NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1157376
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2191-611X
Giving Learners a Multicultural Voice: An English Speaking University Context
Nunan, Anna
Language Learning in Higher Education, v7 n2 p435-449 Oct 2017
Difficulties establishing support for English speakers taking second language electives in postsecondary education in Ireland led to research on how language classes could be more accessible, multicultural, plurilingual and relevant for students in a university language centre. It is important to try and discover why students choose a foreign language module in an English speaking context, how prior experiences of language learning are processed by these students and how student suggestions for future semester offerings may be relevant to changing paradigms in language learning. 2,600 student evaluations over 3 semesters were analysed in relation to student motivation in taking a foreign language elective. 25 students were interviewed on their motivation in language learning, prior experience of language learning and suggestions for future language modules. Motivation in language learning is a complex process (Dörnyei 2003, "Attitudes, orientations, and motivations in language learning: Advances in theory, research, and applications. ""Language learning" 53(S1). 3-32) yet encouraging numbers in an Institution-Wide Language Programme prompted the question of why students choose a language elective from a wide range of options and pursue the language enthusiastically providing positive feedback despite minimal support from their academic discipline. The results reveal an interest in plurilingualism and multiculturalism that is not being addressed by secondary school education and an experience of prior language learning that falls significantly short of the benefits of multicultural and plurilingual approaches to language teaching. Integrated didactic approaches to languages studied and culturally oriented materials have the potential to redefine the student experience of language learning, reinforce plurilingual curriculum design (Piccardo 2013, "Plurilingualism and curriculum design: Toward a synergic vision." "TESOL Quarterly" 47(3). 600-614) and enhance intercultural growth.
De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 121 High Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 857-284-7073; Fax: 857-284-7358; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A