OLBI Research Forum


Thursday, December 10, 2020 - The need for evidence-based strategies to navigate the changed linguistic landscapes in education 

The aim of the Forum is to provide a platform for an exchange between the University of Ottawa's researchers and the guest international and national speakers in the domains of second language teaching and language policy.

Admission is free. Students are welcome.

The forum is open to all, but registration is required by email at ilobdir@uOttawa.ca.

Please note that abstracts are published in the language in which the forum is presented.

2020-2021 Schedule

The need for evidence-based strategies to navigate the changed linguistic landscapes in education


Speaker:  Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman, University of Toronto

Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020

Time: Noon

Location: Online presentation, on Zoom (URL coming soon)

Language of presentation: Bilingual



In today’s society, increased mobility has blurred previously existing linguistic and cultural borders, particularly in the educational context. Therefore, the topic of mobility in education is particularly relevant to the study of intercultural communication. It is also linguistically as well as culturally highly sensitive, as it touches upon social exclusion, segregation and discrimination. Schools across many western countries have experienced a dramatic rise in numbers of newcomer students. In contrast to earlier migration patterns, the present population of migrants is extremely diverse and the group is not well defined (European Commission, 2013). This inherent heterogeneity has forced academic scholars from different disciplines to reconsider their perspectives on education, taking into account this new situation. In this presentation, I will focus on one specific category of migrants, i.e. students with a refugee background. On the basis of an ethnographic study of this group, I will show how intercultural communication has imposed itself as a requirement with regard to the integration of these students in schools. Incited by an increasing appeal for support by many schools, documents from ministries of education around the world endorse social inclusion and propose local mediation between the refugee families and the schools. These efforts are both necessary and laudable. However, the question here is whether these policies are sufficiently informed on what is required to achieve optimal integration and social inclusion of refugee students in the local school (and social) environment. In the light of data gathered during my two latest research projects, I will argue for the need to re-problematize the notions of inclusion, exclusion, integration or segregation in education.


Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, OISE, head of the Centre de Recherches en Éducation Franco-Ontarienne (CRÉFO) and as of April 2019, Adjunct member of the Université de l’Ontario Français. Previously, she has worked at the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication (tenured) and at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, in the Netherlands. Since 2009, she has led several projects on the inclusion of minority students in education. Her keen interest in migration policy has led her to conduct research studies on issues related to multilingual education, particularly on the education of newly arrived migrant students in Europe and in Canada and indigenous students in Suriname (South America).



Emmanuelle Le Pichon


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Past events

2019-2020 Schedule

Language immersion at the tertiary level: An option for Irish and Welsh?

Speaker: Sheila Scott, Professor, OLBI/uOttawa

Date: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Time: 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Location: Julien Couture Resource Centre - 70 Laurier Avenue East, Room 02 (map)

Language of presentation: English


Language immersion programs have shown themselves to be viable options for minority languages in different contexts. In Canada, French Immersion has been available for over a generation at the primary and secondary levels. At the University of Ottawa, our Immersion program offers students the opportunity to continue developing their French language skills in a variety of disciplines at the post-secondary level. I believe that the model that we have developed here at the University of Ottawa, Canada's only bilingual university, could be applied to other countries where an official minority language is offered in an immersion context at the primary and secondary level, but not yet at the tertiary level. Universities should be exploring together the possibility of offering this type of program to students who are keen to continue developing their language skills so as to become future bilingual employees in their respective fields. In my presentation, I describe initial steps towards making this a viable option for Irish Gaelic, a minority language which would benefit from developing a professional workforce with greater fluency in the Irish language.

Sheila Scott has a PH.D. in Psycholinguistics.  She has been teaching second languages at the University of Ottawa for most of her career, initially teaching ESL but now teaching mostly FSL.  She has also taught in the unique and successful French Immersion program at the University of Ottawa as well as in the Second Language Teaching program. Sheila is currently interested in promoting immersion teaching at the tertiary level in countries such as Ireland and Wales where there are flourishing official minority languages. 

Sheila Scott

About the speaker.  


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Les « Approches plurielles des langues et des cultures » : un concept et des outils pour la prise en compte du plurilinguisme de chacun dans les apprentissages.

Speaker: Michel Candelier, Emeritus Professor, Le Mans-Université

Date: Friday, November 22, 2019

Time: 1pm - 2:30pm

Location: 157 Séraphin-Marion, Alex Trebek Alumni Hall

Please note that this presentation will be given in French.


Les approches plurilingues de la didactique des langues, dans leur grande diversité actuelle, ont en commun de proposer des démarches didactiques qui prennent en compte le plurilinguisme existant de l’apprenant. En Europe, sous l’influence du Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues, cette prise en compte s’appuie volontiers sur une conception de la compétence plurilingue et interculturelle selon laquelle cette dernière constitue un ensemble complexe, dans lequel les compétences relatives aux diverses langues du répertoire en devenir des individus ne sont pas isolées les unes des autres, mais au contraire en interaction constante. Le répertoire linguistique de chaque apprenant, à une étape donnée de son développement, constitue alors à la fois la concrétisation de sa faculté de langage dont il faut encourager l’usage et un point d’appui capital pour toute autre acquisition langagière.

Élaboré au tournant du siècle, le concept d’« Approches plurielles des langues et des cultures » a permis de fédérer des approches qui, avant même les théorisations relatives à la compétence plurilingue et interculturelle, établissaient des liens entre les langues et entre les univers culturels et ont donné lieu à de nombreuses réalisations didactiques. Il s’agit en particulier de « l’éveil aux langues », « l’intercompréhension entre les langues parentes », la « didactique intégrée des langues » et « l’éducation interculturelle ». Un cadre de référence commun à ces approches a été élaboré au Centre européen pour les langues vivantes de Graz (Conseil de l’Europe – cf. http://carap.ecml.at/).     

L’exposé soulignera le caractère transversal des approches plurielles, qui permettent d’établir des ponts entre les divers apprentissages linguistiques, y compris ceux relatifs à la langue de scolarisation principale et à ses usages dans l’enseignement des disciplines. Il fera le point sur la diffusion actuelle de ces approches dans divers pays, et fournira quelques pistes orientant vers les réalisations variées auxquelles elles ont donné lieu, en termes de curriculum, de formation des enseignants et de matériaux pour la classe.


Michel Candelier

About the speaker: Michel Candelier


Apprentissage en milieu communautaire (AEC) à l’université

Speaker: Laura Ambrosio

Date: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Time: 1pm - 2:30pm

Location: 70 Laurier Avenue East, Hamelin Hall, Room 509

Language: French


Apprentissage en milieu communautaire (AEC) à l’université : un modèle utile pour développer les compétences langagières des migrants sur le lieu du et pour le travail.

La réflexion proposée est basée sur la pédagogie de l’intégration de l’apprentissage en milieu communautaire (AEC) qui s’aligne, par ses valeurs et ses retombées, aux suggestions et pratiques des experts du Centre européen des langues vivantes (CELV) dans leurs projets visant à répondre ou correspondre aux besoins, situations, pratiques et ressources potentielles pour l’intégration et formation linguistique des travailleurs et surtout des migrants dans différents pays de l’Europe.

Nous présenterons un petit guide, ainsi que le travail effectué en groupe d’experts pour enrichir un « compendium » permettant de mieux identifier et cibler les compétences linguistiques à développer pour une éducation professionnelle de qualité, inclusive et plurilingue, ciblée sur les connaissances, les habiletés et les attitudes, linguistiques et culturelles, souhaitables pour une cohésion et intégration sociale des travailleurs, dans un monde de mobilité et migration accrues.


Laura Ambrosio

About the speaker: Laura Ambrosio

Translanguaging and Trans-semiotizing in Content-based Education

Speaker: Angel Lin

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019

Time: 1pm - 2:30pm

Location: 100 Laurier Avenue East, Room 114

Language: English 


From the 1960s to the new millennium, different terms have arisen in diverse research traditions and educational contexts where teachers and researchers are interested in exploring and researching ways of helping learners to learn language and content at the same time. These terms include content-based instruction (CBI), immersion, sheltered instruction, language across the curriculum (LAC), writing across the curriculum (WAC), content and language integrated learning (CLIL). Common to all these traditions, however, is the monoglossic and monolingual assumption about language and literacy. In this presentation, I will provide a review of these traditions and assumptions and outline recent work that leads towards translanguaging and trans-semiotizing as a breakthrough from these monoglossic/ monolingual assumptions. I will describe the philosophical shifts underpinning this intellectual movement and its educational implications.


angel lin recent picture

About the speaker Angel Lin


Corpus approaches to issues in second language acquisition

Speaker: Randy Appel

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019

Time: 1 pm-2:30 pm

Location: 70 Laurier Avene East, Hamelin Hall, Room 509

Language: English


Dr. Appel’s research talk explores corpus approaches to linguistic inquiry and the usefulness of corpora in various areas of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research. Methodological issues in corpus studies will be discussed, as well as related methods that can be used to push the field forward and improve methodological rigor, particularly through increased corpus comparability in studies adopting Contrastive Interlanguage Analysis (CIA; Ganger, 2015). Through a review of his recent publications, Dr. Appel will highlight how corpora can be used to address various issues second language (L2) English learners face when attempting to gain proficiency in the target language. Main areas of focus in this research talk include the role of formulaic sequences (i.e., repeated multiword structures, such as on the other hand and the fact that) in L2 English writing, methods of improving the identification of psycholinguistically valid and pedagogically useful formulaic sequences, lexical assessments of L2 English speech, and the role of the first language in L2 acquisition and use.


Randy Appel

About the speaker Randy Appel

2018-2019 Schedule

Théâtre et FLS : l’art de l’interaction

Date: May 3, 2019

Time: 1 pm - 2:30 pm

Location: 60 University, Simard Hall, Room 125

Language: French


La perspective actionnelle de l’enseignement du FLS identifie l’apprenant comme un acteur social qui cherche à interagir avec des locuteurs de la langue cible dans des contextes de vie réelle. Ainsi, les objectifs linguistiques sont intimement liés à des objectifs paralinguistiques d’ordre fonctionnel, culturel et inter-relationnel au service d’un vivre ensemble.
Le théâtre est quant à lui un art de la parole en action qui offre de nombreuses pistes d’apprentissage de la langue, de la culture et de l’expression artistique elle même.

Au cours de ce forum-atelier, nous examinerons ensemble comment l’enseignement du FLS peut s’harmoniser aux techniques théâtrales. Nous explorerons l’apport de l’expérience théâtrale en FLS selon trois approches: le théâtre (lu, joué, regardé), l’art dramatique (drama) et le théâtre de l’opprimé de Augusto Boal (théâtre invisible, théâtre forum).

Source use in academic writing: Challenges for students and assessors

Date: April 16, 2019

Time: 12:30 pm – 2 pm

Location: 70 Laurier Avenue, E., Hamelin Hall, Room 509

Language: English


Integrating information from outside sources is a key requirement for academic writing in many disciplines, and for this reason we have seen a rise in the use of integrated writing tasks, which require test takers to refer to at least one written or aural outside source in the production of their own texts. Such test tasks require students to understand the source text, analyze the assigned writing topic, select appropriate information from the source text, and organize source ideas and their own opinions into a cohesive text. These task requirements pose significant challenges for second language (L2) writers, and previous research has shown that L2 writers are more likely than first language (L1) writers to use source information inappropriately by not citing sources or relying too much on the language of the source text. In this talk, I will share findings from a research project designed to explore the specific challenges students faced in an EAP program in order to develop specific pedagogical materials to help address those challenges. In Phase 1 of the project, we collected students’ source-based essay exams and analyzed the following aspects in these essays: (1) language used to refer to source information, (2) accuracy of source information presented in the essay, and (3) purpose for the inclusion of source information. We also interviewed EAP students and their instructors to get a better understanding of their perception of students’ challenges in integrating source information appropriately. In Phase 2 of the project, we examined the effectiveness of the pedagogical materials we designed to address the challenges identified in Phase 1. From an instructor perspective, I will discuss the implications of the findings for EAP programs. From an assessor perspective, I will discuss the challenges that integrated writing tasks pose and how they might be addressed.

The Kurdish Language: From Linguicide to Standardization

Date: March 29, 2019

Time: 1 pm - 2:30 pm

Location: 70 Laurier Avenue, E., Hamelin Hall, Room 509

Language: English


In this talk, we will provide an overview of the history and development of Kurdish language varieties in four countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Then, language policies of these nation-states, particularly with respect to Kurdish, will be critically evaluated. We will illustrate that although Kurdish speakers continue to demand positive language rights the nation-state ideology of one nation equals one language perpetuates assimilating language management practices throughout Kurdistan.

How to examine anxiety, perceived competence and willingness to communicate in real time and what doing so means

Date:January 25, 2019

Time:1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Location:70 Laurier Ave. E.,Room 509 - Hamelin Building



For the past decade, the complex dynamic systems theory (CDST) approach to describing second language learning has presented our field with one conundrum after another. On the one hand, a dynamic systems approach offers a compelling story of development, rooted in messy variability that seems true to the nature of learning as people experience it.On the other hand, there is a gap between the promise of CDST and its research products so far.Why? The difficulty lies not just in conceiving the world in dynamic terms is itself complex, but also that methodology to study dynamic systems in the second language arena is in need of further development. This presentation will review a series of problems and solutions to the methodological challenges presented by a dynamic approach.The focus will be on changing the view of how individual difference concepts, including language anxiety, perceived competence and willingness to communicate, work together in real time. This work is challenging not only the way research is done, but also the nature of the research questions allowed in the field. At the moment, however, thinking about dynamic systems in second language development is well ahead of rigorous, empirical descriptions of those systems. However, as this problem is being solved, new and informative insights in both teaching and research are emerging.


Peter D. MacIntyre

Peter D. MacIntyre

La formation continue des enseignants de langues aujourd’hui : enjeux, impacts et outils pour impliquer les enseignants

Date: December 2nd, 2018

Time:10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Location:Johnson Room in the Alex Trebek Hall



Dans un domaine en constante évolution, entre MOOC, ateliers courts, échanges de pratiques, formations diplômantes ou autoformation, comment la formation continue peut-elle être envisagée? Comment envisager son développement professionnel en tant qu’enseignant ? En tant que responsable de centre comment accompagner et impliquer nos collègues dans leur parcours et assurer un enseignement de qualité ?


Christine Busson-Camara,

Christine Busson-Camara

Automated Corrective Feedback in the Context of ASR-supported Pronunciation Training: how effective can it be?

Date:October 19, 2018

Time:13:00– 14:30

Location:129 Louis Pasteur, RoomLPR 286



Recently, Web 2.0 and mobile applications have become an endless source of new technological tools that integrate Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). Their use in learning environments has led to a growing interest by researchers whose studies demonstrate the effectiveness of these new tools in relation to acquiring L2 pronunciation, to developing oral proficiency in general, and to providing instantaneous individualized feedback (Strik et al. 2009, 2012; Cucchiarini & Strik, 2013, Liakin et al. 2015, 2017).

In this presentation, we will first examine different types of implicit and explicit corrective feedback that ASR-based applications can provide and will discuss their impact on the acquisition of L2 pronunciation in light of SLA findings (Lyster 1998, 2004; Ellis et al., 2006; Lee & Lyster, 2016 among others). Second, we will report the results of our action research on the use of three different ASR-based tools in two university-level French pronunciation courses, with specific reference to learners’ perceptions of the utility of different types of automatic corrective feedback provided by these applications.To conclude, we will offer avenues of discussion and practical suggestions for the effective and sensible integration of ASR-based applications in the teaching and learning of L2 pronunciation, in and beyond the classroom.

2017-2018 Schedule
2016-2017 Schedule
2015-2016 Schedule
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