Language learning as participation and socialisation Dr Gabriela Meier
Overview • Look at 2nd part of identity • Discuss Reading • Presentation • New topic: COP and L2 socialisation
Language learning as social participation • Community of practice • Language socialisation • Post-structuralist approaches • Socially cohesive classrooms
Perspectives of Language learning • Behavioural (habit formation) • Cognitive perspectives (individual, psychological focus) • Strategies and styles (competencies, intelligencies) • Emotional (affective influences) • Socio-cultural (learning as a socially mediated activity) • Socio-anthropological (social participation) • Socio-political (social justice)
Community of practice • Learning as social participation: “Learning viewed as situated activity has as its defining characteristic a process that we call legitimate peripheral participation. By this we mean to draw attention to the point that learners inevitably participate in communities of practitioners and that the mastery of knowledge and skills requires newcomers to move toward full participation in the sociocultural practices of a community.” (Lave & Wenger, 1991: 29)
Legitimate peripheral participation • gaining access to resources (conversational and other language learning opportunities) depends on: • access to the social and verbal activities of the target language community of practice; • being accepted is central to access to language learning opportunity; • success derived partly from their own actions, partly from their respective communities’ willingness to adapt and to accept them as legitimate participants.“ [structure and agency] (Toohey and Norton 2001 cited in Mitchell and Myles 2004)
Community of practice • What is meant by participation? Participation = “a process of being active participants in relationship to these communities (i.e. formation of identity)” Wenger 1998:4)
Community of Practice (CoP)A social theory of learning • Apprenticeships in non-school settings • Little explicit teaching • Newcomers assume increasingly responsible roles Etienne Wenger 1998
CoP theory based on situated learning (Lave and Wenger 1991:29)
Situated learning • Based on socio-cultural theory • Learning as a social process shaped by the social context • Language learning is shaped by the setting, the participants, their roles, the activities undertaken, and the resources used. Richards and Schmidt 2010
Situated learning • Learning that takes place in a ‘real’ environment. Outside the classroom • Field trips • Language learning in shops, kitchens, gardens • Meetings with TL speakers • Internships Inside the classroom • Task-based learning • Problem-based learning • Subject learning through another language (Immersion/CLIL) • Classroom as community of practice (Toohey 2000, 2001)
Your COPs? Think of your language learning. What communities of practice do/did you belong to inside and outside classrooms? Children ask parents to recreate Masterchef recipes Children are forcing parents to become more adventurous in the kitchen after watching cookery programmes like Masterchef and Come Dine With Me, a new study found.
Community = based on… • Mutual engagement • members interact with each other • Joint enterprise • common endeavour • Shared repertoire • “common resources of language, styles and routines by which they express their identities as members of the group” (based on Wenger 1998, discussed in Barton and Tusting 2005:2)
COP research orientations • Product orientation: what do learners need to participate in a community of practice? • e.g. based on needs analysis for academic disciplines: what academic and language skills are needed to complete the task (see Ferris, 1998; Ferris & Tagg, 1996a, 1996b). • Process oriented: how are students socialised? Investigation of the situated or socially and temporally constructed process by which newcomers become socialized into a community of practice. • e.g. looking at discourses at various levels of schooling (e.g., Belcher, 1994; Casanave, 1992, 1995; Duff, 2001, 2002; Harklau, 1999, 2000; Morita, 2000; Prior, 1998; Spack, 1997; Toohey, 2000).
Think about your COPs See handout • Think of a learning context, where you were a newcomer in community of practice • Please describe this community of practice, using the conceptual framework provided in the handout.
Community of Practice • Central idea: situated approaches to learning • Taken up across social, educational and management sciences • Used, applied, criticised, adapted and developed by a wide range of researchers (Barton and Tusting 2005:introduction)
Used in... • Management • Education • Virtual world • “Theory of learning which acknowledges networks and groups which are informal and not the same as formal structures. “ “Useful as theory” and “of value in practice” (Barton & Tusting 2005:3)
Community of practice: strength • It takes learning out of the classroom (life-long learning) • Addresses learning in the workplace and everyday life. • Helps understand difference between formal and informal education (Barton & Tusting 2005: 3)
Development of the concept of CoP • Early concepts: cognitive (product orientation) “thinking is a practical activity which is adjusted to meet the demands of the situation” (Rogoff & Lave 1987:7) • Later concepts: socio-cultural (process orientation) “concepts of learning are shifted from apprenticeship, through notions of situated learning to communities of practice. In particular the notion of community of practice provides a set of concepts which view learning as a form of participation in activities. “ (based on Lave and Wenger 1991, discussed in Barton and Tusting 2005)
Development of the concept of CoP • learning as social participation • the individual as an active participant [agency] in the practices of social communities • construction of his/her identity through these communities COP as a means for organisations to become more effective. (Wenger 2002)
Critique of CoP • No critical examination of the concept of community • No distinction among different types of learning • Legitimate peripheral participation is a single, undifferentiated construct, when relationships are often hierarchical. (Haneda 2006) • Membership of a community is not a helpful notion, since membership varies. (Gee 2004) • Does not consider language, literacy, discourse and power • Oversimplifications of management training (Barton & Tusting 2005)
The Wenger-Trayner business 2012 www.wengertrayner.com
Classrooms as a COP • Learning together: Children and adults in the school community • “The teachers shape the curriculum around the children’s interests, using children’s curiosity, being alert to opportunities for learning as they occur” • Teamwork is emphasised and teachers, children and parents are all viewed as part of the learning community. (Rogoff, Turkanis and Bartlett 2001:39)
L2 socialisation “Those who approach a new language thus do so not simply by learning a system of new ways in which to express and interpret their native ways of acting and feeling, but also by learning the preferences and theories of a new community. “ (based on Ochs 2002, discussed in Young 2009
Language socialisation (Duff 1995:508)
Language socialisation perspective • systematic account of the wider frameworks and socially recognized situations within which speech acts are performed. • predicts that there will be a structured strategic relationship between language development and ‘culturally organised situations of use’.” (Mitchell and Myles 2004:236) “Thick explanation” (Watson-Gegeo 2004:340)
The study of language socialisation shows “how language forms correspond with the values, beliefs, and practices of a particular group and how novices can come to adopt them in interaction” (Cole & Zuengler 2003:99) Emphasis on novice and expert / oldtimer and newcomer.
Questions re language socialisation Research: widening agenda, “often including new population demographics” (Duff 1995) Power • Socialisation into language ideologies (whose ideology?) • Who is the novice who is expert? (agency) • Adoption or resistance of norms and rules? • Which language(s) are legitimate in the classroom and for what purposes?
Post-structuralist perspective • “Social structures are often hidden and taken for granted, yet can influence our assumptions about cognition, assessment of cognitive skills, and pedagogy.” (Watson-Gegeo 2004:338-339) • All activities in which the learners regularly interact with others in the family, community, workplace, or classroom are not only by definition socially organized and embedded in cultural meaning systems, but are inherently political. [...] There is no context-free language learning, and all communicative contexts involve social, cultural, and political dimensions that affect which linguistic forms are available or taught and how they are represented. (Watson-Gegeo 2004:340)
Newer perspectives Anthropological perspective: “Focus on subjective experience and identity in relation to participation in practice. They engage with issues of individual and collective identity and struggles for social change, drawing on the work of Bakhtin and Bourdieu as well as Vygotsky. “(based on Chaiklin and Lave 1996, discussed in Barton and Tusting 2005:5) Hypermodernity/supermodernity • Age of technology, individuals have the power to overcome natural limitations
Critical questions... ...we need to ask of ourselves and of our students: • “Why are we teaching/learning English (or an other language)? • What does this teaching/learning imply in our highly diverse but rampantly politically structured world? • What are the political implications of our teaching, learning, and researching language learning and pedagogy? • Whom does this work empower and whom does it disempower?” (Watson-Gegeo 2004: 343)
Spaces not communities? • It is questionable as to whether people who interact in a space, or in some subgroup, really form a community? • We should think about spaces rather than communities • creating spaces wherein diverse sorts of people can interact is a leitmotif of the modern world Gee 2004:78-79
Spaces matter Are classrooms such spaces where diverse people can interact?
VILLAGE LANGUAGE LEARNING AND COMMUNITY BUILDING IN SECOND LIFE (VILLAGE IS AN ACRONYM FOR VIRTUAL LANGUAGE LEARNING AND GROUP EXPERIENCE) Physical or virtual?
Second Life Language learning in second life (an example) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdkz59vfn3g English learning for teens in second life (offered by the British Council) • http://www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley/learn-english-second-life-for-teens • Do your students use social media?
Distributed knowledge/competencies • What knowledge do students bring to class? • How can they help/scaffold each other? • What do students know that teachers don’t know? • Can any of this be used as a resource in your classroom?
Research findings from Berlin study 2 factors that can lead to group cohesion • Teaching style • Bilingual education (two-way immersion)
Two-way immersion (bilingual or dual-language education) • Classes: 50% dominant-language speakers 50% speakers of one other language • Two teachers one of each language/culture • The same curriculum • Lessons: 50% in one language 50% in the partner language Language choice based on local languages.
Immersion programmes (international) One-way immersion or CLIL • Immersion programmes in Canada since the 1970s • Spanish Primary Schools, Spanish-English (since 1996, 200’000 ss, 3-16) • Many European countries mostly English (since 1990s) • In England 47 in 2002 (CILT survey), 2012 22+? projects (BIEN) Two-way immersion (in contexts of natural language contact) USA: approx 400 programmes (cal.org/twi/directory/) Europe:: Wales, Ireland, Euskadi, Catalunia, Switzerland, etc. Israel: several Arabic-Hebrew programmes Germany:Berlin, Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Sillenbuch, Hagen, Cologne, Frankfurt, Pirna, etc. (German with 11 languages) England: Clapham (Wix) and Fulham (London)
Staatliche Europa-Schule Berlin Language combinations • German – Russian • German – French • German – English • German – Italian • German – Spanish Integrated from school entry to university access State maintained Approx. 6000 students currently in bilingual stream • German – Greek • German – Turkish • German – Portuguese • German – Polish
Berlin – SESB locations 17 Primary 13 Secondary + Bilingual Kitas
Study Research design (TWI=272, Control group=329) Main finding • greater class cohesion • greater conflict resolution skills (Meier 2010) • Confirmed by research from USA, Israel, Macedonia, Wix
Esmée Fairbairn funded research • Two-way immersion education • Using language resources students bring to school • Bilingual socialisation • Model of COP??
Wix: Social relationships (qualitative) “but they seem really, really, really caring and they’re all good friends and they take good care of each other” (English teacher) “D’ailleurs, j’aiétéfrappée, moi, en début d’année par la complicitéqu’il y avait entre eux. ” (French teacher) “Bilingual classes are very noisy” (several teachers) “they help each other” (several teachers) “tutorat naturel qui s’organise entre eux” (French teacher)