While most research on language acquisition continues to consider the individual primarily in closed-system terms, Ecology of Language Acquisition emphasizes the emergence of linguistic development through children's and learners' interactions with their environment - spatial, social, cultural, educational, and so on - bringing to light commonalities between primary language development, child and adult second-language learning, and language acquisition by robots. Such a situated, context-responsive perspective on acquisition is able to interrelate insights from a variety of paradigms and disciplines while avoiding unjustifiable appeals to normativity. The theoretical and empirical studies presented here challenge a number of dominant ideas in language acquisition theory and mark an important new research orientation. This work should be of interest to language acquisition researchers and professionals in a wide range of specialisms.
Contents & Contributors
Notes on the Authors. Acknowledgements. 1. Towards an ecology of language acquisition; J. Leather, J. van Dam. 2. Critical realism, ecological psychology, and imagined communities: foundations for a naturalist theory of language acquisition; M. Fettes. 3. A tale of two computer classrooms: the ecology of project-based learning; L. van Lier. 4. From joint attention to language acquisition: how infants learn to control others' behavior; H. Kozima, A. Ito. 5. Beyond cognitive determination: interactionism in the acquisition of spatial semantics; J. Zlatev. 6. Language socialization in children's religious education: the discursive and affective construction of identity; A.P. Baquedano-López. 7. An integrational linguistic view of coming into language: reflexivity and metonymy; M. Toolan. 8. The ecology of an SLA community in a computer-mediated environment; Wan Shun Eva Lam, C. Kramsch. 9. Robot babies: what can they teach us about language acquisition? D. Powers. 10. Borrowing words: appropriations in child second language discourse; G. Pallotti. 11. Language acquisition behind the scenes: collusion and play in educational settings; J. van Dam. Index.