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Research Talk: Plurilingual Integrated Teaching and Learning: Promoting Transversal Language Competence for Critical Learning
February 5 @ 10:30 am
Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau,
Plurilingualism, derived from a sociolinguistic perspective, highlights the interconnections and mutual influence among languages and cultures (Piccardo, 2013). It challenges a static, compartmentalized view of language and disrupts the traditional deficit-oriented view of additional language (AL) learners who are often defined by their lack of target language competency, rather than their combined linguistic and cultural repertoires (Grosjean, 2008). Numerous research, supports the argument that languages are not learned or used in isolation; cross-language transfer is found in different dimensions, from reading and writing strategies, shared root words (cognates), to the pragmatic use of gestures and phonological awareness (Cummins, 2007). Hence, students’ multiple linguistic, sensory, modal and cultural communicative repertoires should be mobilized for AL learning, knowledge making, and intercultural awareness (Coste, Moore, & Zarate, 1997; Li, 2018).
This expanded, integrated view of language pushes us to rethink what language education and language in education look like and what pedagogies strengthen and build on cross-cutting links for integrated, transversal skills and knowledge across disciplines and levels, to promote critical education for academic and professional purposes. Here, “critical” refers to the teaching and learning of languages and content that foster not only effective communication skills but also an analytical mindset and a critical attitude to question and reflect on how language promotes or suppresses certain values, beliefs and power relations. In this presentation, I will highlight some of my key research contributions to plurilingual integrated teaching and learning, while outlining my research plan in terms of engagements with the university and the wider communities in research collaborations for knowledge- building and mobilization that aims for transformative education.