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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Introduction to the Special Issue

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The premise of this publication and collective exploration is that through literacy, and in particular L2 writing, personal phenomenological experience can be reflectively inspected, explicated and presented for interpretation by others and as such can be used as an important resource within the language classroom. Kramsch (2006) persuasively describes how second and foreign language pedagogy and research have lost sight of “the flesh and blood individuals who are doing the learning” (p. 98). I proposed in response that meaningful literacy instruction be at the center of second and foreign language learning (Hanauer, 2011). The aim of the research presented here is to humanize the language classroom. Collectively the papers presented facilitate access to different methodologies and pedagogies from around the world and provide a variety of ways and contexts within which meaningful literacy can be applied. Together these papers both change and define in concrete pedagogical and methodological terms what it could mean to work meaningfully with student literacies and personal histories in the language classroom.

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