To be language aware today is to be subject to many complex dynamics. The ways we teach, learn and use languages are being reconceptualised in our globalised, digital era, and are intricately connected to broader changes in society. Language learning now increasingly takes place in virtual spaces as well as physical ones, which present new sites for languaging, the dynamic, never-ending process of using language to make meaning (Swain, 1985).
New paradigms in this global era have shifted what it means to language, and this has impacted the ways in which we language with each other. Modern communication platforms and digital tools have transformed the ways we interact, the ways stories and information are shared and distributed, and even the way reality is presented and perceived. They have assisted with the spread and revitalisation of some languages while contributing to the extinction of others. Tensions have also emerged in that these platforms may also have contributed to a renewed resurgence of nationalism. The global changes currently being brought about are therefore affecting in nuanced ways how languages are seen, learnt, taught, and used. Within this complex entanglement, Language Awareness may need reconceptualising.
With this theme in mind, we would like to ask the following questions:
How is the learning and teaching of languages being reconceptualised in our globalised, digital age? What are the implications for the development of language awareness, and in what new and innovative ways can teachers engage with it? How do new global paradigms and technologies further principles of language awareness such as reflection on language and the encouragement of learners to gain insights into how languages work?
For the 15th ALA conference, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Languages at Deakin University Melbourne and Geelong would like to invite scholars to present their research through the lens of language learning and teaching in the current era of globalising influences and trends. Research presented may concern aspects of language awareness in the Eric Hawkins tradition, of ‘learners discovering language for themselves’, including explicit reflection on language and linguistic analysis, and language awareness approaches in various educational contexts, and how language awareness is situated in society.