Educational technologies and the social action-oriented approach: what future for language textbooks?

Educational technologies and the social action-oriented approach: what future for language textbooks?
English translation (May 2023) of 2013k.
PUREN_2013k-en_Future for language textb
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Language textbooks have sometimes been criticized in the past: in particular, they would prevent "learner-centeredness", would generate repetitive practices for the teacher, and would even become useless at a time when teachers, thanks to the Internet, can have access to authentic documents themselves. However, one cannot help but notice the resistance of textbooks in language teaching, and I explain the reason for this through the various very useful didactic functions that they provide. Furthermore, there is "a whole series of convergences between the implementation of the social action-oriented approach (SAOA) in language textbooks and educational technologies". Nevertheless, two new problems created by this SAOA must be taken into account: (1) the demand for a certain degree of autonomy on the part of the students, contrary to the pre-programming of contents and activities, which is precisely one of the functions of textbooks; (2) the demand for a longer time than that of the classic didactic unit, so that the students have time to become involved in their action. I cite the French as a foreign language textbook Original Version 4 (level B2), which I directed, as proposing a compromise solution, namely the conception of didactic units as "mini-projects" of which the students can propose variants in groups: the margin of autonomy left to the students thus makes it possible to implement, in addition to project-based pedagogy, another type of pedagogy that is very rarely taken into account in textbooks, namely “differentiated pedagogy”. English translation (May 2023) of "Technologies éducatives et perspective actionnelle : quel avenir pour les manuels de langue ?" Long version of an article published in French under the same title pp. 122-130 in Issue 54, July 2013, of the special issue "Recherches et applications" of the journal Le Français dans le monde (Paris: CLE international, 179 p., 2013k. Also available at