Last week I was in Melbourne for the annual Australian Society for French Studies conference, held at RMIT. I hadn’t been to this conference since 2011 since it’s usually held in December when I am often traveling. Thanks to my frequent flyer points and no registration fee for full-time students, it ended up being a very inexpensive conference trip for me.
The first plenary speech, De l’aventure napoléonienne au malaise européen actuel, was given by former prime minister of France, Lionel Jospin. He gave the same talk in English, From the Napoleonic venture to the current European malaise, at a public forum the same night.
Most of the presentations I attended were on teaching or translation. One that was particularly interesting, especially for the purposes of teaching French conversation, was La discussion française comme conflit ludique: lien entre atmosphère sonore et réussite de l’échange. Conversations that were considered the most réussi by native French speakers (from France) were those that included more concessions, overlaps, refutations, questions and brouhaha as well as less silence and fewer instances of “saving face.”
A talk on Variétés du français en Louisiane: tensions sociolinguistiques d’hier à aujourd’hui was also quite interesting and made me really want to visit Louisiana the next time I’m in the US.
Next year’s conference will be at Newcastle (north of Sydney).
Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.