The complex nature of Language-related Episodes

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This chapter exposes the complex nature of language-related episodes (LREs) that occur in the course of native-nonnative interactions. Our current understanding of these sequences is limited by research either not specific to second language acquisition (SLA) (e.g. Schegloff, Jefferson and Sacks 1977) or based on SLA paradigms that depict L2 learning as an autonomous cognitive process unencumbered by factors such as history and identity (e.g. Mackey 2007). Contemplating the social dimension of LREs through a social learning theory perspective (Wenger 1998) reveals that their features are not homogenous, but rather shaped by circumstances particular to the interlocutors who produce them. Once we see LREs as inherently complex and variable, then we understand that they impact different learners in different ways, times and circumstances.


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