An equitable CALL / SLA interface

faceless schoolchildren watching video on cellphone during break in classroom
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From Ortega, L. (2017) New CALL-SLA Research Interfaces for the 21st Century: Towards Equitable Multilingualism. Calico Journal, 34.3, 285–316.

The majority of the world is multilingual, but inequitably multilingual, and much of the world is also technologized, but inequitably so. Thus, researchers in the fields of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and second language acquisition (SLA) would profit from considering multilingualism and social justice when envisioning new CALL-SLA interfaces for the future. 

I remain convinced that “in the ultimate analysis, it is not the methods or the epistemologies [or the theories] that justify the legitimacy and quality of human research, but the moral-political purposes that guide sustained research efforts” (Ortega, 2005, p. 438). The need to incorporate ethics and axiology in the study of language learning seems all the more acute in our present world, where human solidarity and respect for human diversity, including linguistic diversity, is under siege, creating serious vulnerabilities for the goal of multilingualism and the lives of many multilinguals. Echoingbut also widening Chun’s (2016) call for an ecological CALL in the post-2000s era, the overarching question that I have submitted to orient CALL–SLA research interfaces for the 21st century is: What technologies, teaching paradigms, views of language, and principal uses of computers can nurture multilingualism and digital literacies for all, not just for the privileged?

All adult linguistic categories are, ultimately, ideological constructs

[…] the very notion of “language” is a mere ideological invention. We agree that all adult linguistic categories are, ultimately, ideological constructs. However, we see inherent value in studying distinct languages and language varieties in bilingualism because of the fact that already in infancy, prior to any sociopolitical influences,
both bilingually and monolingually raised children can perceive, distinguish, and harbor strong attitudes toward different accents, regional varieties, and languages. Houwer & Ortega (2018: 3).

Houwer, A., & Ortega, L. (2018). Introduction: Learning, Using, and Unlearning More than One Language. In A. De Houwer & L. Ortega (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Bilingualism (Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics, pp. 1-12). Cambridge University Press,-

Lourdes Ortega: ethics, politics & research

Malta, Doctoral Summer School 14 June, 2019

What is a bilingual individual?

Knowledge worth knowing to whom, for what purposes, in whose interest? (Ortega, 2019)

QUAN research can also adopt an ethical stand.

Train yourself in statistics that allow you to bypass fixed idea of native/non-nativeness.

Research design can be ethical and political.

Use research discourse for affirmation not for failure.