Nov 3, 2023: Janice McGregor

October 20, 2023

Toward Justice in Study Abroad, Intercultural Learning, and Language Education

Janice McGregor

Assistant Professor of German Studies and SLAT , University of Arizona

Study abroad (SA) is a fixture in post-secondary language education in the United States. In this talk, I introduce two different–yet entwined–facets of SA and language learning that can cause harm. The first is the common ideological construction of SA as “L2-land”, or the primary context where “authentic” language “use” occurs (and relatedly, the acquisition of “near-native” language proficiency) harnessed by students and language educators alike. The second is the fact that US institutional budget models affect language departments and SA planning since issues like SA program cost and departmental financial planning are always linked to concerns about labor and undergraduate student enrollment and thus (knowingly or unknowingly) shape the experiences of all students and language educators. To highlight the impact of these two facets, I share an analysis of student and educators’ ways of talking about SA and language learning from data sets spanning 2010-2023. The findings show that the participants’ contributions at times underline and challenge ideologies grounded in monolingualism, native-speakerism, and neoliberalism, even as they often also reinscribe them. The talk concludes with a discussion about whom these discursive and budgetary systems protect and exclude, as well as concrete suggestions for reimagining more just language and intercultural learning experiences.

Friday, November 3, 2023
B-4 Dwinelle & via Zoom, 3-5 pm
This lecture is sponsored by the College of Letters and Science.

BIO:Janice McGregor picture

Janice McGregor is a faculty member in the Department of German Studies and the interdisciplinary PhD program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) at the University of Arizona. Her research projects examine how those involved in language education pursue and construct multilingualism and language and intercultural learning in interactional and intercultural contexts. 

Talk by Janice McGregor, November 3, 2023