Designing for language learning in the wild: creating social infrastructures for second language learning

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    When adult newcomers arrive in a new society, the new language encroaches immediately into their everyday lives. As a minimum, newcomers are overhearers of and eavesdroppers to encounters in public life, education, at workplaces, or in the media and they meet texts wherever they go. In daily life, there are ample daily opportunities for engaging with the language of the society. It has a paramount presence in the daily life of newcomers even before they have acquired the nuts and bolts for using it actively. Language encounters ‘in the wild’ happen in a sometimes chaotic, sometimes repetitive environment, in fully embodied ways, in familiar and unfamiliar settings - all of which the newcomers constantly need to make sense of.
    Compared to these experiences in their life-world, newcomers experience radically different opportunities for participation when seated in language classrooms where the conditions for interacting are rather different. Classroom activities are usually well ordered, often based on written material, and performed sitting at tables.
    This chapter is concerned with the question whether and how language encounters ‘in the wild’ can support the learning of the local (second) language, how language contacts and experiences can be enhanced and brought back into the classroom to study and learn from them. How can the ‘wild’ language be practically supported to become the ‘food chain’ of language acquisition? The paper will present an example of language encounters ‘in the wild’ and analyze the sense-making procedures used. It will call for change in the division of labor between the classroom and everyday second language life. The final section offers pedagogical practices to support the second languages outside of classrooms and to bring the experiences back into the classrooms. I will point at practical possibilities for changes and report about cooperation between second language practitioners, researchers and interactive designers from Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland in a project that explores ways of building support structures in the everyday life environment of the newcomers and intends to make the their explorations into the ‘wild’ available for teaching practices in the classroom.
    TitelUsage-based perspectives on second language learning
    RedaktørerTeresa Cadierno, Søren W. Eskildsen
    ForlagMouton de Gruyter
    Publikationsdato1. dec. 2015
    ISBN (Trykt)9783110377323, 9783110378535
    ISBN (Elektronisk)9783110378528, 9783110393255
    StatusUdgivet - 1. dec. 2015
    NavnApplications of Cognitive Linguistics