Introduction to the highly relational nature of culture and language development. Students will explore principles and skills from observing children in a native acquisition environment and will apply the principles and skills to learning a second language/culture. Attention to formation and shifting of attitude and identity, critical period and giftedness, relationships between linguistic, mental, emotional, social and cultural learning.
The course is an introduction course on the nature of language acquisition and cultural learning with the emphasis on practical skill development from observation and field trips. The purpose is to equip students with the basic skills to effectively engage C2/L2 communities using the learning framework to observe and record details, analyze process, discover structures, define concepts and develop themes. The adoption of a learner attitude and the acculturation of C2/L2 identity are crucial in both courses to foster an open, humble and flexible attitude absolutely necessary not just for learning but for relating and witnessing.
Culture and Language Acquisition Skills is important as a class because it is both a burgeoning field in academic studies and because it is a practical class that will equip students with an intercultural perspective and the global skills to engage with target groups as participating learners. Potential impact for our students and for the community is huge and powerful wherever they go. The change we face in the world is dynamic, which requires both awareness and flexibility in thinking, methodology and practice. An open, learning perspective and humble attitude are necessary for effective engagement with culture and language groups. The learning of the target culture and language gives our student an immediate opportunity to encounter, experience, engage and explore the target people groups. So, being able to equip local ministers and global missionaries with training and knowledge to effectively reach and bless these target people groups is a highly critical need for us today.
In the beginning is the Word. The Word is with Him, and the Word is Him. Language is the way we perceive reality. It is the way we make sense of the world. It is the way we describe our experience, articulate concept, record and retrieve information. Without the Word, there is no language, no learning, no life. The study of the social functions of language is crucial in helping us to know God, understand His purpose, speak His love and live His meaning.
The missio dei informs and moves world mission. This course discovers, defines and develops God's gifts for us to create meaning with the powerful tool of language. It reduces our cultural blind spots by equipping us with an intercultural perspective and cross-cultural skills. It helps us to form an open attitude, create flexible thinking and become a humble servant ready to engage with the nations for the purpose of individual and community transformation in Christ.
The nature of language and cultural learning require a multi-faceted approach utilizing social and psychological research methodologies, biblical and theological truths as well as case studies, observations, field trips, practical skills and long term strategies. Proper analysis of the learning process in the natural contexts of family, school, work and other social relationships is essential.
By definition and essence, the interactions designed for this course will be both intercultural and cross-cultural in nature. Students will actively and knowingly engage with both the C1/L1 native and C2/L2 target language and cultural groups. This will not only encourage them to take a different look at their own cultural and linguistic process but take them out of their own cultural and linguistic comfort zone.
In the course design, the focus is on the development of practical language acquisition and cultural learning skills. All observations, field trips and reflections are to enlighten the practice of their C2/L2 learning.
For both cultural and language acquisition, learning is actuated by the experience of relationships. Assignments are hands-on life experience, reflective in nature, collaborative as much as possible, and interactive with the both the native and target groups.