LANGUAGE LEARNING PREFERENCES IN EUROPE'S INTERCULTURALLY-ORIENTED ENGLISH CLASSROOM

M.C. Arau Ribeiro

Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (PORTUGAL)
An intercultural approach is the basis for the successful Business English classroom in higher education in Europe, especially given the possibilities offered by ERASMUS students from a variety of countries. In trying to better analyze the results of a prior study (Arau Ribeiro 2011), it is concluded that important findings related to the use of feedforward and self-reflectivity practices with oral and writing activities designed for the European Language Portfolio (ELP) demonstrate clearly that both learner confidence and motivation increase in these conditions. Furthermore, the power relations apparent in the language learning context can be better managed by teachers who understand more than the various social, psychological, and cognitive implications of the various standard theories - such as Acculturation, (De)Nativization, and Accommodation (Berry 1970; Giles 1977; Schumann 1978; Andersen 1990) - but also reflect on the relevance of integrating implications of socio-economic theory (Ariely 2010) within sociocultural theory (Lantoff 2000) to better understand the benefits of irrationality in a constructivist learning situation (Ellis 2005) which considers chaos and complexity as real factors for the language learner. The learning activities featured in the ELP - group and individual oral work as well as group and individual writing assignments - are examined for their contributions toward developing critical thinking and self-awareness skills to better reveal the reasons for their successful application, with a focus on problem-based learning.