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Conference Information

Full Title: Culture of Study Abroad for Second Languages

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Start Date: 14-Jul-2015 - 17-Jul-2015
Contact: John Plews
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: This conference, organized in association with the AILA-ReN on study abroad research, brings together scholars and practitioners to explore the culture of study and residence abroad and their relationship to foreign language learning.

Given the increasing mobility of students across borders for the purpose of acquiring a foreign language in another culture and gaining cross-cultural experiences, as well as the deepening academic interest in language development and intercultural awareness in study abroad, this conference focuses specifically on the matter of culture -- or cultures -- in foreign language study abroad contexts. Here, 'culture' is understood within a range of meanings from the language, customs, institutions, attitudes, and behaviours of a social group, to the products of human creativity such as literature, music, painting, film, and pop culture, to the appreciation and consumption of these forms either in formal education or through personal inquiry.

Focused on the Culture of Study Abroad, as well as mindful of the conference location in Canada and its increased inward student mobility especially from Asia, the conference organizers invite proposals for papers, panels, and workshops that concern one or more of the following questions:

1. What is the culture of study abroad and its participants / stakeholders (teachers, hosts, etc.)?
2. What is cultural learning on study abroad and its relationship to language acquisition?
3. What is done with culture after studying abroad?
4. What are the cultural implications of French exchanges in or from Canada?
5. What are the cultural interests of language students moving from, to, and within Asia?

The first question focuses on community, individual and group behaviour, social networks, identity, and values, but also home/foreign culture, cultural translation, and generational, professional, social-economic, institutional, and classroom cultures (students, digital natives, instructors, host families, the host public, etc.). It explores how such groups and contexts emerge, function, and impact personal, linguistic, and intercultural development.

The second attends to student, teacher, and host perceptions of material or behavioural culture-to-be-learned as well as to pedagogy, curriculum, and extra-curricular activities that lead to cultural and intercultural learning. Also of interest is the relation between culture and linguistic development.

The third explores the afterlife of cultural and language learning on study abroad programming, when participants return to their domestic universities or workplaces. Here the focus is on how or whether participants maintain linguistic gains, different perspectives, and new subjectivities.

The fourth concerns the perceived hierarchy of forms of French in study abroad choices, the status of France in international French language education, and the specificity of Quebec and la francophonie.

The fifth inquires after opportunities and challenges in the mobility of students from, to, and within Asia. Topics here might include third language learning in second language contexts, access to linguistic, cultural, and educational resources, and the explicit or tacit association of study abroad with institutional or national development and immigration policies.

Plenary talks will be given by internationally renowned study abroad scholars: Drs. Gary Barkhuizen, Jane Jackson, Rosamond Mitchell, Carmen Pérez-Vidal, and Martin Howard.
Linguistic Subfield: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Language Acquisition; Ling & Literature; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 25.3840

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