In honor of snacks

 Photo from Creative Commons user Dave Crosby.

Photo from Creative Commons user Dave Crosby.

This is the fifth in a series of short posts framing adult English language learning experiences for volunteers in a local English class in my city. 

As humans we have all sorts of feelings about different languages, and these feelings about language can impact whether or not we want to learn a language. Our feelings about language are not isolated though, usually they are related to how we feel about the people, spaces or activities we associate with the language. This is one reason our weekly snacks at our English class are a valuable contribution. We might think “It’s English class – it’s for learning English, why should the snacks matter?” But having snacks, or funny interactions changes the space into one that people have positive associations with. And these positive associations with the space can have an impact on how our students feel about their experience of learning English and the ways in which they continue to engage English learning.

This post is combining some of the work on language learning and motivation with my recent work with a colleague about how parents justify their decisions about their children's linguistic education, which you can see here: https://www.academia.edu/34624455/Language_ideologies_and_im_moral_images_of_personhood_in_multilingual_family_language_planning