Language learning in the wild: A young user perspective

Date
2019-02-01
Authors
Hannibal Jensen, Signe
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa||Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas at Austin
Abstract
Through the analytical lens of activity theory (Leontiev, 1978, Lantolf & Thorne, 2006), the present study investigates the uptake of affordances for language learning by young (ages 7–11) Danish children (N = 15) in their engagement with English language media in the digital wild. Drawing on ethnographic interviews (Spradley, 1979), during which the participants engaged in online English language activities (e.g., gaming, snapchatting, etc.), the study shows that most of the participants were motivated in their engagement with English by social and higher cognitive motives (Lompscher, 1999). They engaged substantially with affordances for language learning (i.e., deliberately chose English-language content over Danish), engaged in chats, and read and listened to online content. Some, on the other hand, were found to be motivated by lower cognitive motives, resulting in less engagement with the affordances. The study also found a substantial difference between perceptions of English in and outside school. The study adds new insights to an under-researched area, while giving voice to young users of English, as called for by Ushioda (2008, p. 29).
Description
Keywords
Extramural English, Young Learners, Motivation, Activity Theory
Citation
Hannibal Jensen, S. (2019). Language learning in the wild: A young user perspective. Language Learning & Technology, 23(1), 72–86. https://doi.org/10125/44673
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