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Conference Information

Full Title: Fabula Agitur! Theatrical and Artistic Practices in Grenoble

Location: Grenoble, France
Start Date: 28-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2015
Contact: Filippo Fonio
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: In recent years, specialists in language instruction have paid much attention to the contribution of theatrical practices - and, more broadly speaking, of artistic practices - to the learning of modern languages. This symposium intends to look into a body of work that has so far been neglected: artistic practices used as a way to teach Ancient Languages, whether at school, college, or in local associations, in France and abroad.

Thanks to the stage, acting and oracy, this approach may be more physical and more emotional than those they are used to encountering in the classroom, in terms of what the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) calls 'knowledge', 'skills' and 'existential competences' (three macro-categories that apply to each form of learning).

So far, these many and varied practices have not been taken into account in any theoretical analysis or synthesis; at most, we are presented with field reports. This symposium is intended to address this lack of scientific background.

By using an approach inspired by research into language instruction, it will be asked how performing a song in Latin, Greek or Old Irish, or how producing a play in Latin, Ancient Greek or Sanskrit may be helpful in the process of learning these difficult languages, or in the process of discovering very distant cultures and literary traditions. Moreover, this kind of learning is not just directed towards oral fluency, but towards the reading of texts, situated in their proper context. So what kinds of specific problems are caused by the teaching of these languages, and how can the stage help to solve them, if at all? How can teachers find time to adopt theatre activities in Ancient Languages in school curricula? Which specific aspects of Ancient Language learning can be made easier through artistic practices? Are there any exercises that match specific grammar points, vocabulary development, poetic meter or even cultural studies? Which other cross-disciplinary skills may be developed? Is the opening up to other apprenticeships made easier? To what extent does the educational institution encourage such an approach? What support and training can voluntary teachers be eligible for? And finally, how do pupils, students and parents respond to these approaches?

The performances created by these practices will also be considered in an aesthetic perspective, inspired by studies on the performing arts. Do they focus mainly on texts and plays belonging to the Ancient era or to a later repertoire (Medieval and Renaissance texts as far as Latin and Greek are concerned), or instead on re-writings, literary patchworks, or even ex nihilo creations? If so, how and by whom are these new texts created? Does the staging of Ancient plays take into account recent research into Ancient Drama? Do these productions offer archeological reconstructions or contemporary interpretations? How is Latin and Greek pronunciation dealt with? Is poetic meter addressed at all? How is acting exactly defined? And what about the chorus, dance, music and singing?

The symposium will be held at Stendhal University - Grenoble III (France) from January 28 to January 30, 2015. Conference participants will be offered short training sessions on Ancient Language theatre as well as two theatrical performances which will clearly display the benefits of artistic practices for the learning of Ancient Languages and Cultures.
Linguistic Subfield: Applied Linguistics; Ling & Literature
LL Issue: 25.1498

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