Australian Society for French Studies Conference 2011

I travelled to Canberra this past weekend to attend the Australian Society for French Studies Conference at the Australian National University. To coincide with the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia and Australian Linguistics Society conferences also taking place in Canberra this week as part of Langfest, the three themes of the conference were translation, language teaching, and discourse analysis. Obviously I attended most of the teaching presentations, though I do have an interest in translation. The conference was bilingual but most presentations were in French. I was excited to find out that the 2012 conference will be at the University of Adelaide on September 27-28, so I hope other French researchers will join me there because I am definitely attending.

Béatrice Chassaing from the French Embassy offered some interesting statistics on Australian-French studies. About 6,000 students at Australian universities are studying French, but only 500 study abroad in France. In fact, less than 1% of all Australian students study abroad. In comparison, there are 3,700 French students currently studying in Australia. The French Embassy has recently started a program to increase Australian student mobility to France and to develop Australian universities / French companies partnerships by offering paid internships for Australian students in French companies established in Australia  or in Australian companies operating in France. For more information, download the Internship Program information sheet. And if neither study abroad nor internships sound appealing, the teaching assistant program is still an option. There are about 65 positions available for Australian citizens to teach English in primary or secondary schools in France or the DOM-TOMS (including New Caledonia) for seven months. The application deadline is December 12 to start teaching in October 2012.

Other plenary talks included Pierre Bondil reflecting on his translations of crime fiction (polars) over the years and Pierre Labbe explaining the concept of le Softpower à la française. Two adorable Americans who have lived in France for 45 years, Sheila Malovany-Chevallier and Constance Borde, also spoke about their translation of Le Deuxième Sexe (and I really hope they attend the conference next year because I loved talking to them about how great Australia is!) Unfortunately I had to leave early on the second day so I missed Philippe Met’s talk on “Le lendemain matin…”, ou la traduction d’une ellipse : scènes post-coïtales dans le cinéma français des années 30.

Australia-France websites to check out:

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  • Samantha

    I’m really surprised on the statistics about how many Australian’s are studying abroad in France, I know it’s far and expensive – but it’s just as far and expensive for French people so why the big gap? When I studied at Monash University, one of the Top 8 university’s mentioned that’s participating in the Internship program, studying in France was always very popular program… I thought there would be a lot more than what the statistics are telling us

  • Samantha

    I’m really surprised on the statistics about how many Australian’s are studying abroad in France, I know it’s far and expensive – but it’s just as far and expensive for French people so why the big gap? When I studied at Monash University, one of the Top 8 university’s mentioned that’s participating in the Internship program, studying in France was always very popular program… I thought there would be a lot more than what the statistics are telling us

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    I was surprised by the low numbers too. But I guess considering that only something like 22 or 26 Australian unis teach French anymore and enrollment numbers drop by a third or fourth after the first year, there really aren’t that many students left taking French who could study abroad. :/

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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