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Abstract: Piccardo

A social agent navigating complexity: Challenges and opportunities of language education

In our liquid societies (Baumann, 2000) individuals are faced with a reality that is rapidly becoming more complex. Languages are at the forefront of this phenomenon as linguistic and cultural diversity accompany social change. Language education is therefore called upon to recognize and value such diversity. 

Within this scenario the role of learners needs to be completely reinvented. Learners are neither recipients of discrete knowledge nor individuals merely pursuing their own cognitive development, they are constantly interacting and mediating with others and with their environment. Indeed, they are social agents constructing their own plurilingualism and pluriculturalism.

Moving from the complexity theories, we will discuss this new vision of language learners and the new role of diversity, which can be seen as a catalyst of change, innovation, and creativity.

This presentation will discuss how the Common European Framework of Reference provides the conceptual tools to accompany researchers and practitioners towards this new vision of language education within a globalized complex society, where learners are expected to capitalize on their own knowledge and skills as well as on targeted available resources in order to face plurality and change and to deal with the unpredictable.  

Please join us on Friday, March 13, in CHD 420 at 3:00pm