Carl Blyth on developing a “languaculture” approach

Blyth3On Thursday afternoon, October 29, the language community at Yale was treated to a provocative lecture by Carl Blyth on the underpinnings and applications of a pedagogy of languaculture in the L2 classroom.

Blyth, Associate Professor of French at the University of Texas at Austin and Director of the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL), argued that a structural view of language–language seen as a static system of elements and rules–is not adequate for teaching in the United States today. Rather, in the spirit of the 2007 MLA Report, language teachers need to develop their curricula and teaching practices around the culturally specific and context-dependent ways in which meaning is made in actual communicative settings.

Blyth1Blyth is now working on a book project in which his concept-based approach for teaching language as languaculture will be developed in great detail. At the CLS, we look forward to future opportunities to talk about applications of these ideas, and want to take this opportunity to ask you now: What thoughts and questions were raised for you by Blyth’s talk? How do the possibilities of a “languacultural approach” resonate with your own teaching experience? In what ways is it possible (or not) to “start with meaning, dissolve dichotomies, embrace reality, enrich the context, go meta, and integrate” in language classes, as Blyth recommended?

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