“Time. And time again.” 

Presenter: Distinguished Professor Emerita Patsy Lightbown

Session Summary

We had the good fortune to be able to welcome Patsy Martin Lightbown, PhD, to Melbourne and to an evening event co-hosted by VicTESOL and the School of Education, La Trobe University.

Patsy Lightbown is Distinguished Professor Emerita (Applied Linguistics) at Concordia University in Montreal. Since the 1970s, her research has focused on the importance of time in second language learning and on the complementary roles of meaning-focused and language-focused activities. She has studied the acquisition of French, English, and Spanish in classrooms in Canada and the US. Her 2014 book Focus on Content-Based Language Teaching appears in an Oxford University Press series that she co-edits with Nina Spada, with whom she co-authored How Languages Are Learned (OUP), an award-winning introduction to second language acquisition research for teachers, now in its fourth edition.

Over 100 VicTESOL members and others with an interest in languages and language education attended the evening at the city campus of La Trobe University on 2 November to hear Professor Lightbown’s presentation titled: “Time. And time again.” As Professor Lightbown explained, there are substantial differences in the availability of resources in different additional language teaching and learning contexts. However, one crucial resource that is in short supply in nearly all learning contexts is time. Professor Lightbown outlined how different solutions have been proposed for increasing the time available for learning. She then looked at how to increase learning time in ways that have been shown to have the greatest long-term benefits.

Professor Lightbown’s presentation and the time set aside prior to, and following her talk provided opportunities for the attendees to mingle and chat. The feedback on the session has been very positive. We are extremely grateful to Professor Lightbown for taking the time to share her understanding about how languages are learned during the session and also for agreeing to make available her presentation slides.

Session summary contributed by Shem Macdonald (VicTESOL Vice-President)

 

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Session Audio Recording