Language Learning, Ecological Validity, and Innovation under Conditions of Superdiversity
This article describes three pedagogical proposals oriented toward moving language learning to the center of higher education, and further, to emphasizing the importance of both continued first (L1) and additional/foreign (L2) language learning as central to academic and professional success. The first project, titled Language-Integrated Knowledge Education (or LIKE), aims at making explicit the linguistic resources necessary for full participation in written and spoken academic contexts, in both students’ first as well as (potentially) multiple foreign languages. The second project describes the benefits and rationale for broadening the use of online intercultural exchange within foreign language education as well as the use of virtual intercultural dialogue in discipline specific (i.e., non-language focused) content courses. The third project, more briefly presented as a concept piece, explores the use of place-based learning through GPS-enabled mobile games in an effort to take language learning resources and activities out of the classroom and into the world. Each of the three proposals is simultaneously modest as well as ambitious. They are modest in that they build from and combine together elements of existing pedagogical approaches to language education, such as telecollaboration, Content and Language Integrated Instruction (CLIL), language focused portfolios, and utilization of mobile technologies to design place-based and augmented reality experiences that are developmentally useful for language learners. They are ambitious because each approach includes an explicit focus on L2 development within traditional language learning contexts (e.g., foreign, world, and modern language departments and courses), but also encourages the broad and systematic integration of language education with other realms of activity, including academic disciplines (the LIKE project), internationally distributed communities (virtual internationalization through online intercultural exchange), and environments/places outside of classrooms (GPS-enabled mobile games).