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SLA and the Study of Equitable Multilingualism


Lourdes Ortega från universitetet i Georgetown, Washington D.C. håller en gästföreläsning om andraspråksinlärning och flerspråkighet.

Alla som vill delta under föreläsningen måste registrera sig på länken nedan senast 30 april.

This lecture has been made possible thank to the generous support by SA Hedlund's lecture fund.

We live in uncertain times of serious deterioration of solidarity for human diversity, a widening of economic inequalities and intensification of racial and religious hatred, and alarming tides of authoritarian populism spreading in the West. Many multilinguals – even more so multilinguals in marginalized communities – are vulnerable in the present climate. Multilingualism can be studied from many disciplinary perspectives, and the one I address in this talk is second language acquisition (SLA), whose goal is to account for the development of communicative competencies when the new language is learned formally or informally during young, middle, or older adulthood, and therefore well outside primary socialization in the family. How well equipped are SLA researchers to illuminate adult bi/multilingualism while responding to the challenges that multilinguals face in our uncertain times? I will unpack four constraints that have hampered disciplinarity capacity to generate useful knowledge about adult multilingualism: (1) the romanticization of an 'early start' and the deficit construction of a 'late timing' for language learning, together with the isolation of the new language as the proper object of inquiry at the exclusion of the other familiar languages of emergent bilinguals; (2) the adherence to an essentialist ontology of language that considers it a system separate from the act of communication; (3) a teleological view of language development benchmarked against an ideal monolingual native speaker model; and (4) a post-positivist disaffection for ethics, power, and ideologies. I also offer hopeful openings for the transformation of the research habitus so as to build capacity and respond to the needs that so many multilingual individuals, families, and communities are experiencing.

Short bio
Lourdes Ortega is a Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University. She is best known for an award-winning meta-analysis of second language instruction published in 2000, a best-seller graduate-level textbook Understanding Second Language Acquisition (Routledge 2009, translated into Mandarin in 2016), and since 2010 for championing a bilingual and social justice turn in her field of second language acquisition. Her latest book is The Handbook of Bilingualism with Cambridge University Press (co-edited in 2019 with child bilingualism researcher Annick De Houwer).

Please register here no later than April 30th to attend the event.

Föreläsare: Lourdes Ortega, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Datum: 2019-05-08

Tid: 12:00 - 14:00

Kategorier: Humaniora, Språk

Arrangör: Institutionen för svenska språket

Plats: Olof Wijksgatan 6, T219

Kontaktperson: Tommaso Milani

Sidansvarig: |Sidan uppdaterades: 2018-10-03

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