28 Nov 2017

Martha's summer 2017 in Jyväskylä

Martha Bigelow from the University of Minnesota visited Jyväskylä in the summer of 2017.
My visit to Finland was far too short.  Leisurely walks and brisk swims were intertwined with many long conversations with my colleague and collaborator Johanna Ennser-Kananen. It’s so uncommon to find the time or the space to turn a sort of dialogic stream-of-consciousness into possibility.  These opportunities are so precious because of ideas generated, explored, embraced, rejected, or just tabled.  Thank you Hanna (and family).
I’m also extremely grateful to the University faculty for their warm welcome, and for thinking with me about a paper that was giving me trouble. (I will now use this unconventional way of doing presentations every chance I get.) Everyone indulged me with their philosophical, theoretical, and practical thoughts about what individual differences really mean in research on language acquisition.
Learners really embody their own histories, talents, anxieties, and goals in ways that are very hard to disentangle. So why does so much individual research attempt to unlink individual differences apart from each other and the person who carries them? Plus, how are we supposed to understand individual differences, when some things that cause some learners to fall outside common paradigms or systems (e.g., late onset initial print literacy) are rarely acknowledged, much less invited into inquiry.
My paper is coming along, and I owe much to this summer visit to the University of Jyväskylä, and also possibly to the discovery of Lonkero.
Martha Bigelow

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Martha Bigelow