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Linguistic inclusion and foreign language teaching: Theoretical considerations
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Prompted by the increased visibility of inclusive pedagogies (Jones 2013, McClure 2010), this paper deals with the concept of inclusion in foreign language teaching from a linguistic perspective (Motschenbacher 2016b). The foreign language classroom forms a special environment that poses specific language-related challenges to inclusive education. In an effort to face these challenges, the paper discusses how linguistic research and insights can contribute to the implementation of inclusive foreign language education. With respect to theory, the narrower and broader senses of educational inclusion are outlined. The notion of “linguistic barrier” is introduced, and various ways in which linguistic exclusion may manifest itself are identified. It is argued that purely cognitivist approaches to second language acquisition are insufficient for achieving higher levels of inclusivity, as they do not cater for the social and contextual aspects that shape practices of exclusion and inclusion. Alternative approaches such as sociocultural theory (Lantolf 2012) are shown to be better equipped for this purpose. After an overview of prominent exclusion-related dimensions (learners with special needs, ethnicity, gender, non-native language users; Arries 1999; Holliday 2008; Motschenbacher 2016a; Otlowski 2003; Pauwels and Winter 2006) and their repercussions in language and linguistic practices, special attention is paid to the linguistic processes of inclusion and exclusion in relation to sexuality in foreign language education (de Vincenti, Giovanangeli and Ward 2007; Liddicoat 2009; Nelson 2007; Paiz 2015; Pakuła, Pawelczyk and Sunderland 2015; Sauntson 2015).
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