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[Xmca-l] Re: L2



I'm not an L2 researcher (or speaker, for the most part), but I work with quite a few. A few points:

1. Foreign Language learning is but one of many L2 matters. There is also bilingual education, ESOL, EFL, etc. 
2. The whole field of bilingual education characterizes the areas in which you say there is nothing, at least in the US.
3. There might be ethical problems, at least for US Institutional Review Boards, in studying populations as vulnerable as they ones you describe, especially in getting them to sign consent forms that others are confident that they understand--and many immigrants are reluctant to sign papers they fear might cause them problems.

So, I think you're wrong on this, and hope that's what you're hoping for. p

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Martin John Packer
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2014 6:50 AM
To: David Kellogg; xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] L2

Hi David,

I have to teach a class on second language learning this week in my course in Psychology of Language, so I've turned to Lantolf. My university library webpage has been down for maintenance this weekend so I've had limited access to his writing, but what I have been able to read has confused me. In a couple of articles I find reasonable summaries of LSV's ideas, but then Lantolf doesn't get around to applying these ideas to L2! Looking at abstracts in Google Scholar it seems that he's proposing that (1) L2 is learned in the ZPD (what isn't?), (2) L2 is a mediator (what isn't?), and (3) private speech occurs in L2 (okay, that could be interesting). I was expecting him to attribute some role to L2 in the higher functions, or to suggest that L2 mediates in a specific way, or...

What am I missing?

Plus, I have a growing suspicion that most L2 research is conducted on people willingly studying a foreign language in the classroom. Not much, or nothing, on people who are forced to abandon their mother tongue because they live somewhere where school, and/or work, is available only if they speak a dominant language. I'm hoping you'll tell me I'm wrong about this!

Martin