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Didactique des langues - Colloques

"Mass-Customization" for Language Teaching and Learning

Última actualización: 14 May 2010

First International Conference

26-28 August 2010, University College Dublin, Ireland

Mass-customization in industrial terms refers to the possibility of producing fairly standardized goods for a mass market while at the same time tailoring them to the individual customer’s preferences and needs by allowing for a certain degree of choice. Third level education has undergone similar developments with the introduction of modularization which enables students to create their individual study programme through a free selection of elective modules in addition to mandatory core modules.

While language instructors in particular have always tried to cater for their students’ individual differences, preferences and needs, these “customizations” have generally been limited to certain situations or students. Applying the idea of modularization within language classes would create a situation in which teaching and learning can be truly customized for all attendees regardless of class size.

Possible areas of discussion could include, but are not limited to, the following:

Knowing the students
What can students already do, what would they like to focus on, what do they need to work on? Which tools (e.g. diagnostic assessment) can be used to determine this? Which aspects should be focused on?

Approaches to customization
Which aspects of language learning and teaching are most suited to customization? Are there practical limitations? Does traditional in-class teaching need to be changed in order to suit the new approach? Is individual learning and teaching in class possible? What roles do homework and take-home assignments play?

“New” teaching methods for customization
How could task-based/enquiry-based learning be used within an individually customized module? Can blogs, wikis, podcasts or other communication interfaces be utilized for customization purposes?

Managing customization
How can IT help to keep an individually customized module manageable? Which software tools can be employed? What role can the European Language Portfolio take?

Requirements for and limitations to customization
What is needed to develop / introduce mass-customized language modules? Are there practical limitations (administration, equipment, policy, etc.)?

Effects of customization
Does an individually tailored learning experience improve the students’ motivation? Do they learn more and achieve better results? Does it enhance their soft skills? What are the effects on instructors?

For further information and submission of proposals, please refer to the conference website.