Adult Second Language Acquisition in Informal Settings

This study will investigate the influence of informal interaction on Adults’ acquisition of L2. While there is a vast body of research concerned with adult L2 acquisition inside classrooms (language centers) and from various perspectives, there is very little of how adult learners acquire their L2 in informal settings and contexts, through interaction with adult native speakers of L2. The informal context is already established by NGOs and charity groups like “Red Cross”, and is comprised of native volunteers, who meet with Syrian refugees once a week in what they call “Friday Café”. The agenda is usually comprised of games, chit-chats, and walking around the city, to provide the new comers with linguistic as well as cultural knowledge about Denmark. The participants themselves set the agenda of the day when they meet, and the L2 learners share in the process. Such activities help the new comers establish a network with the natives, and the meeting functions as an outlet where they can practice their L2 (Danish) without necessarily feeling the stress and nervousness that usually dominates a classroom setting. The study will investigate how adult L2 learners orient to the requirements of the informal context. How games can be helpful in the process of L2 acquisition? How native speakers interact with L2 learners (what do they modify about their language or even about their interaction).

Jalal El Derbas