Journal article

Reconceptualizing the nature of goals and outcomes in language/s education

15 Jan 2016
Description

Transformations associated with the increasing speed, scale, and complexity of mobilities, together with the information technology revolution, have changed the demography of most countries of the world and brought about accompanying social, cultural, and economic shifts (Heugh, 2013). This complex diversity has changed the very nature of communication within and across languages, in society in general, and in education. These changes in turn require a reconceptualization of our approach to language/s education in ways that recognize a diversity of goals for people from different backgrounds, people who are learning a variety of languages in diverse settings and who may be interested in developing different capabilities and achieving different outcomes. In this article, we address the reconceptualization of the goals and outcomes of learning additional languages and processes for their formulation and realization. We will make explicit the educational values that underpin our position. Recognizing the immense diversity that the learning of additional languages in diverse contexts encompasses, our consideration is necessarily conceptual. The point of departure for our discussion is communicative language teaching, the dominant paradigm for language teaching for the past 40 years. We briefly trace its historical development and provide an account of some of the conceptual and theoretical expansions since its initial formulation. In light of this expansion we then discuss goals for learning additional languages by: (a) reaffirming the multilingual character of communication and learning to communicate, focusing on the exchange of meaning, (b) (re-)inserting the importance of personal development and aesthetics, and (c) recognizing the centrality of reflectivity and reflexivity in communication and learning to communicate. We conclude with a set of principles that are intended to capture the expanded nature of goals and their rendering for the purposes of teaching and learning.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
DOI: 
10.1111/modl.12300
Published year only: 
2016
19
Share
Share
Subject Areas
Advertisement