Cornell University

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Language Resource Center Speaker Series - Amanda Brown

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Stimson Hall, G25
204 East Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

"Immersive versus Non-Immersive Language Teaching: Experimental Studies in English, French, and Arabic Classrooms"
Amanda Brown
Associate Professor of Linguistics, Syracuse University

Contemporary theories of language pedagogy have advocated almost exclusive second language (L2) use in language classrooms (Ellis & Shintani, 2014). The need for L2 input, output, and interaction notwithstanding, this "monolingual" view of immersive pedagogy (Hall & Cook, 2012) has drawn criticism. From a "multicompetence" perspective on second language acquisition (Cook & Wei, 2016), which considers all known languages to constitute a single system of knowledge, and a "translanguaging" view of education (e.g., Garcia, Johnson & Selzter, 2017), defined as use of "multiple discursive practices" in the education of emergent bilinguals, the goal of world language teaching/learning should be the development of bi/multilingualism, with proficient, flexible use of multiple languages (Creese & Blackledge, 2010). However, the issue of immersive versus non-immersive approaches to L2 teaching has been labeled “the most important theoretical and pedagogic question facing both the research and practitioner communities today” (Macaro, 2014, p. 10). This talk summarizes a series of studies on 12 second and world language classrooms in English, French, and Arabic at different proficiency levels, quasi-experimentally testing whether strategic use of learners’ native (L1) or other languages facilitates L2 acquisition. Implications for classroom language immersion are discussed. 

Bio: Dr. Amanda Brown is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Syracuse University. She investigates the psycholinguistic effects of multilingualism and associated implications for language pedagogy, assessment, and teacher preparation. She teaches courses in second language teaching/learning and holds administrative positions in graduate programs in linguistics and language teaching. 

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