Center for Language Acquisition at the Pennsylvania State University

Invited Lecture: Larsen-Freeman

Professor Diane Larsen-Freeman, Professor of Education and Linguistics at the University of Michigan, delivered the following lecture:


"On the Non-Telic Nature of Language and its Learning"


Traditional views of language are inadequate for explaining well-attested examples of linguistic creativity.  Language users are not mere hosts of language (Kroskrity, 2004).  They extend their linguistic worlds (Thibault, 2011). The same can be said for language learners.  Nevertheless, language learning is often viewed as a teleological phenomenon, with an implicit endpoint.  In this presentation, I will suggest that language is not telic, nor is its learning.  The dilemma then becomes how to reconcile the non-telic nature of language and its learning with the normativity of teaching.


Date and Time:  Friday, April 19 at 2:30 p.m.


Location:  104 Keller


Diane Larsen-Freeman is Professor of Education and Linguistics at the University of Michigan.  Her primary research areas include second language acquisition, grammar in English language teaching, and chaos/ complexity theory in relation to language learning. Recent works include Language as a Complex Dynamic System (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), and Complex Systems and Applied Linguistics (Oxford University Press, 2008), winner of the 2009 Mildenberger Award from the Modern Language Association.  Dr. Larsen-Freeman has also authored multiple foundational works in second language teacher education, including Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching (Oxford University Press, 2011),Teaching Language: From Grammar to Grammaring (Heinle & Heinle, 2003) and An Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research (with M. Long, Longman, 1991).  


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