Teaching a second language to Anglophones: evidence from Ireland
Catena Fontalba, Manuel.
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Evidence from the British academy indicates that the decline in modern language learning in the UK endangers the ability of the UK to compete with researchers who are more linguistically competent. Indeed this is a challenge for all Anglophones. Increased competition for funding and learners means that the traditional advantage of Anglophones is being eroded. This creates a pedagogical challenge. Why? Didactic approaches to second language acquisition and strategies used at other European universities are not effective for Anglophones. For the purpose of this scoping piece, the mixed methods approach of sequential explanatory strategy (Creswell, 2003) is adopted. The method is used as follows: first, secondary data is collected to profile the experience of Anglophones when learning a second language. Second interviews are conducted with language lecturers and learners. This qualitative evidence is used to assist in interpreting the findings from stage one. There is need for Anglophones to address their deficit in second languages. A teaching approach that emphasises motivation and utilises a variety of approached will encourage Anglophones to successful learn a second language. This research indicates that a direct, natural and cognitive methods aided by the use of language laboratories may help learners to increase their motivation to learn a new language. Liu (2008) explains that special attention should be paid to the diversity of learning styles and to the importance of dealing with learners that learn differently. Previous research indentifies unique challenges in teaching second language learning to Anglophones. Therefore, higher education providers must provide appropriate teaching resources and methodologies to support motivation and to overcome didactic challenges.
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