Academic journal article Babel


Academic journal article Babel


Article excerpt


The 2018 NAFT-FATFA conference (Mapping French in Australia; pedagogical challenges of today, practical solutions for tomorrow) was a huge success for many reasons: the enthusiasm of the participants, the packed and varied program, the wonderful keynote speakers, the faultless organisation by the conference committee, the excellent venue (Sydney University), the great food, the welcome cocktail event and, of course, the spectacular dinner-cruise on Sydney Harbour.

It was a great pleasure to welcome Michel Boiron (Director of CAVILAM-Alliance Francaise in Vichy), Jean-Marc Defays (President of the Federation Internationale des Professeurs de Francais - FIPF, Professor at Liege University, and Honorary Consul for Finland), Professor Christian Ollivier (University of Reunion Island), and Professor Anne-Marie Morgan (University of New England) as plenary speakers, Cynthia Eid (FIPF) and, from the French Embassy in Canberra, Bertrand Pous (Counselor for Cooperation and Cultural Action), and Flavie Coubault (Education Attache). Many thanks also to the presenters who provided such a formidable range of workshops and papers on pertinent topics, to the exhibitors, and to the delegates who came from far and wide to support the conference.

The conference program certainly helped us, as French teachers, to determine where we are at with French teaching and learning in Australia; to identify the pedagogical challenges we are facing; and to come up with strategies for dealing with these in the present and future. The presentations covered: new Australian syllabus implementation (conceptualising, planning and teaching); multilingual perspectives and practice; inquiry-based language learning; designing assessment tasks (all levels); approaches to teaching and learning French; assessing intercultural language learning; strategies to engage and motivate learners at all levels; using digital technology for language teaching and learning; didactics of plurilingualism; blended learning; innovative evaluation strategies; teaching writing; organising study tours; using theatre in French teaching; improving French comprehension and expression; translanguaging in the French classroom; the challenges faced by French teaching associations.

A thousand thanks to the FATFA-NAFT conference team who worked tirelessly to organise a brilliant conference program and opportunities for networking that encouraged us all in the common cause of challenges facing Australian language teachers. We are always fighting to keep our subject area and profession alive, often having to justify, why, in a country where many use our isolation as an excuse, and claim that we can get by with just speaking English, we need to learn a foreign language at all.

Best wishes for 2019 to all teachers of French in Australia and the organisations that support us.

Lois Cutmore

President of the Federation of Associations of Teachers of French in Australia and the Modern Language Teachers Association of OLD French Teachers Branch.


La conference NAFT-FATFA 2018 (Cartographie du francais en Australie; defis pedagogiques d'aujourd'hui; solutions pratiques de demain) etait un succes enorme pour beaucoup de raisons: l'enthousiasme des participants, le programme complet et divers, les merveilleux conferenciers principaux, l'organisation irreprochable par le comite du conference, le lieu excellent (l'Universite de Sydney), la nourriture delicieuse, l'evenement de cocktail bienvenu et, bien sur, le spectaculaire diner-croisiere sur le Port de Sydney.

C'etait un grand plaisir d'accueillir Michel Boiron (le Directeur de CAVILAM-ALLIANCE Francaise a Vichy, Jean-Marc Defays (le President de la FIPF, Professeur a l'Universite de Liege et Consul Honoraire pour la Finlande), Professeur Christian Ollivier (l'Universite de l'ile de la Reunion) et Professeur Anne-Marie Morgan (l'Universite de la Nouvelle-Angleterre) en tant que conferenciers d'honneur, Cynthia Eid (Federation Internationale des Professeurs de Francais) et, de l'Ambassade de France a Canberra, Bertrand Pous (Conseiller pour Cooperation et Action Culturelle) et Flavie Coubault (Attache d'Education). …

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