Chapter 9. Another step to be taken – Rethinking the end point of the interlanguage continuum

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Larry Selinker&#8217;s <i>Interlanguage</i> article has had a formative role in shaping the modern-day study of second language acquisition (SLA). This chapter begins by singling out several of Selinker&#8217;s contributions to the ontology of SLA. It goes on to claim that at this point in the evolution of the study of SLA another step needs to be taken, which is to reconsider the &#8220;endpoint&#8221; of the interlanguage continuum. Using a biological analogy, it argues that there is no endpoint for (inter-) language or its learning. Neither is extrinsically teleological. The question then becomes how to reconcile the non-extrinsic teleology of language and its learning with the normativity of teaching. The chapter concludes by suggesting ways that a reconciliation might be achieved.


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