DESIGNING FOR SOCIAL INTEGRATION: AN ECOLOGICAL APPROACH TO LANGUAGE LEARNING

Young-ae Hahn, Tania Jimena Rodriguez-Kaarto

Abstract


Cultural knowledge and professional language are key for mid-level second language (L2) learners’ progress and job competency, but in Finland, their needs are not fully met. This paper draws from cognitive and ecological theories for a new approach to L2 learning: activity-based curricula with personalized, multi-sensory materials and dialogical, collaborative tasks. A system with four learning modules (observation, writing, interaction, and speech) that holistically tackles different areas of language competency, while absorbing cultural knowledge, is suggested. The modules, combined with an online space for students, teachers, and participating Finnish citizens to collect and share multi-modal materials, will assist lessons customized to the learners’ real linguistic needs, interests and progress.

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