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Language Learning in the Wild

Second language (L2) teaching has a very long tradition which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, since understanding the need for learning other languages is deeply ingrained and emphasized in our societies. A curse, since the inertia of the teaching tradition still favors teaching practices formed one or two centuries ago which reflect language learning theory and practice in a society with elite access to language teaching, low transnational mobility, focus on written communication in other languages and strong linguistic and social norms. This resulted in overemphasizing grammar, written language and correctness.

Currently, L2 classrooms are still hidden behind closed doors, although outside of the classroom the local language is all around the students. Ways to make use of the students' living environment for language learning have been explored sporadically over the last 30 years, but have not inspired lasting changes of teaching practices. This is especially regrettable since learning a language in today's multilingual, highly mobile and tolerant society with need for fluid and flexible interaction competence needs a pathway to sustainable local and cultural integration.

The role of the  project is to create coherent research and development practices between four initiatives in the Nordic countries and to lead to national, Nordic and European cooperation and research projects. The project will develop robust examples of theoretically grounded, individually focused, socially anchored L2 learning practices to provide migrants, especially middle class professionals, with a short way into the new language and the new society.

Participants

Johannes Wagner, jwa@sdu.dk

Søren W.Eskildsen, swe@sdu.dk

Dennis Day, dennis.day@sdu.dk

Teresa Cadierno, cadierno@sdu.dk

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