Whose Game are We Playing? Foreign Language Literacy as Play

Friday, January 25, 2013 - 6:30am to 7:30am
Education 318 1430 E 2nd Street Tucson, AZ 85721

The so-called “social turn” in SLA over the past couple of decades has enabled an increased interest in the role of various kinds of play in language use and learning, as witnessed recently by work on gaming and game theory (e.g., Reinhardt and Sykes 2012; forthcoming special issue of LLT), identity play (e.g., Belz 2002, Warner 2004), and multilingual language play (e.g., Belz 2002, Rampton 1995). This work have contributed to an awareness in the field of SLA that play is integral to a model of the language learner as a multiliterate, multicompetent participant user of a second or foreign language. In this talk I will bring this body of work on play and L2 teaching and learning to bear on another growing body of research in the field, namely that related to multiliteracies. Specifically I will turn to work that I have done in a couple of different venues—including the use of classroom-based CMC, students’ work with literary texts, and learner self reflections—in order to pose questions about how we define advanced literacy and what it means to read, write, and respond to texts in foreign and second language pedagogical contexts.