Late-Life Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

Country: Poland

City: Wroclaw

Abstr. due: 30.05.2018

Dates: 20.09.18 — 22.09.18

Area Of Sciences: Pedagogy;

Organizing comittee e-mail: llfllt.2018@gmail.com

Organizers: The Institute of English Studies at the University of Wrocław

 

The Institute of English Studies at the University of Wrocław is pleased to announce the first International Conference on Late-Life Foreign Language Learning and Teaching (LLFLLT) to be held in Wrocław on the 20th-22nd September 2018. We would like to invite academics specialising in second and foreign language learning who are interested in the newly emerging field of learning and teaching of languages to the subpopulation of older adult learners to submit their proposals. We will also welcome abstracts of the post-conference papers, which will be published in the first issue of the LLFLLT journal.

Although, the discussion of the age factor in second/foreign language learning has a long tradition, the issue of FL learning in older adults has only recently become a source of wider debate within the scientific community. Nearly 30 years ago David Battersby stated that, “[t]here has always been a reluctance among adult educators to examine the principles and practice of teaching and learning as they might apply to the elderly” (1987, p. 4). More recently, Brian Findsen and Marvin Formosa noted that, “[o]lder adults are generally excluded from both theoretical and empirical analysis on the assumption that their advanced calendar age is not sufficiently unique to generate new knowledge trends in lifelong learning” (2011, p. 1). Indeed, despite the growing scholarly interest in lifelong education and the increasing popularity of language courses among older adults, the research is still rather scarce. There are very few publications, including self-study books, directed specifically at this age group. There is also no place in the teacher training curriculum for preparing pre-service teachers to work with older adults. Moreover, teachers in training are not given any help in adapting the already existing materials so that they meet older adults’ needs and expectations of a language course. At the same time more experienced teachers not infrequently base their lessons on subjective theories regarding teaching second language to older adult learners, disregarding their learners’ preferences and cognitive abilities. Older adults are thus often not presented with the same opportunities to take part in various courses as younger people, and they tend to be regarded as socially less important. As a result older learners not only face the problems of ageism and age discrimination, but they are also not treated as a group with specific educational needs. All of these social issues related to the study of different aspects of ageing are intimately linked to the need for creating a friendly and encouraging environment for the late life learners’ growth.

We would therefore be happy to open up a discussion and welcome presentations on the following topics:

  • Educational policies connected with teaching languages to older adult learners

  • Creating an encouraging learning environment for older adult learners

  • Teachers’ and students’ subjective theories regarding learning languages in later life and their classroom implications

  • The benefits related to late-life second/foreign language learning and teaching

  • The difficulties of late-life second/foreign language learning and teaching

  • The role of motivation in learning languages in later life

  • Teaching language skills and functions to older adult learners

  • Teaching grammar, pronunciation and lexis to older adult learners

  • The use of translation in teaching older adults

  • Teaching techniques and learning strategies used in late-life second/foreign language learning and teaching

Conference Web-Site: https://llfllt.wordpress.com/