Vytautas Magnus University (LITHUANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 1600-1609
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
The aim of the research is to investigate how extracurricular language and culture promotion events organized at a higher education institution and involving numbers of students in organization, participation and promotion of such events can serve as settings for informal foreign language learning. The conceptual framework of the study is grounded in informal learning theories (Knowles, 1970; Cross, 2007) which relate informal learning to implicit learning, experiential learning, acquisition of tacit knowledge. In this study informal language learning is used in terms of creating and transmitting foreign language knowledge, skills and attitudes interacting, cooperating and collaborating among social event participants in various language and culture related events where learning a language is not the main purpose. Methodology of the study comprises the analysis of student feedback collected after the events they participated in during the period of 2012-2013. Three instruments of feedback collection were used in the study: students’ feedback in the event evaluation forms (n=284), students’ reactions and comments in the on-line feedback forms after the event (n=68) and semi-structured interviews with leaders and members of different language clubs, cultural event organizers and participants (n= 43). The article presents the research findings with regard to students’ evaluation of the organization of event, its impact upon the person’s worldview, aroused motivation to learn the language of the event, positive attitude towards different cultures and socializing. Though informal learning instances are hard to capture, some implications can be drawn with regard to the importance of providing language learners with informal opportunities for naturalistic practicing of the target language.
Informal learning, language learning, culture events, naturalistic language practicing strategies.