Title

Social context and resources for language learning

Source of Publication

System

Abstract

Until recently, research in applied linguistics has tended to treat learners in relative isolation from their context, and to study primarily classroom and other educational contexts. This paper in contrast focuses on the contexts which frame learning, and in particular the resources which these contexts provide. A model is outlined which includes both material and social resources for language learning, and the interactions between them. This model is then applied to the learning resources used by a group of female university students in the United Arab Emirates. Students were found to make use of various opportunities in their life outside the university, to practise English and to clarify problems in using the language. Social networks were found to influence the accessibility and use of these resources, with gender and perceived expertise in English affecting students' use of resources. In addition, students were found to act as sources of English expertise for other members of their family, in ways that contribute to their social identity within the family. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article

First Page

352

Last Page

370

Publication Date

9-1-2006

DOI

10.1016/j.system.2006.05.001

Author First name, Last name, Institution

David Palfreyman, Zayed University

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