Mind, Language, and Epistemology: Toward a Language Socialization Paradigm for SLA



For some time now second language acquisition (SLA) research has been hampered by unhelpful debates between the “cognitivist” and “sociocultural” camps that have generated more acrimony than useful theory. Recent developments in second generation cognitive science, first language acquisition studies, cognitive anthropology, and human development research, however, have opened the way for a new synthesis. This synthesis involves a reconsideration of mind, language, and epistemology, and a recognition that cognition originates in social interaction and is shaped by cultural and sociopolitical processes: These processes are central rather than incidental to cognitive development. Here I lay out the issues and argue for a language socialization paradigm for SLA that is consistent with and embracive of the new research.