Linguistic Risk-Taking

A linguistic risk is an authentic, every-day communication task that some language learners may shy away from and may need special encouragement to engage in. Research has shown that some learners hesitate to take risks and do not always benefit from the extra opportunities to practice their second official language outside of the language classroom. Real-life communication in a second language is not stress-free. It may involve “risk factors” such as making mistakes, being misunderstood, misunderstanding others, taking on a different identity, changing language use habits, and so on. That is why some learners tend to stay within the comfort zone of their preferred official language when going about their daily business on campus and thus miss out on opportunities to “live” bilingually. The Linguistic Risk-Taking Initiative intends to encourage you to take various risks that will boost your confidence in your second official language. It will guide you in using our bilingual campus as a real-life language-learning resource.

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