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LAEL Departmental Lecture by Leo van Lier

Date: 29 June 2011 Time: 2.00-3.30 pm

Venue: Bowland North SR 6

Title: Linking agency, perception and language use in an 'ecological' approach to applied linguistics

All welcome.


An ecological perspective in applied linguistics foregrounds the role of perception, the dynamic interrelationship between perception and agency, and the need for interpretative languaging and translanguaging to promote linguistic growth. The link between perception and action has been demonstrated in experimental studies of perception (J. Gibson, 1979: E. Gibson & Pick, 2000) as well as in studies in interpersonal psychology Neisser, 1993). The connection between perceiving and talking about perceiving, and the importance of this connection for the development of higher, interfunctional mental abilities, was signaled by Vygotsky in the early 1930s (1987).

In this paper I will apply these theoretical antecedents to one area of applied linguistics - language learning and teaching, suggesting that an action-based pedagogy can be designed so as to systematically promote connections between perception, action and language use (van Lier, 2007; 2009). Recent studies of languaging (Swain, 2009) and translanguaging (Creese & Blackledge, 2010; Garcia, 2009), as well as examples from classroom interaction (Walqui& van Lier, 2010) will be examined for evidence of interfunctional growth through the complex dynamics between perception, agency and talk. The talk will consider implications for applied linguistics more generally, and its commitment to the study of real world problems.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Martin Bygate

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language, Second Language Learning and Teaching Research Group (SLLAT)


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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