Revue EDL

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Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 by Céline Guilleux


Au début de l’année 2020 un virus disruptif a remis en question l’organisation, la planification, les prévisions, les projets, que ce soit dans les domaines culturels, politiques, économiques ou sociaux. Selon Edgar Morin, « nous essayons de nous entourer d’un maximum de certitudes, mais vivre, c’est naviguer dans une mer d’incertitudes ». La place de l’incertitude dans l’enseignement est établie, mais demande à être explorée davantage. Elle est au cœur à la fois des fonctions d’enseigner et d’apprendre. Elle est bien sûr aussi au cœur de la recherche. En didactique des langues, la réflexion sur l’incertitude peut se décliner selon différents axes.



Early 2020, a disruptive virus upset much of what humans had put into place in terms of organization, planning, predictions, and expectations, projects – be they within cultural, political, economic or social fields. In the educational realm, schools, colleges, high schools and universities closed their doors. Overnight, pupils, students, teachers and parents had to give in to distance work for which the majority were unprepared, despite the work ̶ largely ignored so far – of researchers in this field.

Thus, each of us was able to fully measure one of the fundamental parameters of our humanity according to Edgar Morin (2020): “we try to surround ourselves with a maximum of certainties, but to live is to navigate in a sea of uncertainties, through islets and archipelagos of certainties on which we get our sustenance [...]”. Catherine Fuchs (2008) notes the difficulties of navigating in a language (under- or over-determination, homonyms, polysemy), which can be extended to all aspects of language teaching and learning.

], which links uncertainty and complexity. It is because of the complexity of the world, and the resulting uncertainty that is consubstantial to our human existence, that he invites us to abandon all dogmatism, without, however, falling into an anxiety-provoking relativism. According to Helsing’s (2007) synthetic review of the literature, the presence of uncertainty within teaching is established, but requires greater exploration.

Uncertainty is at the heart of both the functions of teaching and learning. It is, of course, also at the heart of research, because research means uncertainty at the outset. There is no unanimous consensus on a teaching method, an evaluation method, or even a language standard. Choices must constantly be made between different types of action. There are many ways to learn, just as there are many ways to teach or to conduct research. We change our ways throughout our lives. Susan Kidd Villaume (2000) argues for the “necessity of uncertainty”.

In language didactics, the reflection on uncertainty can take different forms.

  • what is the ontological validity of the concepts we use? For example, does using the term “motivation” mean that motivation has a reality?
  • is it possible to affirm and generalize quantitatively obtained results without precautions? What validity should be given to results obtained by qualitative methods?
  • What is the reality of the language being taught?
  • what place should be given to digital development in an uncertain and changing world? What place for social ties?
  • what training for future teachers will give them the necessary tools to face the uncertainty of the professional situations they will encounter? How can they be brought to understand that there is not one way, but many ways to adapt to the complexity of the contexts in which they work? What level of precision should be adopted when evaluating learners’ production?

Submission guidelines

Complete contributions should be sent directly, as there is no preliminary selection of proposals. They may be written in French or English. Manuscripts (between 6,000 and 10,000 words), addressing one of the subjects above, will respect the style sheet available on-line.

The manuscripts should be sent by email before 30 June 2021

to <edl@lairdil.fr> to be published in issue number 37 of EDL/FLLTR in December 2021.

Scientific Committee

David Banks (Université de Brest), Khadoudja Belkhenchir (Université Oran - Es Sénia, Algérie), Jean-Claude Bertin (Université du Havre), Marie-Christine Deyrich (Université de Bordeaux), Carmen Fonseca (Université de Huelva, Espagne), Pierre Frath (Université de Reims), Oksana Gavrilyuk (Université de Krasnoïark, Russsie), Anna Gvozdeva (Université d'état de Koursk, Russie), Hélène Knoerr (Université d’Ottawa, Canada), Jean-Rémi Lapaire (Université de Bordeaux), Marie-Françoise Narcy-Combes (Université de Nantes), Jean-Paul Narcy-Combes (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3), Sylvie Ngilla McGraw (University of San Diego, USA), Christian Puren (Université de Saint-Etienne), Françoise Raby (Université de Toulouse), Claire Tardieu Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3), Annalisa Zanola (Université de Brescia, Italie), Bin Zou (Université Xi'an Jiaotong, Chine - Liverpool University, GB).


  • Elizabeth Crosnier (Université Toulouse3)
  • Nicole Décuré (Université Toulouse 3


  • Wednesday, June 30, 2021


  • incertitude, didactique des langues,épistémologie, linguistique, pédagogie


  • Elisabeth Crosnier
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] crosnier [at] oragne [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Elisabeth Crosnier
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] crosnier [at] oragne [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Uncertainty », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, https://calenda.org/811356

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