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Conference Information

Full Title: 4th Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching

Short Title: 4. SFT
Location: Saarbrücken, Germany
Start Date: 02-Nov-2017 - 04-Nov-2017
Contact: Thomas Tinnefeld
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Foreign Language Teaching in the 21st Century:
Learners 2.0 - Methods 3.0 - Challenges 4.0

In the early 21st century, foreign language teaching is exposed to noticeable discrepancies. On the one hand, it is expected to be holistic and immensely efficient; on the other hand, the language teaching methods developed up to the present day are constantly challenged by ever-growing expectations from various sides. Learners, in turn, are not always able to meet the varied expectations concerning their learning behaviour as well as the concrete progress they are to achieve. That is, both learners and methods are facing multifarious challenges. The Fourth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching devotes itself to the description and analysis of this situation as well as to possible solutions.

As is suggested by the subtitle of the conference, the development of the new media in the past few decades has been so rapid that have not yet been able to cope with the new situation and all the intellectual and methodological chances it entails. Learners have already undergone some minor evolution – i.e, progressing from Learners 1.0 to Learners 2.0 in a metaphorical sense. They have, for example, made progress by frequently referring to online software or even mobile applications for their diverse language learning activities. Yet, they have not taken the next evolutionary step which would permit them to instantly integrate new language items into their mental lexicons. It can thus be stated that typical learners are lagging behind the developments of the ''modern'' world around them.

The methods nowadays developed by foreign language methodology and action research are rather advanced as compared to those established and practised in the middle (Methods 1.0) or at the end (Methods 2.0) of the 20th century. It may, however, be admitted that in many cases, these methods do not reflect a standard that would represent an enrichment to today's learning environments. This implies that new methodological impulses represent a pressing necessity.

The impulses required in this context can be labelled Challenges 4.0. These challenges concern all the parties involved in foreign language teaching, i.e.:

- Learners, who represent the target group that is meant to benefit from all the efforts mentioned above and that is confronted with all kinds of teaching methods
- Teachers, who were trained in Methods 1.0 and - possibly - in Methods 2.0, but are expected to apply Methods 3.0 to their present teaching
- Language methodology, whose research is to cover all possible learning environments
- The educational institutions involved;
- Publishing houses that need to defend their position in a market under constant digitalization.

Set on this background and addressing all areas of language teaching, the Fourth Saarbrücken Conference will deal with the outlook of foreign language teaching and acquisition as can be presently imagined and even predicted on the basis of the different indicators perceptible in the relevant fields concerned.

The Fourth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching will be closely documented on the Internet.

Registration is open from the present moment on via email to or by filling in the online registration form to be found on top of the conference website.

Conference programme: please see conference webpage for information
Linguistic Subfield: Applied Linguistics
LL Issue: 28.663

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