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.


Verlan, l'envers

Reversing language and reflecting culture

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

This chapter explores the social and cultural implications of the contemporary use of verlan. Verlan is the language game which inverts the syllables of words in order to encode the French language. Not just a game, verlan usage pervades everyday language, music, and culture of the beur population, the children of immigrants from North Africa, who live in the suburbs of cities such as Paris and Marseilles, France. The author finds verlan to be inextricably linked to modern French language and culture, as it reflects of the mixed identity of those who most often use it: not quite French, but not entirely magrebin (North African) either. Rather than subverting it, the culture with which verlan is most closely associated enriches French culture, just as verlan adds nuance and complexity to the French language.


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