Languages in a Global World

Learning for Better Cultural Understanding

image of Languages in a Global World

The rise of globalisation makes language competencies more valuable, both at individual and societal levels. This book examines the links between globalisation and the way we teach and learn languages. It begins by asking why some individuals are more successful than others at learning non-native languages, and why some education systems, or countries, are more successful than others at teaching languages.

The book comprises chapters by different authors on the subject of language learning. There are chapters on the role of motivation; the way that languages, cultures and identities are interconnected; the insights that neuroscience provides; migrants, their education and opportunities to learn languages; language learning and teaching in North America; and new approaches to language learning.


Learning languages in a globalising world

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

This chapter situates the debates to follow in the present context of globalisation. Given the expectations of the labour market, the explosion of ubiquitous “communication” around the world and the massive movements of populations, language learning issues are more salient than ever. Even before formal instruction takes place in an individual’s life, aspects to be explored crucially relate to the key relationship between language(s) and culture(s). From this perspective, while pointing at issues raised by formal learning, this chapter starts to explore the causal relationships between different forms of motivation (for language learning) and perceptions–representations of the world, especially as far as alterity is concerned, introducing the first innovative hypothesis to be presented in this book, entitled the “motivation vortex”. Dealing with languages: Why now?


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