LINGUIST List 32.32

Mon Jan 04 2021

Confs: Applied Ling/Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 18-Dec-2020
From: Jennifer Hill <>
Subject: Obstacles and enablers in language education: lessons from a new national curriculum
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Obstacles and enablers in language education: lessons from a new national curriculum

Date: 29-Jan-2021 - 29-Jan-2021
Location: Online (hosted by the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy), Italy
Contact: Jennifer Hill
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English

Meeting Description:

''Obstacles and enablers in language education: lessons from a new national curriculum''

In order to inform a new curriculum for schools, in 2017 the Welsh government commissioned a report to assess the relative effectiveness of second language teaching approaches (Fitzpatrick et al 2018). In this session we will examine key findings from that study, from the specific - effectiveness of singing, TV, or robots in classrooms - to the general, including the necessary environmental conditions for language learning. We will explore the psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, educational and affective factors that were found to be more influential than any teaching methods or approaches. Using vocabulary instruction as a focus, we will consider the practical implications of these findings for teachers, learners and assessors. The new curriculum itself, to be launched in 2022, is ambitious, with a focus on plurilingual exploration and curiosity; in closing we consider how this might be represented in the classroom and what the effect might be on the student’s experience of language learning.

Tess Fitzpatrick is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Swansea University, where she is Head of the Department of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Language Research Centre. Tess’ research in vocabulary, second language acquisition, and testing is informed by her early career as an EFL teacher and teacher trainer. Pioneering a new methodology for lexical investigation, she has extended her research from language education to ageing, dementia, and healthcare contexts. Tess was Chair of the British Association for Applied Linguistics 2015-2018. In 2017 she was awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences for her work in lexical studies and in widening understanding of cognitive processes in language learning and education.

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