Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

CoBLaLT – Contact Based(Neighbouring)Language Learning and Teaching

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.05.01  Humanities  Linguistics  Languages - research 

Code Science Field
H360  Humanities  Applied linguistics, foreign languages teaching, sociolinguistics 

Code Science Field
6.02  Humanities  Languages and Literature 
neighbouring languages, learning andf teaching, primary school, cross-border contacts, intercultural sensitivity
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (1)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  38812  PhD Moira Cavaion  Linguistics  Head  2017 - 2019 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000 
The project we are going to propose is an investigation into possible implementations of the doctoral study about the CoBLaLT Model - which represents an innovative methodological framework for primary Neighbouring Language teaching and learning in border regions, based on social integrative principles and Network Based Language Teaching. Implementations regard intercultural awareness development, pupils’ level of integrativeness and interactional skills development within a view of intercultural and plurilingual education, very much advised from the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe (CoE, 2007). In fact, within our doctoral research we identified as a result that integrative motivation (Gardner, Lambert 1972) more than instrumental motivation needs to be developed in order to make CoBLaLT model an efficacious tool of European citizenship development.  Specifically we propose a study starting from results which speak in favour of the model from the viewpoint of stimulated Willingness to Communicate (MacIntyre et al., 1998) among participant pupils (aged between 12 and 15 years) and increased desire to learn the language of the neighbour - one out of the three elements which make up Gardner’s concept of integrativeness (Gardner, Lambert, 1972; Gardner, 1985, 2001, 2005). Nevertheless not significantly increased desire to meet and know “others”, little intercultural and metalinguistic reflection in class in terms of intentional preparation (Bennett,2009) and capability to transfer intercultural awareness into life (Čok, 2009) and the need to teach interactional skills as a systematic study of details of interaction to make communication less formulaic since the very early stage of language learning (Rivers, 1987, Young, 2011) and  intercomprehension skills as a way to gain mutual understanding (Thije, Zeevaert, 2007) have been identified as critical points. We see the need at this time, to re-apply the CoBLaLT model to redefine tools and practice with a particular attention on implementations capable to bring improvement in terms of integrativeness, intercultural awareness and interactional skills development; assess and measure the above listed skills and awareness throughout the running of a new questionnaire about integrativeness (adapted from the Gardners’s one - Gardner, Lambert, 1972); the application of already existing scales “measuring” intercultural sensitiveness like the Hammer, Bennett and Wiseman’s Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI, Hammer, Bennett and Wiseman, 2003); qualitative observation and qualitative and/or quantitative analysis of interactional situations, like video calls or chat to check Interactional skills development; provide a teachers’ guide to the model.
Significance for science
The research, at scientific/academic level would bring the following implementations. Within Modern Foreign Language/Applied Linguistics studies it would: rise the status of Neighbouring Languages, stimulating further scientific investigations about their possible scientific definition, still missing contribute to the development of methodologies for foreign language teaching and learning within the Network Based approach (relationship between virtual and live in second language teaching and learning) contribute to develop studies about Interactional skills development and assessment at an early stage contribute to implement the European Language Portfolio (through the Autobiography of cross-border encounters) contribute to develop Intercultural Studies and Intercultural and Plurilingual education addressing specifically early age learners living in multingual areas contribute to studies regarding Receptive Multilingualism (intercomprehension ability, language choice for communication in multilingual areas) Within Second Language Acquisition theories (SLAt) foster new investigations on the nature and process regarding NL acquisition and/or learning Within the field of Minority Language (ML) teaching and learni including teaching and learning National Minorities Languages as a specific case
Significance for the country
At local language policies level it would and might bring factual contributions and feasible implementation of the language acquisition planning in multilingual borders, extendible to any Slovenian border area enhance a “discourse on languages of the border”, inspiring politicians and language practitioners, rising societal awareness about the importance of learning the NL for economical and social integration reasons, as recommended by Europe (Rec (2005)3 Council of Europe)  At pupils’/teachers’/schools level the implementations would: - increase pupils’ critical thought, proactive behaviours and motivation to learn NL along with more intercultural awareness developed - increase the use of NL - inspire authentic communication exchange, also through interactional skills trained - definitely contextualise the teaching of NL within a pedagogy of encounter, directing it at the - understanding and agreement between different cultures;   - stimulate a humanistic approach focused on the respect of pupils’ individual characteristics and valuing relationship and friendship development - innovate teachers’ methodology in terms of new knowledge, activities and strategies - stimulate teachers’ capability of being researcher and creator of intercultural language opportunities - stimulate encounters and exchanges between teachers operating in schools settled along borders - stimulate and improve crossborder cooperation between school institutions (secretaries, heads, regional/local school offices) - gear NL teaching and learning at the needs of society bringing open awareness (school communities) about the political role and perspective of NL teaching At curricular level it would: - give meaningful insights to better the territorial and intercultural contextualisation of NL curricula - bring meaningful, authentic topics for intercultural education - bring effective intercultural education strategies and activities
Most important scientific results Final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
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