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Language Learning Crisis -what crisis? Examining learning language crises through the rationale of global language statuses

Wednesday 11 November 2020, 1.00PM to 2.00pm

Speaker(s): Dr Ursula Lanvers, Centre for Research in Language Learning and Use

This talk gives a synopsis of my main research activities during my research leave, and a synoptical rationale as to how the projects hang together. As a large part of my efforts went into conceptualising, writing, and reviewing chapters for, the book Language Learning in Anglophone Countries: challenges, practices, ways forwards, I will start with the overall rationale conceptualisation of this book. To date, language learning crises in all major Anglophone countries (i.e. English as (one) national language) report declines and disinterest in the learning of languages other than English (LOTE). This phenomenon has rarely been described at a global, or conceptual level, with both empirical, pedagogical, and conceptual studies focusing on just their Anglophone country. Many rationales and empirical studies of LOTE crises share (at least) one (or more) of four linguistic myopia - these will be described. The book proposes instead to understand the Anglophone language learning in the context of global statuses of different languages, and offers 28 chapters from 6 Anglophone countries, some describing the language learning crises (at school as well as HE level) in different countries, some offering approaches and solutions to address it. I will describe one empirical study in this book (Lanvers & Martin) illustrating how in England, societal and educational factors co-construct the crisis, and argue for the need to address the crisis at this level. Next, I will present one recent empirical study, using the global status rationale, and suggesting one way forward (of several possible) to address poor language learner motivation when entering Key stage 4/choosing to continue a MFL in England. (Abstract below). My talk will finish with the appeal to include LOTE crises in non-Anglophone countries into the global languages rationale, and (if time) an EU project applying this.


Zoom details to follow

Location: via Zoom