Not too way off thread - SLA

From: Phil Chappell (
Date: Thu Apr 07 2005 - 16:33:27 PDT

Mike, Steven, Andrew, Dot, Kevin, Fern, et. al.,

So later in the year it is. Perhaps in the meantime people might suggest some articles, book chapters that we could start collecting (the forthcoming Thorne and Lantolf must definitely be there ;-) I'd like to see if we couldn't get a couple of people from the Halliday/genre pedagogy group of applied linguists involved, too. There is some very interesting work on scaffolding interventions going on there at the moment.


On Thursday, April 07, 2005, at 09:29PM, Mike Cole <> wrote:

><<Original Attached>>

Steven, Phil and other SLA advocates. Perhaps we can make this line of work one thread in the
online CHAT class I am scheuling for December-March next year. As you can see, between the
play discussion upcoming (see papers on xmca papers for discussion) and discussion of an
article from MCA (see xmca discussions) I expect we will be struggling simply to pay attention
to that and always-emerging other topics for the next several weeks.

On Apr 7, 2005 12:27 AM, Steven Thorne <> wrote:

hi Phil and all -- there is indeed a strong and growing strand of applied and cognitive linguistics/SLA work rooted in vygotskian and chat frameworks. a colleague (jim lantolf)  and i are finishing up a book length manuscript for OUP on this very theme. as you note, our group here in the US has been active, but as you correctly mention, most of our stuff has been praxiological, but not explicitly pedagogical (though of course we strive to "ascend to the concrete"!). in our forthcoming volume, we're trying to address this through some chapters that look specifically at concept development and the role of mediation, artifacts, and forms of participation that might foster the conditions of possibility (to rob a line from foucault) for learning, and potentially, development (i won't parse these terms here other than to revisit vygotsky's notion that learning precedes development, and development, especially in late-modern post-vygotskian theorizing, involves resolutions to contradictions > reorganization of mental processes > the dialectical becoming of a new kind of person (possibly in domain specific environments/performances).

lastly, i was a member of the old xlchc some years ago and only in the past week or so resubscribed -- why it took me so long is a mystery! but i'm very happy to be back.


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

Steven L. Thorne
Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Communication Arts and Sciences
Associate Director, Center for Language Acquisition
Associate Director, Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research
The Pennsylvania State University
Interact > 814.863.7036 | | | IM: avkrook

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