Classrooms as Formal Contexts for Learning

  • Tony Wright
Part of the Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics book series (RPAL)


In simple terms a learning context occurs when a person encounters a learning opportunity in the course of everyday life. This definition does not assume success in learning, merely that there is an opportunity that may or may not be acted upon. When a person makes a commitment to learn, the opportunity becomes a goal. The analysis of any learning context must first, therefore, account for the relationships between learners and learning opportunities. However, as we have seen in Chapter 1, teachers are major players in classrooms learning contexts, and the full picture will also include teachers’ contributions. The relationships between learners, teachers and learning opportunities together constitute the basis of classroom management practices.


Formal Education Learning Opportunity Learning Context Classroom Management Informal Learning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Further reading

  1. Askew and Carnell (1998) argue for ‘transformational learning’.Google Scholar
  2. Bransford et al. (2000) is a useful introduction to various issues in learning.Google Scholar
  3. Claxton (1999) contains a wide-ranging model of human learning in the context of ‘lifelong learning’.Google Scholar
  4. Drew and Heritage (1992) is a ‘technical’ collection of papers on institutional talk.Google Scholar
  5. Hargreaves (1994) is an account of teachers’ responses to change in their working practices.Google Scholar
  6. Kohonen (2001) makes the case for ‘experiential learning’ in language education.Google Scholar
  7. Lantolf (2000) is a good introduction to activity theory in second language learning.Google Scholar
  8. Lave and Wenger (1991) is a useful study and conceptualisation of apprenticeship models of learning.Google Scholar
  9. Wells and Claxton (2002) is a collection which makes the case for more informal language learning.Google Scholar
  10. Wenger (1998) is a theorised account of learning in ‘real world’ contexts, with important implications for education.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tony Wright 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Wright

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