150 Learning Languages & Communicating in a Globalized World

SLS 150 surveys a range of topics that will improve individuals’ abilities to learn and use a second language and to interact successfully with second language speakers. Reflecting recent developments of second language use across cultures and nations, studies of second language learning, use, and instruction have become oriented toward the pluricultural, globalized world of the 21st century, in which using more than one language is the norm; in which a person’s identity is partly influenced by their command of one or more languages, and in which learning (and teaching) an additional language facilitates employment, international mobility, and the development and maintenance of cross-cultural relationships. This course provides students with concepts and strategies for acquiring and using an additional language in an increasingly multilingual world, with a particular focus on learning languages spoken in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, the course provides students with the opportunity to develop cross-cultural communication skills for use with second language speakers. The course engages with second language learning for transnational employment environments, consumption of mass media, and use in academic contexts. The course relates to a world in which English is presently the dominant international language and lingua franca, representing sites of power and of resistance as well as constituting the dominant language of entertainment and the mass media. It also addresses new trends concerning other powerful international languages especially those of the Asia-Pacific region.