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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
Jan 18, 2018
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LING 758 - Multilingualism:Learn & Teach
Multilinguals are people who grow up with one, two, or three languages in the family and who will add additional languages to their repertoire during early or later life experiences, which they undergo by choice or force, including education, travel, or migration. The phenomenon is as old as humanity, but its investigation has exploded in the last decade, giving rise to the formal study of L3 acquisition and multilingualism. This seminar explores individual multilingualism across the lifespan, with a dual attention to learning and teaching. For learning, we will examine three types of factors that affect multilingual outcomes. How do the languages of multilinguals interact, and what crosslinguistic effects arise from it? Here two central questions are multidirectional sources of transfer and the multilingual boost in learning new subsequent languages. How does experience of language (e.g., meaningful usage, social networks, domains of use, literacy) shape the multicompetence of multilinguals? Here the overarching themes will be statistical learning and multilingual unlearning and relearning of multiple languages across the life span. How do multilinguals view their environments, their languages, and themselves? In this regard, we will learn about the emic and identity lifeworlds of multilinguals and factors that impact on their well-being, such as language ideologies, beliefs about language learning, multilingual emotions, and perceived positive language interaction. For teaching, we will ask: What are optimal instructional strategies for multilinguals? We will examine three proposals: intercomprehension, translanguaging, and critical language awareness.
The seminar is designed so as to support students through an empirical study of multilinguals and their multilingualism in one of the areas covered in the course. 
There will be a reading packet and two textbooks:
Todeva, E. & Cenoz, J. (Eds.) (2009). The multiple realities of multilingualism: Personal narratives and researchers’ perspectives. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Braun, A. & Cline, T. (2014). Language strategies for trilingual families: Parents’ perspectives. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Note: This course is scheduled to be offered in complementary alternation with SPAN 726 Bilingualism and Cognition (Sanz).

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours
0.000 Lab hours

Levels: MN or MC Graduate
Schedule Types: Lecture, Seminar

Linguistics Department

Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels:     
      MN or MC Graduate

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