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The Dance of Learning

On Encounters in Adult Second-Language Learning


Jeannette Regan

What is the spark that lights the fire of learning between learner and teacher? The approach to reflecting on this question is holistic and cross-disciplinary, the subject matter is second-language learning, the setting is often tertiary or continuing education, and the focus is on encounters. The metaphor that guides the reflections is dancing in an attempt to capture the complexity of the adult learning situation.
This study uses action research and action learning to deepen the author’s understanding and praxis. ‘Vignettes’, recollections of previous experience, are the author’s windows on more than twenty-five years as an adult learner of languages and as an English teacher for non-native adults, primarily academics. The vignettes validate ordinary pedagogical acts and introduce spiritual and physical dimensions to language learning that are commonly overlooked. The process of reflection leads to an emerging awareness of «crisscross scholars» – the increasingly common breed of academic who is multilingual, multicultural, and multidisciplinary.
Contents: Encounters – Second-Language Learning – Adult Language Learning – Deep Learning – Common European Framework of Reference – Linguistic Security – Lifelong Learning – Guided Self-Study – Peer Tandem – Vignettes – Action Research – Action Learning – Love Migrant – Crisscross Scholar – Peer Mentoring – Dissertation Writing Process.