Events in Bordeaux


25 November 2017

Storytelling and the Human Library 


Time: 10:00-13:00
Speaker: Debbie West
Venue: ENSEIRB-MATMECA, 1 avenue du Dr Albert Schweitzer, 33402 Talence Cedex, Tram B, arrêt « Arts et Métiers »

This venue is not open to the public on weekends, therefore, walk-ins will not be possible. Please be sure to register.

Registration will be posted shortly



9 December 2017: Differences and similarities in cross-disciplinary discourse: some implications for teaching practice 

Time: 10:00-13:00
Speaker: Ray Cooke
Venue: ENSEIRB-MATMECA, 1 avenue du Dr Albert Schweitzer, 33402 Talence Cedex
             Tram B, arrêt « Arts et Métiers »

This venue is not open to the public on weekends, therefore, walk-ins will not be possible. Please be sure to fill in the registration form to let us know that you will be coming. 


About the Workshop

While the discourse of any scientific or technical discipline is readily identifiable as such to the EFL/ESP teacher, knowing what to do with it in class may be a challenge. Teachers may find themselves in the situation where they are expected to produce meaningful ESP content for their learners but with very little guidance on how to do so, either from fellow language teachers or from the disciplinary course directors who have overall responsibility for curricula.

Of course, off-the-shelf solutions exist in the form of manuals for particular disciplines (e.g. English for Nurses, Biologists, etc), but these may be difficult to follow in a linear manner: they may present language items in an artificial order decided by the author(s); their level of difficulty may be too low or too high for the target audience owing to cultural factors; they lack the element of surprise or novelty that learners should be able to expect, etc. At best, they can serve to provide tried-and-tested material on a piecemeal basis.

One way to provide meaningful content that can feed into an overall ESP programme is to take the authentic discourse produced by the members of a scientific or technical discourse community and transform (or didactise) it into pedagogical language-learning material. After all, the ultimate linguistic challenge for non-native-speaking members of any discourse community is to be able to use its behavioral and linguistic ‘code’, e.g. presenting one’s masters research findings to a group of disciplinary peers…and in English; understanding a scientific article at undergraduate level; etc.

This presentation will take the participants through several issues:
  • Does each scientific or technical discipline have its own separate hermetic language register or is there some degree of overlap?
  • If there is overlap, is it purely semantic or do commonalities exist in the way scientists of different disciplines use English or behave with it?
  • If such commonalities can be identified, can we as language teachers use that knowledge to design course content that will lead our learners to an awareness of how their future discourse community colleagues use English?
  • Could such knowledge provide added value for us as teachers and allow us to teach across a wider disciplinary audience of learners?
The presentation will be hands-on with the participants first ‘doing’ and then ‘debriefing’. The material used will be textual and will cover a wide range of the types of text (or genera) common to science. The focus will be on activities pertinent to bachelors and masters students, i.e. up to and including Bac +5.

This event is FREE to TESOL France members. Please bring your membership card with you. Non-member registration fee: €8. Please bring exact change. If you like, joining TESOL France, €49 (or renewing your membership) will be possible on the day.


Before you join or renew,  please be sure to fill out the Members Registration Form on our website, before you come to the workshop.  If you have renewed your membership or signed up as a new member recently and have selected the “Pay by cheque or cash onsite” payment option on the website, we can process your payment and validate your membership at the workshop.

Questions? Write to 'Regions Bordeaux' through the Contact form on our website.  The regional coordinator will reply to your email.


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