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  Learner Language:
  Tools for Teachers


Learn how to analyze learner language from five different perspectives, and consider ways you can support its development in the classroom. The site showcases video recordings of learners using Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Spanish in unrehearsed interaction. Multimedia activities guide language teachers to study and reflect on learner language and how to nurture its development.

What is Learner Language?

Learner language is what learners say or write when they are trying to communicate spontaneously in a language they are learning. Interlanguage (IL) is the system that underlies learner language grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The language being learned is sometimes called the target language (TL). Learner language can be very different from the target language. Published research on second language acquisition shows that learners' language is produced by a built-in syllabus, which differs from the syllabus the teacher uses.

Using Communication Tasks for Language Learning

Unrehearsed Interactive communication tasks are very important for learner language use and development. See learning in interaction.

Ways of Seeing Learner Language

Each unit shows you how to analyze learner language from a different perspective, and consider ways you can support its development:

Multimedia Activities on Learner Language for Teachers

This site showcases video recordings of learners using Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Spanish in unrehearsed interaction. Ten videos for each language show two language learners perform five communication tasks, plus individual interviews. These interactive multimedia activities guide you to study and reflect on real learner language from different research perspectives.

Project Background

CARLA staff developed this project to integrate second-language acquisition research more effectively into language teacher education.

Learner Language Bibliography

The general second language acquisition research and scholarly articles and books are listed in this bibliography. See each language section for specific annotated bibliographies.

CARLA Summer Institutes for Language Teachers

Each summer CARLA offers a wide array of professional development opportunities for K-16 language teachers including an institute focused on growing learner language.

CARLA Bibliography

The CARLA bibliography contains more information on publications and presentations by faculty and staff involved in this project.



Articulation of Language Instruction
Assessment of Second Language
Content-Based Language Instruction
Culture and Language Learning
Immersion Education
Learner Language
Less Commonly Taught Languages
Maximizing Study Abroad
Pragmatics/Speech Acts
Strategies for Language Learning
Technology and Language Learning

Summer Institutes
Presentations, Workshops, and Events
Advanced Practices Certificate


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CARLA Publications
CARLA Bibliography
Content-Based Lessons/Units
LCTL Database
Learner Language Activities
Immersion Education Archives
Pragmatics Bibliography
Proficiency Handbook/Lessons
Spanish Grammar Strategies
Virtual Assessment Center
Virtual Item Bank

LRC Portal
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Last Modified: January 23, 2018 at 16:46