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Inaugural lecture Mr Prof Wander Lowie: Learning before you know it: second language learning as a dynamic process   

When:Tu 29-05-2018 16:15 - 17:15
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Wander Lowie
Wander Lowie

Although research convincingly shows the complex and interactive nature of second language acquisition, these findings are only marginally applied to second language teaching in the Netherlands. This is especially due to a number of persistent assumptions. One of these assumptions is that language acquisition is a predictable process that is especially fostered by the explanation of grammar rules.

In his inaugural lecture Lowie describes how language acquisition is characterized by a dynamic process that is strongly individual and unpredictable. Evidence for this process is found in the limited effect of grammar instruction on communicative language use and in longitudinal studies of second language development.

Languages can be learned, but cannot be ‘taught’

This dynamic perspective of second language acquisition has important implications for language teaching. Perhaps the most important conclusion is that languages can be learned, but cannot be ‘taught’ in the traditional sense of the word. Content based language use and massive exposure to the second language, combined with systematic support of the individual language learner have a much better chance of success in language acquisition than grammar instruction in the traditional language classroom. This conclusion calls for a new and promising approach to language teaching in the Netherlands.

More information

  • Inaugural lecture: Mr Prof W.M. Lowie
  • Title: Learning before you know it: second language learning as a dynamic process   
  • Chair: Applied Linguistics
  • Faculty: Arts
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