Language learning in the wild is about using the resources available in the second language life world of the newcomers to a language. When newcomers have arrived in a new society, the new language plays an immediate role in their everyday lives. As a minimum, newcomers are overhearers of and eavesdroppers to spoken and written encounters in public life, education, or at workplaces and in the media. In this way, the second language has a paramount presence in the learners’ daily lives even before they have acquired the nuts and bolts for using it actively.
This website shall shape a network of researchers and practitioners who work with experiential forms of second language learning and teaching. The network will contribute both to theory development and to the development of new pedagogical practices. The theoretical background for the work of the network is interaction research and usage based language acquisition models. Experience Design and User Based Innovation (a design approach with roots in Scandinavian design tradition with a democratic understanding of innovation processes) are equally central in the development of new teaching material, environments and practices.
This website will develop an experiential second language pedagogy that puts the user into the center of the learning process. The premise is that language as a phenomenon occurs in its use and is therefore learned in and through use. It is paramount for language development that learners participate in relevant and meaningful interactions. In second language acquisition, most of these interactions will go on outside of classrooms and, consequently, experiential second language pedagogy implies a break with traditional language teaching that is practiced in the classroom’s institutional framework.
However, experiential language learning will not give up the classroom as a learning space. It will develop methods to bring a second language user out into the ‘wild’ where the target language is spoken, it will also develop methods to harvest the experiences from the ‘wild’ and to bring them back into the classroom. This will be done by developing tangible objects, applications and other technologies that create connections between L2 users and their surrounding communities.