SEIS Academic Forum Series (No. 746)
Forum on Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Studies
“English only” does not work, so let us make it an asset instead of a liability
演说人：Michal B. Paradowski
Underlying the mainstream of current foreign language acquisition research is the Ansatz that some level of attention to the formal, discursive and pragmatic aspects of the target language (TL) is necessary for acquisition to take place. At the same time learning invariably proceeds by relating new facts to the already familiar; in the context of foreign language learning – the student’s mother tongue (L1)as well as other languages already at her/his disposal.
The talk will commence with a presentation of the turbulent history of research in language transfer, from the ancient Greeks and Romans through 19th-century German scholars to current-day perspectives. We shall then look at the different manifestations of cross-linguistic influence (CLI), the currently competing models of morphosyntactic CLI in third language acquisition, and the factors conditioning and constraining transfer.
Given the aforementioned, combined with humans’ natural need for safety, suggests that the target language should literally be taught in the framework of the learner’s L1. A promising perspective for successful grammatical and pragmatic training is the Interface Model, which proceeds from an explication of how relevant principles operate in the learners’ first language or culture, through an explanation of pertinent target language (TL)/culture rules and norms and subsequent modification of the L1 principle to accommodate target data, to practice first expecting the learner to apply the appropriate FL strategies and speech acts against an L1 context (or that of another already known language). By such a gradual, multi-stage method the learner can gain command of the target language system and become ‘pragmatically fluent’ before commencing to use the operational principles in the TL itself. The parallel juxtaposition and use of L1 and TL principles lead to successful automatisation and internalisation of the material and the development of pragmatic multicompetence. The Interface Model enables students to transfer those patterns of interactional behaviour which will be appropriate. The instructional model has the potential to be equally effective with reference to reading comprehension strategies, discourse conventions, academic styles, information structure, or the development of pragmatic competence.
The talk will conclude with a discussion of contexts where students may be learning the target language for communication primarily with its other non?-native speakers like themselves, as is the case with English. This scenario will be contemplated on the example of teaching English to Chinese-speaking learners, and the pedagogical implications. The talk will demonstrate how informed teaching choices can empower both non-native speaker teachers and language learners.
About the speaker:
Micha? B. Paradowski is an associate professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw (华沙大學应用语言学研究所), a teacher and translator trainer, and a language teaching consultant for television. His interests include English as a lingua franca, second and third language acquisition research, foreign language teaching, bilingualism and bilingual education, embodied cognition, educational technology, and complexity science. He has given over 150 invited lectures, seminars and workshops in Europe, America, Africa and Asia (including several repeated visits to China), many in universities from the top of world rankings. His recent edited volumes are Teaching Languages off the Beaten Track (2014) and Productive Foreign Language Skills for an Intercultural World (2015); his latest (2017) monograph appeared under the title M/Other Tongues in Language Acquisition, Instruction, and Use.