of the field in Switzerland.

    Since its creation in 2019, the CeDiLE (Centre de didactique des langues étrangères) website  has emerged as an important platform for the dissemination of scientific and pedagogical content.  With the aim of stimulating exchanges between research and practice in foreign language didactics, CeDiLE produces information in generally short and accessible formats.

    Similarly to Babylonia, CeDiLE seeks critical dialogue by presenting divergent opinions on topics such as early foreign language learning in schools and language teaching policies. The blog format of CeDiLE allows for regular posting of interviews, research summaries, videos and podcasts that are useful to the larger scientific and pedagogical community interested in foreign language teaching and learning.

    Starting in December, you will be offered the opportunity to read, listen to, or watch original interviews with the editors and/or the authors of Babylonia’s new issues on the CeDiLE's website. As for the content produced by CeDiLE, it will appear on Babylonia's website, echoing the journal's themes.

    Do you want to keep up to date with the latest news in foreign language teaching? Then subscribe to the newsletters of CeDiLE and Babylonia!

    Read more about New partnership between Babylonia and CeDiLE
  • Call for Paper - Babylonia 3/2022: Living Languages at Museums

    2021-06-25

    Museums are valuable cultural learning spaces and can as well be valuable foreign language learning spaces. In this issue of Babylonia, we welcome both research-based and practice-based articles that include:

    • Observations of interactions (e.g. between learners and museum displays, between other visitors or guides) from a linguistics or communicative point of view;
    • Descriptions and analyses of explicit museum-based programs that promote foreign language learning;
    • Analysis of learner foreign-language products based on museum experiences;
    • Considerations curators and museum educationalists put into practice when designing displays or workshops in foreign languages or instructing learners in foreign languages;
    • Foreign language learning through virtual museum visit experiences or through exponents virtually displayed in class.
    We are also open to further ideas.

    Please send your abstract (max 2,000 characters including spaces) in German, French, Italian, Romansch, or English to laura.buechel@phzh.ch and/or karine.lichtenauer@unige.ch by January 7, 2022.

    Dates:
    Abstract (max. 2,000 characters): January 7, 2022
    Notification of acceptance: mid-February, 2022
    Article submission (max. 16,000 characters including spaces, 4 pages): May 1, 2022
    Text revisions and final submission: September 1, 2022
    Publication: December 2022

    Read more about Call for Paper - Babylonia 3/2022: Living Languages at Museums
  • Stellenangebot: wiss. Mitarbeiter-in 30-50% am Fachdidaktikzentrum Fremdsprachen

    2021-02-25

    Wissenschaftliche·r Mitarbeiter·in am Fachdidaktikzentrum Fremdsprachen (30-50%)

    http://www.hepfr.ch/sites/default/files/hep-210706_annonce_wissenschaftliche_mitarbeiterin_cedile_30-50.pdf

     Stellenantritt: 1. April 2021 oder nach Vereinbarung

    Bewerbungsfrist: 14. März 2021

    Weitere Auskünfte: Prof. Dr. Anita Thomas: anita.thomas@unifr.ch

     

    Read more about Stellenangebot: wiss. Mitarbeiter-in 30-50% am Fachdidaktikzentrum Fremdsprachen
  • Call for Paper - Babylonia 1/2022

    2020-11-30

    Babylonia 1/2022: Vocabulary and Digitalization

    How important is and what role should vocabulary teaching play in foreign language instruction? How can it best be taught? How is it best learnt? Under what criteria should lexical items be selected as an active focus? These questions and more have been the topic of many a controversial discussion over the years. Vocabulary knowledge is an indisputable resource necessary for communicating in a foreign language and the acquisition of which is one of the most researched topics in foreign language education. Over the past years, uncountable apps and digital tools have been developed that have changed how vocabulary is taught and researched yet we know little about how these tools have influenced this learning and teaching. The effectiveness of such tools and their meaningful implementation in education is of utmost interest to both educationalists and researchers.

    The learning of vocabulary with the help of digital tools - from a practical and theoretical perspective - is the topic of this issue of Babylonia. We look forward to articles describing concrete, sustainable practices and projects that include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • How do digital tools support vocabulary acquisition in the skills (reading, writing, listening, etc…)?
    • Which tools (translation tools, vocab learning apps, videos, e-readers, etc….) are useful with specific
    groups of learners?
    • What is the role of learning apps and platforms in networked vocabulary learning?
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of such tools in different instructional settings?

    Please send your abstract (max 2,000 characters including spaces) in German, French, Italian, Romansch, French or English to isabelle.udry@unifr.ch by March 1, 2021.

    Dates:
    Abstract (max. 2,000 characters): March 1, 2021
    Notification of acceptance: April 2021
    Article submission (max. 16,000 characters including spaces): July 31, 2021.
    Text revisions and final submission: December 31, 2021
    Publication: April 2022

    Read more about Call for Paper - Babylonia 1/2022
  • Call for Papers - Babylonia 3/2021

    2020-11-18

    The representation of women: language, communication, teaching

    2021 marks the 50th anniversary of women's right to vote and be elected at the federal level in Switzerland.  It is therefore the perfect time to discuss not only women's representations at the political level but also their representation in language and, more generally, in communication. A thorough examination of this topic is essential because equality between men and women is also expressed in the way we communicate.

    In this issue of Babylonia, we aim to reflect on the representation of women across all functions (not only related to politics) and in all types of language (verbal, iconic, etc.). We consider, in particular, texts used in schools, and more specifically in language teaching. The topics we want to reflect on include but are not limited to the following aspects:

    - How are women portrayed in textbooks, for example in coursebooks or (school/foreign) language exercises?

    - What foreign/school language lessons can be created using literary texts (classical, contemporary, children's literature), authentic texts (web, newspapers, etc.), films, comic strips, etc.  around this theme?

    - How can students and teachers be made aware of the issue of gender equality in everyday communication? What courses, interventions, or other awareness-raising materials are planned or already exist?

    - What interventions could be carried out to improve the representation of women in the language? Is it useful to develop a "gender-tracker" to monitor the situation at school and in other areas of society?

    - What studies (including master's theses) have been carried out or are in progress at Swiss universities on the issue of women's representation in language and communication in general?

    - How are women represented in the media (social media, radio, television, print and online, etc.)? Why? With what effects?

    If you would like to contribute to this special issue of Babylonia, we invite you to send us a short summary (250-500 words) by January 10, 2021 (anna-maria.decesare@unibas.ch and/or matteo.casoni@ti.ch ). The publication will follow the timing indicated in the calendar below. The publication of the issue is scheduled for the end of 2021.

    We welcome empirical contributions (research projects, action-research), practical (instructional materials, exercises, good practices, etc.), and socially engaged contributions (position papers, interviews, etc.). Babylonia favors a clear and easily understandable writing style. Concrete examples - directly in the text or in boxes - are welcome. Article size: 16'000-20'000 characters (4-5 pages). 

    Deadlines

    January 10, 2021: deadline for receipt of title and summary of contributions; proposals to be sent to anna-maria.decesare@unibas.ch and/or matteo.casoni@ti.ch

    February 1, 2021: notification of possible acceptance of contributions

    May 1, 2021: first version of contributions

    September 1, 2021: final versions

    December 2021: publication

    Read more about Call for Papers - Babylonia 3/2021
  • Call for Papers - Babylonia 2/2021

    2020-09-07

    Children with special needs and foreign/second language learning

    Between 1 and 7% of children are estimated to have oral language acquisition disorders and between 5 and 10% are estimated to have written language disorders (e.g. dyslexia). In Switzerland, each primary school class would thus count on average 3 children with special needs (dysphasia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, etc.). Some of these children come from immigration backgrounds and are faced with important challenges in terms of schooling in an L2 as well as social integration in the host country. Added to the language disorder, there are the child’s and family's socialization efforts. 

    In this issue of Babylonia, we bring forward a discussion of the needs of children with learning disabilities and language disorders with respect to foreign and second language learning: 

    • What can be done to facilitate the learning of foreign languages in children who already have difficulties in the school language? 
    • How can synergies be created between the efforts of parents, teachers and speech therapists?
    • Should children with language disorders be exempted from foreign language learning?
    • Should foreign language choices be revisited for children with learning disabilities?
    • Are communicative approaches for foreign language teaching appropriate for children with language impairments or would these children benefit from explicit grammar instruction?
    • How can the home and school languages be taken into account in the case of migrant children who suffer from language impairments?
    • What should be done in situations where the child with language impairment also is a language brokerer for their allophone parents?
    • Why are children from migrant and minority backgrounds over-represented in speech and language pathology consultations?

    If you would like to contribute to this special issue of Babylonia, we invite you to send us a short summary (0.5-1 page) of your contribution before November 5, 2020 (anna.ghimenton[at]univ-lyon2.fr and/or amelia.lambelet[at]unifr.ch). Selected contributions will be due by February 1, 2021 for publication in August-September 2021. 

    Following Babylonia's editorial line, we welcome empirical contributions (research projects, action-research), practical (didactic sheets, exercises, good practices, etc.), and socially engaged contributions (position papers, interviews, etc.). Babylonia favors clear and easily understandable writing style. Concrete examples - directly in the text or in boxes - are welcome. Article size: 16'000-20'000 characters (4-5 pages). 

    Deadlines:

    November 5, 2020: Submission of contribution proposals

    November 20, 2020: Decision on contribution proposals

    February 1, 2021: first version of the articles

    June 1, 2021: Final version of the articles

    Read more about Call for Papers - Babylonia 2/2021