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Focus for the Month of June: Adult Learning and Language Use
As you may have noted, the focus for each month is broad and designed to have wide application crossing many different areas and so it is with June's focus on Adult Language Learning. While other months have featured how languages are used by adults in their professional fields, this month focuses on what motivated adults to learn a language late in life, what the experience is like and how it ties into their goals and aspirations. Steve Ackley, Director of Communications at ACTFL, recently enrolled in an Adult Education program to learn Italian. Steve says, "For years, I have loved visiting Italy, interacting with the Italian people and listening to the sound and rhythm of the language. And for many of those years, I told myself that 'someday, I'll learn Italian'. We often hear that we're never too old to learn another language and I decided that I had no more excuses. I knew I would be sorry if I didn't try."
The national event this month, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education, the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT), the Georgia Coalition of Language Learners, the Georgia World Languages Consortium, and the Foreign Language Association of Georgia, in cooperation with ACTFL, was held on Friday, June 3, with a "language ambush" with elementary school students asking questions in the target language to the citizens of Atlanta. After the "pop quiz" a forum was held at the Goethe Institut in which adults who were in the process of learning a language discussed their motivation and how the experience has had an impact on their lives. The forum was moderated by ACTFL President, Dr. Audrey Heining-Boynton. Pictures of the event will be featured on our website soon.
ACTFL gratefully acknowledges the support from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) for their contributions to this month's focus which can be accessed from their website at http://www.cal.org/yol/activities/june.html.