C. Elkabas

University of Toronto (CANADA)
My presentation takes a 2001 document known as the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) as a starting point. This 273-page complex document provides useful guidance to many stakeholders (language teachers, applied linguists and methodologists) and elaborates on topics such as the notion of competencies, the natural move from the Communicative approach to the Action-oriented approach, the role of the learner as an autonomous and social agent, learners’ assessment, as well as suggestions for activities relevant to the Framework. Because the CEFR is not a prescriptive “framework”, many researchers have offered valuable additions promoting a better understanding of this reference guide (Little 2006, 2011; North 2014, Piccardo 2014). My intent is to concentrate on chapter 7 of this document (“Tasks and their role in language teaching”), highlight its main principles and show how these can be applied using the internet and “cybertasks” (Ellis 2003; Mangenot and Soubrié 2010, Soubrié 2010 ) as useful tools to promote interculturalism and multiculturalism in the classroom (Byram 2002, 2009; Pastin 2013). As a result of constant and wider global migration, our classrooms, no longer homogenous, are now populated with students from different ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds. The classroom being a social space, we seek to engage our students as social-agents and help them understand their own personal culture, reflect on their intercultural competence and encourage intercultural dialogue.

[1] Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford, New York: Oxford Applied Linguistics.
[2] Byram, M. et al. (2002). Developing the Intercultural Dimension in Language Teaching. A Practical Introduction to Teachers. Language Policy Division, Directorate of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education, Council of Europe.
[3] Byram, M. (2009). Multicultural Societies, Pluricultural People and the Project of Intercultural Education. Language Policy Division, Council of Europe.
[4] CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment) (2001). Language Policy Unit, Strasbourg, Council of Europe.
[5] Little, D. (2006). “The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: content, purpose, origin, reception and impact”. Language Teaching, 39(03), 167–190.
[6] Little, D. (2011). “The Common European Framework of Reference for languages: a research agenda”. Language Teaching, 44(3), 381-393.
[7] Mangenot, F and T. Soubrié (2010) « Classer des cybertâches : quels critères, quels obstacles? » Études de linguistique appliquée, no. 160, 433-443.
[8] North, B. (2014). The CEFR in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, English Profile Studies No 4.
[9] Pastin, J. (2013). « Pour une pédagogie du dialogue interculturel dans l’enseignement des langues étrangères ». Euromentor Journal, 2013, 25-35.
[10] Piccardo, E. (2014). From Communicative to Action-Oriented: A Research Pathway, Curriculum Services Canada.
[11] Soubrié, T. (2010). « Internet au service de la tâche : un travail d’ajustements ». Revue internationale des technologies en pédagogie universitaire / International Journal of Technologies in Higher Education, 7 (1) 6-17.