A. Jebali

Concordia University (CANADA)
Many teachers assume that courses of oral communication for learners of French as a Second Language (FSL) must offer activities and assessment methods that rely heavily on face-to-face communication (interviews, oral presentations, etc.). We can say the same about the Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF) and Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF) assessments from France, where guided interviews and oral essays have a privileged place in the oral tests. Although face-to-face communication is an important facet of human oral communication, it relies on a definition of communicative competence that is outdated. This pragmatic definition addresses some questions such as when to speak, how, with whom, etc. That’s why it focuses on the actors, circumstances, goals and methods; it does not consider the media used in production, reception, or interaction.

In this paper, I will defend a definition of oral competence that takes into account the medium used to communicate. Based on this definition, I also propose the inclusion of mediated communication via Skype as a learning activity in French L2 oral communication courses for adults. Some interesting questions arise about this integration and to obtain the answers I conducted an experimental research. The results show that computer-mediated communication is appealing in terms of pleasure and represents a significant decrease in stress and anxiety for learners, although it is not preferred over face-to-face communication.