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Both children and adults acquire language through exposure and interaction, in their mother tongue (L1) as well as in a second or foreign language (L2). Language learning in education takes place in a similar way. As opposed to what happens in L1 acquisition, the time available for exposure and interaction in the L2 is usually limited. On the other hand, language learning in education can be facilitated pedagogically by effective tasks, instruction and feedback, unlike L1 acquisition.

We focus on the facilitation of language development and language use in educational contexts, taking into account the quality and quantity of exposure and interaction. Effective pedagogy for the acquisition of L1 reading and writing and L2 acquisition is studied empirically, through effect studies and design-based research. We also focus on L2 language development and use in non-language classes (i.e. in other school subjects) in L2. Language input and interaction are essential in any subject pedagogy, in bilingual education or content and language integrated learning.

Furthermore we study the role of different home languages in literacy development in multilingual classrooms, and the use of computer mediated communication tools to facilitate the interaction between L2 learners and native speakers.

Keywords

  • literacy and academic language use (reading and writing)
  • instructed second language acquisition
  • foreign language pedagogy in primary and secondary education
  • bilingual education
  • content and language integrated learning
  • multilingualism in education
  • computer mediated communication and language acquisition