LANGUAGES WITHOUT LIMITS
Why should we offer opportunities for second language learning to learners who are already struggling to master their first language?
1. Personal reflection
What is your reaction?
Now scroll down and look at the statement at the foot of the page, then return to this point...
What is your reaction now? Is it the same as before? Is it different? What are the implications of that?
2. Looking for answers
• What, in your view, is language learning FOR?
• What is the purpose of foreign language learning for learners who are unlikely to reach a high level of communicative competence? (Is your answer different from the previous one?)
• What benefits do we expect these learners to gain from their study?
• Do these benefits always materialise? Why / Why not? What conditions are required for success?
• What are the implications of the above for (a) school policy (b) decision makers (c) class teachers? (d) learners?
WHY NOT? If you have not already done so, read this extract from 'Modern Languages for All'
Some of the ways in which individual learners benefit can't be predicted, but the benefits are none-the-less real and may make very significant contributions to the lives of those learners.
• Have you come across any examples of this in your own experience?
• What implications does the phenomenon of 'unpredictable benefits' have for decisions that we take regarding whether or not an individual learner should be withdrawn from foreign language learning?
3. Personal reflection again
What do you think now: should all learners whould be given a chance to be involved in language learning? Have your views changed? Are there any provisos you would like to see put in place?