Plenarvorträge

Freitag, 01.03.2013, 10:30 Uhr: Prof. Dr. Manfred Pienemann

Why language acquistion research matters

When I ask teachers if language is teachable, they look at me in dismay - the way one looks at Professor Scatterbrain. How can language not be teachable if I teach it every day? I stopped asking the question. Not because it is stupid, but because it is not suitable for a first encounter of second language acquisition (SLA) research.
In SLA research we found that all learners follow the same developmental trajectories. So we wondered if these developmental trajectories can be altered through instruction or any other means, and the surprising answer is that it can’t. This constitutes a serious constraint on teachability. And when you know this, perhaps you will be more forgiving if a psycholinguist asks you if language is teachable.
In fact, this whole debate goes back to the year 1987 when I published a paper with the bold title “Is language teachable?” In the 25 years since the publication of this paper the course of second language acquisition has been mapped out for more than a dozen target languages. Intervention points have been identified. The underlying psycholinguistic processes have been formally modeled. A procedure for the linguistic profiling of individual learners has been developed. Based on this procedure teaching intervention can be tailored at the exact level of readiness for every learner. Approaches to task-based L2 instruction have been developed which are designed to utilize an exact analysis of developmental readiness in heterogeneous learning groups.
In my presentation I will argue that all of these insights from psycholinguistic SLA research and related applications are beneficial for effective L2 instruction and that ignoring psycholinguistic constraints on teachabilty would be counter-productive.

 

Freitag, 01.03.2013, 17:30 Uhr: Prof. Dr. Viljo Kohonen

Transparency and coherence in learning processes: on the interplay of “shallow” and “deep” structures in language education through ELP-oriented pedagogy 

The symposium has assumed a well-chosen focus on foreign language learning and teaching processes. For me, such an action-oriented view entails the notions of autonomy, authenticity and agency in language education. I will discuss these concepts as a pedagogical approach integrating theory and practice.  Aiming at a coherent and transparent approach, we need to make visible the value-based educational goals that underpin our classroom practices. On the other hand, any well-intentioned goals are likely to remain utopian without sustainable pedagogical action over time. This suggests a dual perspective to language education: working concurrently on the ”deep” structures of the educational goals, and the practical ways of initiating, managing, monitoring, observing and reflecting on daily classroom work, involving visible and thus more  ”shallow” structures.  I use the European Language Portfolio (ELP) as a case study in translating the goals of intercultural communicative competence into pedagogical action. The ELP can be used in a somewhat technical way of occasionally asking pupils to conduct self-assessment using the Can do checklists. Going further, it can also be developed as a significant vehicle for advancing socially responsible learner autonomy. I suggest that autonomy, authenticity and agency involve a parallel and reciprocal development of the teacher’s and the pupil’s autonomy. This entails an intricate interplay between our theoretical perspectives and pedagogical classroom practices.

SAMSTAG, 02.03.2013, 09:00 UHR: Prof.Dr. Hans Krings

 

Wie kann aus Sprachlernforschung Sprachlehrpraxis werden?
Fragen – Konzepte – Beispiele

 

Wenn man einen Fremdsprachenlehrer fragt, auf welcher Sprachlerntheorie er seinen Unterricht aufbaut, erhält man in der Regel eher ausweichende Antworten. Obwohl in den letzten 40 Jahren durch weltweite Forschungsbemühungen im Bereich der Fremdsprachenlern- und der Zweitsprachenerwerbs-Forschung eine kaum mehr zu übersehende Fülle von Forschungsergebnissen erarbeitet wurde und obwohl diese mittlerweile zu einer stattlichen Zahl von zusammenhängenden Theorien verdichtet wurden, kommt davon offensichtlich nur wenig in der Praxis des Unterrichtens an. Die Theorieorientierung der wissenschaftlich Forschenden und die Handlungsorientierung der praktisch Lehrenden finden aus tief sitzenden strukturellen Gründen nur schwer zusammen.

Dies ist aus vielen Gründen bedauerlich. Unter anderem deshalb, weil Lerner nicht einfach das lernen, was Lehrer lehren, sondern weil der Erwerb einer Fremdsprache eigenen Regelmäßigkeiten gehorcht, die zu ignorieren die Effizienz des Lehrens in Frage stellt.

Vor diesem Hintergrund möchte ich in meinem Vortrag versuchen einen Weg aufzeigen, wie die Kluft zwischen Forschung und Praxis überwunden werden könnte. Dazu frage ich, was die „Bigs“ des Fremdsprachenlernens sind, d.h., welche grundlegenden Bedingungen für erfolgreiches und effizientes Fremdsprachenlernen von der Forschung unabhängig von Einzeltheorien empirisch nachgewiesen wurden und welche Konsequenzen sich daraus für die Gestaltung von Unterricht ergeben.

Please note: this Key Note will be held on German