Creative use of the L3 curriculum space for local linguistic encounters

David Roxburgh, Lorna Anderson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents emerging findings from two studies in progress, illustrating different ways in which primary teachers have made use of the radical L3 space to develop new pedagogies around local language encounters. In Roxburgh’s study of the promotion of Chinese language and culture in five Scottish primary schools, one school stands out as challenging a pervasive ‘orientalist’ (Said,1979) or ‘large culture’ approach (Holliday, 2013), by creating opportunities for pupils to meet people from Chinese communities in their local area and to consider ways of presenting their area to Chinese visitors. In Anderson’s study of an L3 pilot project run in four multilingual primary schools in inner city Glasgow, parents who spoke other languages in addition to English were invited to teach these languages and to introduce pupils to local contexts – such as shops or places of worship– where these languages were in use. Roxburgh’s and Anderson’s studies reveal that in facilitating opportunities to use new languages in local settings and in thus creating a desire to communicate across languages and cultures which had hitherto been virtually invisible, at least to some pupils, pupils’ perspectives on their local environments, and on their own capacity for interaction and mediation were transformed Their research indicates that, at least with younger learners, the three components of successful language learning proposed by Lo Bianco & Peyton (2013) – capacity, opportunity and desire – may thus need to be re-ordered. They also suggest a need to review current thinking about factors likely to motivate young language learners, away from distant future prospects of travel, study or work in far-off places, recognising that pupils already live in multilingual environments, in and beyond the classroom, and that more immediate and more meaningful possibilities for translanguaging are close at hand.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2020
EventTEdELL 2020 Virtual Conference: Teachers and teacher educators: Education and professional development for early language learning - Nova University, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 12 Nov 202014 Nov 2020


ConferenceTEdELL 2020 Virtual Conference
Internet address


  • local language encounters
  • primary education
  • communities
  • young language learners


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