Cultures and Languages Around Us

  • DATE

    20 March 2024

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:30 pm



Cultures and Languages Around Us: The Benefits and Challenges of Linguistic Landscapes for Language Learning and Teaching in a Globalised World, by Lee B. Abraham.

Instituto Cervantes Manchester and Leeds presents a new lecture series: “Acquiring a Second Language: Why do we find it so difficult?”, coordinated by Idoia Elola (Texas Tech University) y Ana Oskoz (University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), a forum aimed at teachers, language studentes, parents and the general public, which will consider how we learn a second, or a heritage language. Presenters will discuss various elements and difficulties that come with second-language acquisition including: myths and realities surrounding language acquisition and age, the effect of explicit knowledge and how it can affect learning, the use of language according to the context in which it is spoken, and the effect of education on our ability to learn a second language.

The globalisation and ongoing migratory movements in recent decades have led to the diversification of the world, thereby offering unprecedented benefits for language learning and teaching. Confronting these emerging realities, this lecture aims to showcase the various pedagogical and humanistic advantages arising from active engagement with the diverse cultures and languages within linguistic landscapes (Alonso and Martín Rojo, 2023). In other words, within our physical and public local environments and/or virtual (online) spaces. The secondary objective is to illustrate how active, critical, and reflective interactions with linguistic landscapes, serving as a form of placed-based education (Sánchez Contreras and Murga-Menoyo, 2019), can empower us as genuine agents of change, enhancing our human condition. These intentional interactions must and can necessarily address the progressively multicultural/multilingual and pluricultural/plurilingual surroundings prevalent in our globalised world.

Lee B. Abraham (él, he, him, his) is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Spanish Program in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures (LAIC) at Columbia University (New York). His teaching, research, and publications focus on language teaching and learning from a sociocultural perspective, a multidisciplinary approach, place-based education, and the development of intercultural and language-critical awareness through authentic communicative interactions and practices.