The language socialization paradigm for SLA: What's in it for you?

Gregg, Kevin R.
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Watson-Gegeo (2001) tells us that we are “at the beginning of a paradigm shift in the human and social sciences” that is “fundamentally transforming second language acquisition (SLA) and educational theory and research” (p. 1). Watson-Gegeo is not very forthcoming as to the nature of either the old paradigm or the new one; and indeed, one of the problems with her paper is the absence of anything that could be called evidence. Still, based on what she sees as this emerging new paradigm, she is explicit in arguing that we need a new paradigm for SLA, what she calls the “language socialization paradigm”. I propose to look at the new cognitive science as Watson-Gegeo conceives it, and at her proposals for SLA research. It will be seen that her account of the former is generally vacuous or irrelevant where it is not simply incorrect, while the latter show little promise for a productive research program for SLA.
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