Dialogue with Bakhtin on Second and Foreign Language Learning: New Perspectives

Dialogue with Bakhtin on Second and Foreign Language Learning: New Perspectives

Dialogue with Bakhtin on Second and Foreign Language Learning: New Perspectives

Dialogue with Bakhtin on Second and Foreign Language Learning: New Perspectives

Synopsis

This volume is the first to explore links between the Russian linguist Mikhail Bakhtin's theoretical insights about language and practical concerns with second and foreign language learning and teaching. Situated within a strong conceptual framework and drawing from a rich empirical base, it reflects recent scholarship in applied linguistics that has begun to move away from formalist views of language as universal, autonomous linguistic systems, and toward an understanding of language as dynamic collections of cultural resources. According to Bakhtin, the study of language is concerned with the dialogue existing between linguistic elements and the uses to which they are put in response to the conditions of the moment. Such a view of language has significant implications for current understandings of second- and foreign-language learning. The contributors draw on some of Bakhtin's more significant concepts, such as dialogue, utterance, heteroglossia, voice, and addressivity to examine real world contexts of language learning. The chapters address a range of contexts including elementary- and university-level English as a second language and foreign language classrooms and adult learning situations outside the formal classroom. The text is arranged in two parts. Part I, "Contexts of Language Learning and Teaching," contains seven chapters that report on investigations into specific contexts of language learning and teaching. The chapters in Part II, "Implications for Theory and Practice," present broader discussions on second and foreign language learning using Bakhtin's ideas as a springboard for thinking. This is a groundbreaking volume for scholars in applied linguistics, language education, and language studies with an interest in second and foreign language learning; for teacher educators; and for teachers of languages from elementary to university levels. It is highly relevant as a text for graduate-level courses in applied linguistics and second- and foreign-language education.

Excerpt

The idea for this volume emerged from our mutual interests in Mikhail Bakhtin and language learning, discovered via discussions begun at the 2002 meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics. We found out then that, having read much of his work, we were each quite attracted to Bakhtin's philosophy of language and interested in exploring its implications for the learning of languages. This volume is a result of our collective desire to share these interests with others in the field. To our knowledge, this volume is the first to explore links between Bakhtin's ideas and second and foreign language learning.

With the exception of chapter 7, all the chapters are original, written specifically for this volume. Together, they address a range of contexts, including elementary and university–level English–as–a–second–language and foreign language classrooms and adult language–learning situations outside the formal classroom. Because the chapters are situated within a coherent conceptual framework, we expect them to be of interest to a broad audience of scholars with interests in second and foreign language learning. Moreover, given their significant pedagogical implications, we anticipate that teacher educators and language teachers will also find the volume useful.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We acknowledge with much gratitude the chapter authors' goodwill in responding to our many requests and meeting all deadlines. Their combined efforts in enhancing our understandings of Bakhtin's philosophy and its implications for language learning make a significant contribution to the field of second and foreign language learning. We would also like to thank . . .

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