Brown Bag Speaker: Steve Thorne

Event time: 
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Center for Language Study (Dow Hall) See map
370 Temple St.
Event description: 

Speaker:  Steve Thorne

Title: Living language and effortful engagement as catalysts for language learning

Abstract: There has been a great deal of research and pedagogical experimentation relating to technology use within second and foreign language (L2) education. This presentation broadens the scope of inquiry to include opportunities for learning ‘in the wild.’ I begin by briefly describing useful findings from research on learning and framing new media technologies from demographic, historical, and sociocultural vantage points. A number of case exemplar studies are then explored: (1) language learning in instructed contexts, with a focus on project-based learning, (2) interaction in organized Internet-mediated intercultural foreign language partnerships, (3) mobile augmented reality place-based learning, and (4) participation ‘in the wild’ in plurilingual and intercultural online communities and spaces. The final section describes a pedagogical framework designed to increase the relevance of instructed foreign language education through the structured juxtaposition of digital vernaculars with more formal ‘classroom’ genres of language use. This approach, called “bridging activities” (e.g., Thorne & Reinhardt, 2008; Thorne, 2016:, supports bringing living language into instructed L2 pedagogy, processes, and curricula.

Steve Thorne (Ph.D., UC Berkeley) is Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University (USA), with a secondary appointment in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). His interests include formative interventions in world language education contexts, intercultural communication, indigenous language revitalization, communication across new media and mobile technologies, and research that draws upon contextual traditions of language analysis and usage-based approaches to language development.