Re: Way off thread - SLA

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 08:26:34 PDT

Seems very relevant, OPhil-- How to get a coordinated discuusion? When?

On Apr 5, 2005 8:09 AM, Phil Chappell <> wrote:
> Sorry, All to open a counter-thread, but I have been doing some back
> reading of reviews etc, and came across this intriguing section of a
> review of a book devoted to second language (SL) learning and
> linguistic form and meaning (see below). I was intrigued by this
> section of the review (background: the field of SL "acquisition" is
> still dominated by psycholinguistic theories stemming from Chomskyian
> linguistic theory and conduit metaphors of communication, see Reddy's
> work of three decades ago). Like some others (both active and passive
> list members, based on the member list Mike mentioned earlier), I have
> been living the contradiction between the dominant platform in SL
> research and the one(s) that are more semiotically based and focused on
> human interaction and development. But should we always be in a
> position where we do not "fully agree" with the prevailing hegemonic
> views on aspects of human development when we have such exciting
> "counter views" based on the interests of many on this list? Views
> which have spurned their own debates between, for example, the strong
> socio-semiotic and interventionist, though somewhat inaccessible
> theories of the Australian SFL group based on Halliday, Martin, etc;
> the exciting group within the US that bases its work on sociocultural
> theory, albeit criticised for downplaying pedagogy (Lantolf, Wells,
> Thorne, Kramsch, etc); and the group of educational sociologists in the
> UK that have expanded and made more accessible the works of, for
> example, Bernstein. Apologies for the geographical divides here, but I
> am sure it is a little less in your face than religious analogies.
> I'm young in this academic game, and I'd love some pointers on ways to
> foster cross-talk rather than cross!-talk.
> Phil Chappell
> I do, however, have a fondness for Monarch butterfly....
> Third, many chapters of this book are written with generative
> linguistics
> as their primary supporting theory. However, the fact that SLA
> generative
> linguists and grammar specialists are exploring how "form" can be
> processed into "meaning" implies their efforts to open up a
> communication
> channel with Vygotskian and other sociolinguists (Vygotsky, 1990). Many
> theologians agree that the legacy of Pope John Paul II was exemplified
> by
> his efforts to open up a dialogue with Protestantism, Greek Orthodox
> Church, Judaism, Moslem, and other world religions. In a similar
> manner, I
> sense very positive steps have been taken by SLA generative linguists
> to
> start an "ecumenical" dialogue with other "bands" of SLA linguists who
> may
> not fully agree with generative linguistics theory. I hope that this
> kind
> of wise efforts will continue for the purpose of further growth of SLA
> research as one area of scientific endeavor.

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