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Poliglotti4.eu Expert Seminar on Early Language Learning Hosted by MERCATOR, Fryske Akademy Leeuwarden, Fryslân, The Netherlands 9-10 February, 2012 MAKING.

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Presentation on theme: "Poliglotti4.eu Expert Seminar on Early Language Learning Hosted by MERCATOR, Fryske Akademy Leeuwarden, Fryslân, The Netherlands 9-10 February, 2012 MAKING."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poliglotti4.eu Expert Seminar on Early Language Learning Hosted by MERCATOR, Fryske Akademy Leeuwarden, Fryslân, The Netherlands 9-10 February, 2012 MAKING THE SHIFT: FROM MONOLINGUAL TO MULTILINGUAL ELL Prof. Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens, & EFNIL,

2 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Concentrates on the young student: –as a school learner –as a pedagogic (social) subject Focuses on: –‘foreign’ language education curricular issues –coherent curriculum-related policies Suggests that ELL should facilitate the shift: –from monolingual to multilingual practices –from the development of competencies and skills to the development of social and communication-based literacies – multiliteracies This presentation:

3 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Which context? –‘Foreign’ languages offered in schools –The student in a formal school context –FL education as a nationally (and supra- nationally) defined project Which social subjects? –The young (primary) school-based learners –Learners whose identity is defined by the present but is shaped for future citizenry Which social conditions? –Global/supranational conditions adapted to local/national conditions, i.e., ‘glocal’ policy Policy  for:  defined as a well-defined strategy of action

4 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Global conditions lead to language curricular policies, which are determined by supranational specifications but which are also subject to local inflection, local transformation, or local reproduction Global conditions are a consequence of the following social changes impossible to ignore when designing language curricular policies, including: –Changes in the forms of economies –Changes in forms of transport (people or commodities) –Changes in the cultural composition of societies (cultural heterogeneity) –Changes in the social media available and the semiotic modes of meaning making –Changes in institutional arrangements around education Glocal (global+local), context-specific policy:

5 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens The new learner has to manage communication in: –multilingual contexts –multicultural communicative situations –multimodal discourse environments The new learner should develop multilingual literacy ELL as the basis of the new learner

6 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens The ability and skills –to make maximum use of all semiotic resources available to us, so as to communicate effectively in different situational contexts, which are often bi-, tri- and multi-lingual (not the ability to speak several separate languages) –to use ‘translanguaging’ and mediation techniques, drawing upon resources from a variety of languages –to use different forms of expression in multimodal texts to create socially situated meanings in different cultural contexts –to use simultaneously different languages and communicative activities (e.g., reading in one and speaking in another. What is multilingual literacy?

7 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens The make the shift from a mono- to a multi-lingual paradigm, we are obliged to adopt a view of the languages and cultures that people experience in their immediate and wider environment as meaning-making, semiotic systems, interrelated to one another –not as totally detached from one another, as compartmentalized. From the mon- to the multi-

8 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Shifting from mono- to multi- lingualism Language education in European schools is still viewed as a monolingual enterprise: –Languages are taught, learnt and tested one at a time –L1 education is totally distinguished from L2, L1 and L2 are distinguished from additional (‘foreign’) languages –language pedagogy is thought to be effective when it creates and sustains a linguistic and cultural island providing the learner with ‘lots of target language input’ so that s/he can be immersed.

9 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Monolingual curricular practices All teaching and assessment, as well as curricular artefacts are still based on monolingual approaches, viewing language as a closed and finite system that does not enable other languages to ‘smuggle in’. Teaching and testing materials endorse the idea that effective communication is monolingual and that proficient users of a language do not use ‘hybrid’ forms; they do not mix languages or codes. This monolingualism is in stark contrast to the current ethos of multilingual communication during which languages and semiotic modes ‘bleed’ into one another in creative ways.

10 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Why persist on such practices? Historical reasons –They are consistent with times of relative social stability, where curricula were a means for reproducing the young in the image of the dominant culture. The corresponding language theories materialized in the structuralist grammars of the time (in sink with the dominant ideologies of the post war era), and the pedagogies were a means for modeling and sustaining particular models of for social relations.

11 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Why persist on such practices? Economic reasons –Viewed within the social and political context of language teaching and testing, monolingual policies entail material and symbolic profit for those who are key players in the international market.

12 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens To respond to today’s communicational landscape which is multimodal  and multilingual. This means that language education should no longer be seen as simply to achieve ‘mastery’ of one or two, or even three languages, each taken in isolation, with the ‘ideal native speaker’ as the ultimate model. * Multimodal communication is that which makes use of two or more semiotic modes (e.g. written language, image and sound) Why modify aim of language education?

13 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens A new communicational landscape The changes mentioned earlier have led to profound social and cultural transformations, which, if considered together with the technological developments in e- communication, should lead to a radical rethinking of 'the language-user'. The access that language users now have to e- technology makes each and every one a producer of meanings capable of reaching a potentially vast audience. As the texts produced exist in digital form, interactivity becomes a reality.

14 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Developing design abilities The questions the effective communicator need now ask are related to how to distribute information across the semiotic modes (language included), available to the speaker-writer so as to produce particular effects for the intended audience. Design goes beyond competent performance within the potentials of one mode. In the new environment, the question of the potentials of each mode as a productive resource, capable of transformation, joined with the questions around the best use of the different representational potentials of the various modes, demand a different set of practices.

15 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Developing design abilities All this is crucial for new language curricula, where learners cannot be viewed as 'acquiring' the stable/static resources of a semiotic system, and adapting to that system Learners are to be seen as transformative, innovative, creative subjects. In such curricula, the notion of design gathers up and goes beyond both competence and points to the disappearance of the paradigms of the mass-society, and their shaping and positioning of individuals, including individual language 'users'.

16 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Curricular policies for Early Language Teaching and Learning ‘Foreign’ or additional language learning starting in preschool or first primary grades should help achieve goals such as the following: –development of new beliefs and attitudes towards language(s) –shaping a multilingual ethos of communication –developing skills as a designer of meaning multimodally –developing social literacy through the use of various semiotic resources –Developing inter- and intra-linguistic mediation strategies

17 Bessie Dendrinos, University of Athens Course design policy aims for early FL Design course for language learning, not teaching Assess language learning strategies rather than the result of learning or teaching Design activities so that learners –experience the meaning-making process –become aware of the importance of the different semiotic modes –indulge in translanguaging and mediation –be creative in trying to achieve defined communicative purposes


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