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Conference call for papers extended to 11th March

Abstracts can now be submitted for this year’s conference until 11th March – visit the conference website for more details.

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2022 Conference Website and Call for Papers now live: Deadline 11 February 2022

The annual conference of the Association of French Language Studies (AFLS) will be held at the University of Exeter, UK, from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 July 2022 with the theme ‘Le français au contact des cultures’ Please visit the conference website for more details and to view the call for papers.

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Cahiers has moved to Research Notes in the JFLS

The Association for French Language Studies (AFLS) has a long tradition of supporting the publication of new and accessible research (particularly early-career research) from across the world through its journal – Cahiers de l’AFLS, which began in 1995. To ensure that this venue remains a viable, progressive, and rigorous research output, the executive committee has been working with Cambridge University Press, and from 2021, Cahiers will now form an output of the Journal of French Language Studies and will appear as Research Notes. These will be shorter (4000-6000 words, not including references) than articles and are not required to propose a solution to issues they raise as long as their linguistic relevance to the French language is made clear. These short pieces introduce a topic of empirical and theoretical importance related to the French language, and include brief reports on research results or methodologies. Instructions for prospective authors can be found on the journal website. Meanwhile, the back-catalogue of the Cahiers de l’AFLS will remain available on the AFLS website. The committee looks forward to receiving submissions from the community.

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Under construction

We’re updating the site at the moment – come back soon for everything you’re used to and more!

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Conferences

2021 Conference website now live

To attend this year’s conference, please register on the AFLS 2021 conference website, where presentations are already available to view ahead of the round table discussions which will take place live online on 25 June. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘le français d’aujourd’hui, entre discours et usage’.

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Half-Day Online Workshop on French Studies and Employability University of East Anglia (Norwich), 23rd April 2021

A half-day workshop on French Studies and Employability supported by AFLS will take place online on 23rd April 2021, between 9.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event will be on Zoom.

This is a free workshop – please send an email to Claire Cuminatto (c.cuminatto@uea.ac.uk) to register before April 9th.

Are we preparing our students for the professional work? In his foreword to Employability: a Handbook, Mike Kelly reports that “recent research for the ‘Born Global’ project suggests that languages are not identified as a priority by employers at the time when staff are recruited. Applicants for jobs need to satisfy other priorities at that point. The language advantage comes into play at a later stage”. Fluency in French is of course a prerequisite for industries such as translation or MFL teaching, but many graduates will not use French at the beginning of their future career. They will, however, certainly use the acute problem solving, proofreading, public speaking and many more skills they also developed while at university. They might also use some technical skills developed during their French degree, such as video/audio file editing, or text analysis tools.

During this workshop, colleagues will present activities/projects they run in class with a particular focus on transferable skills awareness, or on the development of technical skills, and/or research on French and Employability. The morning will end with a discussion on how, in the context of the pandemic, we can help students of French adapt to the new world of work, and on learning points for the future.

Programme:

09:30 – 09:40

Opening remarks

9:40 – 10:10

Paper 1: Using the CEFR to talk about employability

Barbara E. Hanna and Alicia Toohey | The University of Queensland

10:10 – 10:40

Paper 2: Language for Professional Communication: Using the project-based approach to enhance employability of language students

Sabrea Oughton | University of Portsmouth

10:40 – 11:10

Paper 4: Authentic language learning through partnerships with businesses: project with final year undergraduate students of French

Claire Cuminatto and Ilse Renaudie | University of East Anglia

11:10 – 11:20:

Comfort break

11:20 – 11:50

Paper 3: Career entry of French Studies graduates: A research study

Rosamond Mitchell | University of Southampton

11:50 – 12:10

Paper 5: Public Service Interpreting: collaborating with local professionals

Claudine Tourniaire | University of East Anglia

12:10 – 13:00

Questions and discussion: French Studies and Employability – helping students of French adapt to the new world of work. What learning points for the future?

Organisers:

Ms Ilse Renaudie, Associate Professor in French Language at the University of East Anglia

Ms Claire Cuminatto, Associate Professor in French Language at the University of East Anglia

Reference

Corradini, Borthwick and Gallagher-Brett (ed.). 2016. Employability for Languages: a Handbook. Research-publishing.net.

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AFLS-Funded Workshop on French Studies and Employability

University of East Anglia (Norwich) – POSTPONED to Friday 27th November 2020

Call for Contributions – DEADLINE EXTENDED to Wednesday 1st July 2020

Are we preparing our students for the professional work? In his foreword to Employability: a Handbook, Mike Kelly reports that “recent research for the ‘Born Global’ project suggests that languages are not identified as a priority by employers at the time when staff are recruited. Applicants for jobs need to satisfy other priorities at that point. The language advantage comes into play at a later stage”. Fluency in French is of course a prerequisite for industries such as translation or MFL teaching, but many graduates will not use French at the beginning of their future career. They will, however, certainly use the acute problem solving, proofreading, public speaking and many more skills they also developed while at university. They might also use some technical skills developed during their French degree, such as video/audio file editing, or text analysis tools.

A workshop on French Studies and Employability will take place at the University of East Anglia (Norwich) on Friday 11 September, and are looking for contributions from colleagues who could either present a research paper on the topic, or an activity/project they run in class with a particular focus on transferable skills awareness, or on the development of technical skills.

If you are interested, please send a 200 word abstract in French or English to Claire Cuminatto (c.cuminatto@uea.ac.uk) before Friday 20th March.

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Statement of support for the UK’s continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme

The Association for French Language Studies wishes to express its strong support for the UK’s continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme. Erasmus+ offers extensive international mobility opportunities for a wide range of participants, including higher education students and staff, vocational students and apprentices, teachers, youth workers and volunteers. Since its establishment in 1987, the programme has seen growing numbers of participants with wide-ranging benefits for language learning, personal, social, intercultural, academic, educational and professional development.

The Erasmus+ programme helps all UK students benefit from international experience by spending a period of study in another country within their programme of study, with the majority of UK university students who study abroad doing so through the Erasmus+ scheme. In the case of language students, Erasmus+ is critical for the opportunities it offers to language learners to spend time in a country where the target language is used. A wealth of research points to the linguistic benefits that accrue to participants, not solely at a linguistic level, but in life-changing ways at various levels. At a time when various reports highlight the critical need for foreign language skills among Anglophone speakers, Erasmus+ is a crucial means to enhance such speakers’ foreign language skillset. Foreign language proficiency is a lifelong skill which can be drawn upon in all aspects our lives, and a crucial component in the educational training of our students. Indeed, as further highlighted by employer reports, the UK’s foreign languages skill deficit has significant economic implications – the development of such foreign language skills carries highly positive economic implications as an asset that contributes to further economic development. Thus, continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme reflects an overall commitment to the critical importance of foreign language learning in our global world for the individual, but collectively for society as a whole. It is also crucial to highlight that beyond language students, many non-language students also avail of the opportunities offered by Erasmus+, thereby reflecting an awareness of the significant impact of such international experience in their educational training, as they discover new cultures and languages, and which they draw upon in their future personal and professional endeavours.

Taken together, Erasmus+ facilitates two-way exchange opportunities for a wide range of participants in both the home and host countries, with significant implications for mutual interaction, understanding and dialogue, as well as societal and economic development. At a time when internationalisation is a key strategic priority for universities, continued participation in Erasmus+ is imperative as a means of maintaining ties with European partners, providing international opportunities to students and colleagues at a teaching, learning and research level, and enhancing the international reach of our universities. The Association for French Language Studies strongly supports the UK’s continued commitment to this programme.