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ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SECOND LANGUAGE
ACQUISITION AND SOCIALIZATION
DEFINITIONS: WHAT IS LANGUAGE ECOLOGY/
ECOLINGUISTICS?
Ecolinguistics,orLanguage Ecology, was originally dened in 1972
by the Norwegian linguist Einar Haugen as the study of interactions
between any given language and its environment(Haugen, 2001,
p. 57). The denition echoes the German biologist Ernst Haeckels
(1866) denition of ecology within the life sciences as die gesammte
Wissenschaft von den Beziehungen, des Organismus zur umgebenden
Aussenwelt, wohin wir im weiteren Sinne alle Existenz-Bedingungen
rechnen können(the total science of the organisms relations to the
surrounding environment, to which we can count in a wider sense all
conditions of existence’”) (Haeckel, 1866, p. 286). Haugen understood
language ecology as an approach to, or dimension of, linguistics. Today
language ecology is still predominantly used within a broad array of
linguistic disciplines concerned with multilingual realities, whether psy-
chologically (micro-ecology) or sociologically (macro-ecology) con-
ceived. Language ecology is thus a widespread approach within such
elds as second language acquisition (SLA), bi- and multilingualism
and language diversity, death, and revitalization (Crystal, 2000).
In the 1990s language ecology, now widely termed ecolinguistics,
developed into an institutionalized eld in its own right, largely triggered
by M.A.K. Hallidays plenary talk at the IXth Congress of the Inter-
national Association for Applied Linguistics (AILA) in Thessaloniki in
1990 (Halliday, 2001). In 1993 the rst ecolinguistics section was held
at AILA X (Amsterdam), and in 1996 a scientic commission under
AILA was established at AILA XI in Jyväskylä (see the two AILA
reports: Alexander, Bang, and Dr, 1993; Bang, Dr, Alexander Fill
and Verhagen, 1996). In the AILA context, ecolinguistics comprises:
1. the study of how language reects, refracts, and distorts our natural
and social environment (see part 3 in Fill and Mühlhäusler, 2001)
2. the use of well-known theories, e.g. Critical Discourse Analysis
or Systemic Functional Linguistics, in analyzing how ecologi-
cal crises are expressed in, and constituted by, grammar and
CLAIRE KRAMSCH AND SUNE VORK STEFFENSEN
P. A. Duff and N. H. Hornberger (eds), Encyclopedia of Language and Education,
2nd Edition, Volume 8: Language Socialization, 1728.
#2008 Springer Science+Business Media LLC.
discourse (see part 4 in Fill and Mühlhäusler, 2001; Mühlhäusler,
Harré, and Brockmeier, 1999)
3. the development of new ecological theories of language, gram-
mar, and discourse (Finke, 2001; Bang and Dr, 2007).
A keyword in ecology, whether in the life sciences or in linguistics, is
holism. A holistic approach to linguistics implies that language is not
studied as an isolated, self-contained system, but rather in its natural
surroundings, i.e. in relation to the personal, situational, cultural, and
societal factors that collectively shape the production and evolution
of language, ontogenetically as well as phylogenetically. Linguistic
holism leads to a number of methodological considerations, shared
by the majority of ecolinguists.
First, the holistic approach makes ecolinguists investigate the con-
textual properties of language and communication. In ecolinguistics,
context refers to both personal-situational and sociocultural phenomena.
Thus, an ecolinguistic analysis relates linguistic data to the complex
totality of the speakerssituational positioning and the sociocultural
and socioeconomic characteristics of the speech communities.
Second, since the holistic approach presupposes a worldview in which
everything is part of an undividable whole, ecolinguistics abandons any
attempt to reduce complex phenomena to Cartesian dualisms. Rather,
the ecolinguist describes linguistic phenomena as interconnected, inter-
dependent, and interactional (Steffensen, 2007). Interconnectedness
implies that every part of the whole is regarded as connected to any
other part and to the whole. Interdependence implies that a linguistic
phenomenons mode of existence changes if other phenomena change
or cease to exist. Interaction implies that no part affects other parts
without being affected itself; there is no mono-directionality, only
mutuality. This does not, however, necessarily imply symmetry since
one part may dominate the other(s).
Third, holism values diversity. Rather than searching for universals
whether in the form of Chomskys Universal Grammar, Grices Univer-
sal Maxims or HabermasUniversal Pragmaticsecolinguistics adopts
a descriptive frame that accentuates the particular and the specic over
the general and universal. This differentiates ecolinguistics from such
paradigms as (Labovian) sociolinguistics and conversation analysis.
Fourth, the holistic approach leads many ecolinguists to general
systems theory (van Lier, 2003, pp. 213228)including its newer devel-
opments: chaos/complexity theoryand the notions of open systems,
dynamicity and emergence (von Bertalanffy, 1968). These theoretical
frames offer a view on language as a mediator between cultural and nat-
ural ecosystems (cf. Finke, 1996; Trampe, 1996). The term dynamicity
is also used outside of the systems theory frame per se, namely to describe
changes in the personal, situational and cultural reality.
18 C. KRAMSCH AND S. V. STEFFENSEN
Fifth, and summing up the four previous points, a holistic starting
point leads the ecolinguist to adopt a dialogical point of view on
language: (i) It is in dialogue that the personal, the situational, and the
cultural merge; (ii) it is in dialogue that interconnectedness, inter-
dependence, and interaction of language unfold; (iii) dialogue provides
the breeding ground for the creation and maintenance of sociocultural
and linguistic diversity; (iv) dialogue offers a possibility for realizing
our potential for changing ourselves and our surroundings
1
.
It follows from the ecolinguistic emphasis on contextuality and open
systems that the researcher sees him/herself as participant, i.e. as
related to the object system under investigation. This is contrary to
the positivist objectivism of the CartesianNewtonian era in science,
but in accordance with key tenets of quantum physics and systems
theory, e.g. as formulated by the Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine: The
experimental dialogue with nature discovered by modern science
involves activity rather than passive observation. [...] Description is
dialogue, communication, [...].(Prigogine and Stengers, 1984,
p. 41, 300). This non-dualist epistemology requires an explicit axiolog-
ical stance; since the researcher interferes with the object under study,
he/she is committedas meticulously, conscientiously and explicitly
as possibleto a praxis that furthers a development which is benecial.
According to Fill (1993), ecolinguistics promotes, inter alia, peaceful
coexistence of all beings, the preference for the small in opposition
to the big, and the preservation of the weaker against the stronger.
This axiological stance emphasizes a family resemblance between
ecolinguistics and critical applied linguistics. In her review of Fill and
Mühlhäusler (2001), Gerbig notes: [Fill and Mühlhäusler] employ a
very broad notion of ecology, which leads to a seemingly irreconcilable
diversity between the different contributions and which is one reason
why ecolinguistics has been faced with major criticism.(Gerbig, 2003,
p. 91). However, the explicit axiological stance is arguably the one feature
that reconciles the many branches of ecolinguistics. Whether an
ecolinguist works with bilingualism, language acquisition and language
socialization, political discourse or environmental problems, he/she
1
This definition of ecolinguistics is related to an ethnographic, sociocultural view of
linguistic phenomena. Qualitative research (e.g., case study, ethnography) too is often
described as seeking holism, sociocultural contextualization, multiple perspectives,
dialogue etc. However, an ecolinguistic approach includes physical and economic
phenomena that are not necessarily accounted for by an ethnographic approach.
Moreover, dialogue is understood here in a Bakhtinian sense as a relational principle
not only of here-and-now interactions but of human existence per se. In this sense,
dialogue is always anchored, not in a multiperspectival external viewpoint, but in the
unique subject position of the speaker or the researchera subject position for which
each one is answerable.
ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SLA 19
stands up for the minority language and its learners, for the victims of
political exploitation and ecological devastation.
EARLY DEVELOPMENTS
Second language acquisition research has only recently become inter-
ested in language ecology. In the 1980s, after an initial focus on the
linguistic and cognitive processes at work in the acquisition of
L2 forms and rules of usage, SLA researchers started turning their
attention to the inuence of the social context in the development of
language use or communicative competence. The early immersion
programs in Canada and the study of immigrant language learners in
natural, i.e., noninstructional, environments in the U.S. were the trigger
for a host of studies that conrmed the fact that the ability to use
language to communicate with others, by contrast with merely learning
rules, is acquired through being exposed to comprehensible input
as well as in and through interaction with others.
Through the focus on language use rather than just language usage,
second language acquisition, one could say, acquired a socialization
dimension. Some sociolinguists, such as Leslie Beebe and Elaine
Tarone, pushed the eld into the study of interlanguage pragmatics.
Nonnative speakers (NNSs) were encouraged to express, interpret
and negotiate meaningsin communication with native speakers (NSs),
and to become socialized into the host society by approximating the
NS. However, what was being approximated was less the diversity
and variability of NS social and cultural meanings than a rather standard
grammatical, sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic competence. In
sum, until the 1990s SLAs interest in the social context was an extension
of its interest in the acquisition of standardized forms and meanings
for the purposes of communication as exchange of information.
Since the 1990s, the social has come into its own. Global migrations,
the advent of the internet and the global spread of English have raised
concerns about the appropriateness of imposing one NS model for all.
Social and cultural variability in form and meaning became a source of
concern for psycholinguists anxious to have reliable data to analyze
and from which to make claims regarding learnerslevel of language
competence. Sociolinguists pointed out that a language is not just a
mode of communication but a symbolic statement of social and cultural
identity, especially in the increasingly multilingual environments in
which L2 learners found themselves. For example, Ramptons study
of multiethnic and multilingual adolescents in a British high school
showed the dazzling linguistic and social abilities of NNSs to temporar-
ily crossover into peerslanguages and play with various roles and
personae (Rampton, 1995). A renewed interest in the work of Dell
20 C. KRAMSCH AND S. V. STEFFENSEN
Hymes led proponents of communicative competence in SLA to revisit
his understanding of the term and suggest that maybe the computer
metaphor in SLA had prevented researchers from doing justice to the
complexity of the ethnography of speaking(Firth and Wagner, 1997).
The growing inuence of cultural psychology (Stigler, Shweder, and
Herdt, 1990) and of Soviet theories of language (Vološinov, 1986) and
cognition (Vygotsky, 1962) on scholars from anthropology, education,
and other disciplines made the full study of the social and the cultural
in SLA respectable and legitimate. Sociocognitive and sociocultural
theories have become particularly popular to explain the relationship
between language acquisition and language socialization. The major
contribution made to the social aspects of SLA since the early 1990s
has been Vygotskys cognitive theory and its reinterpretation through
Leontievs activity theory, applied to SLA by Jim Lantolf under
the name of sociocultural theory (SCT). SCT reverses the notion that
language acquisition takes place in the head and that language use
merely applies this acquired knowledge to the social world. Cognition,
says SCT, occurs rst on the social plane and only later gets internalized
on the psychological plane in the form of inner speech in interaction with
more capable peers. For Vygotsky, socialization is part and parcel of
acquisition. In fact, it predates it.
SCT is having a substantial impact on SLA theory, as it responds to
the need to account for social and cultural phenomena in a eld that
was originally mainly psycholinguistic. The notions of symbolic medi-
ation, collaborative learning, participation, and the achievement of
common activities around real-world tasks all show a desire to move
L2 acquisition in the direction of L2 socialization and thus to adopt a
more ecological approach to SLA.
The continued interest in pragmatics and conversation analysis also
shows a desire to bridge the gap between acquisition and socialization
in SLA. Kaspers recent review of the current theoretical perspectives
on L2 pragmatic development encompasses not only a linguistic
(e.g., grammar) and an information-processing perspective (e.g., atten-
tion, awareness), but also a Vygotskyian sociocultural perspective (e.g.,
assisted performance) and a language socialization perspective, which
focuses on learnersparticipation and apprenticeship in recurring situ-
ated activitiesa focus she calls neo-Vygotskyian(Kasper, 2001,
p. 516). In fact, Kasper sees SCT and language socialization theory
converge in their close attention to interactional processes in SLA,
and she suggests that both theories could benet from adding conversa-
tion analysis to the mix, to form a theoretically even happier ménage à
trois(p. 524). Conversation analysis, also born in the 1970s from eth-
nomethodology and the sociology of language, offers a highly elabo-
rate tool to analyze the way conversational partners orient themselves
ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SLA 21
to the on-going interactional situation and position themselves vis-à-vis
the turns-at-talk, the topics, and the cognitive tasks that participants
set up for one another. Conversation analysis adds a particularly attrac-
tive feature to SCT because conversational transcriptions offer easily
observable evidence of cognitive processes at the moment of their
deployment in conversation. According to SCT, these processes can be
seen as directly related to the learners inner speech in his/her zone of
proximal development.
MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS AND WORKS
IN PROGRESS
SLA theories that explain acquisition processes through interactional,
collaborative, or socialization processes show the signicance of the
social and the cultural in SLA. However, they retain the structuralist,
dichotomous view of the cognitive and the social as separate realms.
Thus, discourse data are considered to be evidenceof underlying
thought processes, not of constructing the very social and cultural real-
ity they purport to reveal. Even though SCT has taken great pains to
dissociate itself from earlier input theories and gives precedence to
the social and cultural, it still proceeds as if it is possible to infer from
individual speech to individual thought. However, to use Vološinovs
distinction, speech does not reect thought, it refracts thought (Vološinov,
1986). Similarly, even though, according to SCT, individual speech is
nothing but internalized collective speech, researchers working within
an SCT framework rarely consider the fact that the utterances of L2
learners might express in L2 an inner speech that is mediated by an
L1, L3 or L4 because the learner had his/her primary socialization in
one of these languages (see research on Bilingual Education, Volume 5).
Some researchers have therefore felt the need to draw on theories
that take a more explicitly ecological view of language acquisition as
socialization. The publication in 1997 of Diane Larsen-Freemans
article on the application of chaos/complexity theory (C/CT) to SLA
was a milestone in the development of this language-acquisition-
as-socialization-view: SLA theory was taking a post-structuralist turn
(Larsen-Freeman, 1997). Comparing the acquisition of a foreign
language to the complex, nonlinear processes of dynamic systems,
Larsen-Freeman proposed that we should look for interconnections
between scales, e.g., between the microlevel of the individual organism
and the macrolevel of society, between past and potential future perfor-
mance, between organic processes of learning and inorganic materials
such as computers, tapes, etc., between local behaviors and global events,
between lower level phenomena such as textbooks and classrooms and
higher level phenomena such as geopolitics and globalization. C/CT
22 C. KRAMSCH AND S. V. STEFFENSEN
elides the dualism individual/society, individual cognition/group social-
ization, and offers a broader lens to view the development of language
as one among many semiotic systems through which we make meaning
of the life around us (see also Herdina and Jessner, 2002).
Around the same time, ecological theories of language acquisition as
socialization were gaining momentum. Three representatives of this
trend are Kramsch (2002), Leather and van Dam (2003), and van Lier
(2003). They all view SLA as an emergent phenomenon, triggered by
the availability of affordances in the environment, heavily dependent
on an individuals perception of these affordances and his/her willing-
ness to participate actively in their use. As Jay Lemke (2002) has
argued, an ecological perspective on SLA does not circumscribe the
individual learner to the limits of his/her skin or to her own experience.
The learnerincludes not only the here and now of his/her learning,
but memories of previous learnings, projections of future scenarios,
subjective appraisals, fantasies, identications with remembered, relived,
and potential selves. We have to distinguish between the biological
time of the child, the sociological time of the institution, and the ideo-
logical time of society. Teachers teach to multiple timescales, not only
to the actual adolescent in the classroom, but to the former child and
the future adult; they must judge not only the actual capacity and
performance but a set of perceptions, expectations and potentialities.
For ecologically oriented researchers, learning takes place not only in
educational settings, but also in nurseries, community centers and on
the internet, as documented in the collection of papers in Leather and
van Dam (2003). As Kramsch (2002) argues, many researchers who
work within an ecological framework have adopted a phenomenologi-
cal stance, ranging from the sociological to the philosophical, which
provides them with a sense of educational responsibility and social jus-
tice (cf. the axiological stance mentioned in the rst section above).
In order to take into account the many other semiotic systems in
the environment beside the verbal (e.g., visual, acoustic, electronic),
van Lier (2003) explicitly couples an ecological perspective on SLA
with C.S. Peirces semiotic theory and attempts to reconcile an ecologi-
cal and a semiotic perspective within the activity theoretical framework
offered by SCT.
The current interest in SLA as an ecological phenomenon has been
accompanied, in language education, by a veritable passion for Bakhtin
(1981) and the notion of dialogism that has been associated with his
work and that of Vygotsky (Ball and Freedman, 2004). What language
educators nd attractive in Bakhtin is the collaborative, participatory,
dialogic aspect of his stylistic theory that converges with the interac-
tional theories of learning reviewed above and with the holistic concep-
tions of learning advocated by language ecology. But some scholars
ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SLA 23
fear that the notion of dialogic pedagogy is becoming trivialized, thus
concealing the truly ecological complexity of Bakhtinian thought
(e.g., Cazden, 2004).
The emergence of ecology-friendly theories of SLA is accompanied
by a renewed interest in linguistic relativism and in the relation of
language, thought, and culture in applied linguistics. Gumperz and
Levinsons (1999) volume revisits this once controversial issue by pub-
lishing together papers in rst language acquisition and bilingualism,
language socialization, and conceptual development. As a theoretical
construct, the notion that a persons thought is channeled or inuenced
by the language this person has been socialized in is no longer contro-
versial. However, the concept of linguistic relativism is dangerous to
educational institutions that pride themselves in delivering knowledge
that is universally valid, i.e., that is independent of the language in
which it is delivered.
The inroads made by post-structuralism and social constructionism
in a traditionally structuralist, objectivist research eld like SLA are
still tentative but signicant. However, it presents problems. Not only
is SLA research as a eld keen on maintaining its credibility by pro-
ducing ndings that are as reliable and generalizable as those of the
natural sciences, but by being tightly linked to the eld of language
education, it is hostage to the criteria of educational success recogniz-
able and acceptable by a general public that does not necessarily
espouse ecological views of education. And yet, ecological theories
of learning must prompt us to rethink the relationship of individuals
and various learning environments beyond the classroom, e.g., study
abroad and distance learning. It is also prompting us to seriously concep-
tualize the relationship of individuals and their objects or artifacts, in par-
ticular computer technology. A growing number of SLA researchers are
focusing on computer-mediated communication as a site of learning
and socialization and much has yet to be understood in the way lan-
guage learning technologies and virtual environments mediate learners
acquisition of a second language.
PROBLEMS AND DIFFICULTIES
The ecolinguistics perspective described in section 1 above enables the
researcher to identify the problems with an ecological approach to lan-
guage education both in theory and in practice. From a theoretical per-
spective, ecological approaches to second language education present
four challenges:
1. Historical. Individuals learning a second language in late child-
hood, adolescence, or adulthood have already been fully socialized
24 C. KRAMSCH AND S. V. STEFFENSEN
into one language and culture in their families, schools, and work-
places. The memory of this primary and secondary socialization
lingers when they attempt to adopt the verbal and nonverbal behav-
iors of another speech community. Second language education
should take all this previous socialization into account.
2. Cognitive. According to the linguistic relativity principle, we
have to take into account the way language as discourse cate-
gorizes and frames our perceptions of reality. Even if NNSs are
socialized into adopting the linguistic and pragmatic codes of a
L2 speech community, they might retain the discourse categories
and the mental patterns of meaning making of their rst socializa-
tion. Bi- and multilingual individuals (and monolinguals too, of
course!) are known to say one thing and mean another, because
they can capitalize on the surplus of meaning afforded by the
mastery of other symbolic systems.
3. Methodological. The historical and cognitive relativity brought
about by the ability to navigate several languages and to straddle
several speech communities is difcult to document because it is
often a matter of subjective appraisal, contingent upon an individ-
uals ecology at the time. Researchers working within an ecolog-
ical framework (Kramsch, 2002) are very conscious of the need
for qualitative, longitudinal data that put the researcher on the line
and expects him/her to reveal his/her subject position. An ecologi-
cal research approach offers more internal validity (appropriately
called ecological validity) but less reliability and inordinately less
generalizability or external validity.
4. Ethical. Applying the paradigm of rst language socialization to
already socialized individuals raises ethical issues that are cur-
rently anguishing many English teachers and researchers of
English as a Second Language (ESL) around the world. Many
have problematized the use of the NS as model of socialization,
especially as the availability of large scale electronic corpora of
NS English is making it easy to socialize NNSs into the ways
with words of true, genuine, native speakers on the streets of
London, New York, or Sydney. But should they be? The resistance
of learners to reproduction through ESL is well documented.
Socialization researchers talk about negative socialization. Some
have suggested the notion of a third place between socialization
processes (Kramsch, 1993).
Furthermore, an ecological theory of language education that takes
seriously the notions of interdependence, dynamicity, and dialogism
is bound to encounter the difculties that any poststructuralist approach
has encountered in the social sciences. A case in point is Bonny
ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SLA 25
Nortons (2000) pioneering book on Identity in Language Learning,
which revisits such notions as motivation and learning in a poststruc-
turalist, feminist theoretical light. Inspired by a more ecological view
of identity as multiple, changing and the site of conict, she argues that
immigrants to Anglophone countries can capitalize on their various
identities as, e.g., immigrant, woman, mother, employee, to stand up
to their landlords or employers and redress the power imbalance they
encounter in social life. The SLA concept of motivation in language
learning has now been supplemented by that of investment”–a more
participatory metaphor than that of motivation. However, Norton has
been criticized for holding still too structuralist a view of identity.
Instead of seeing ones multiple social identities as given by ones posi-
tion in the social world, an ecological paradigm would see them as so
many subject positions emerging in the interplay between the social
world and the discursive situation at hand.
From the perspective of educational practice, language ecology has
already had its critics from within applied linguistics. In a recent article
on the ecological turnin language policy, Alastair Pennycook (2004)
is ready to admit that, while the strength of an ecological approach to
SLA lies in its poststructuralist relativity, reexivity, and decentered-
ness, it risks losing the capacity to take a critical stance toward certain
(nefarious) forms of socialization. This insight should function as a
reminder to ecologically oriented linguists never to loose sight of the
power struggles inherent in cultural ecosystems (as acknowledged in
Steffensen, 2007, p. 11). Others, like Shirley Brice Heath, inspired by
Bakhtin, prefer to highlight the educationally benecial role of literary
narratives and counternarratives in providing youngsters with alterna-
tive models of socialization, which she calls scenarios of possibility
(Heath, 2000).
Furthermore, an ecological practice of language education should
require abandoning the demand for standardization in language education.
Like generalizability in educational research, standardization in educa-
tional practice expresses the need to eliminate diversity and to exercise
control, both notions that are incompatible with language ecology.
CRITICAL APPRAISAL AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
FOR RESEARCH
Ecolinguistics has given us a rich holistic framework for studying phe-
nomena of second language acquisition and socialization. It highlights
the emergent nature of language and language learning, the crucial role
of affordances in the environment, the mediating function of language
in the educational enterprise. It brings back into focus the historicity
and the subjectivity of the language learning experience, as well as
26 C. KRAMSCH AND S. V. STEFFENSEN
its inherent conictuality. The notion that language education operates
on multiple timescales, e.g., the timescale of human and personal
development, the timescale of the institution, the timescale of the job
market should make us pause. Relevance should be researched differ-
ently for each of these timescales, and so should the evaluation of
knowledge and the control of its use.
The challenge for an ecologically oriented research in language acqui-
sition and socialization is to meet both the institutional demands for
public accountability and efciency and the individual demands for per-
sonal relevance and meaning. Rather than generalizability, an ecological
approach to educational research strives for dialogicality. The articulation
of local and particular experiences, might lead to global changes, not by
way of generalizability, but by way of analogy, because dialogue implies
the emergence of shared experiences.
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28 C. KRAMSCH AND S. V. STEFFENSEN
... Instead of having in-class learning as the main ecology of a language learner, out-of-classroom learning appears to be a promising ecology to learn a language. In ecology, there is a dynamic interaction between language users and the environment (Kramsch and Steffensen, 2008) which then creates extensive learning opportunities (Barron, 2006). The key term 'interaction' plays an important role in determining if the learning opportunities provided by a particular environment can be learning resources for a language learner. ...
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Language learners have come to an era in which studying outside the classroom is well-facilitated by technology development. Along with this advancement, there is a wider chance to learn things outside the classroom, including language. In the Indonesian context, many students have done wider exploration to improve their English exposure through various activities. This study aims to reveal the learning strategies done by a successful EFL learner through case study research. The result shows that online games, e-books, and movies are some of the prominent learning tools of Language Learning Beyond the Classroom (LLBC) to enhance language exposure and learners’ autonomy.
... As young adults wishing to become teachers, students seem particularly aware of the need to love one's subject in order to teach it effectively. Teachers who love their subject also provide more occasions for meaningful interaction and therefore, for language learning (Kramsch and Vork Steffensen 2008). Passion for one's subject constitutes a motivation to continue language practice, which will eventually improve proficiency: these stories seem to hint at passion as being the only possible route to proficiency. ...
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This study reports on a genre analysis investigating the rhetorical structures, specifically the Results, Discussion and Conclusion sections of empirical research articles from two under-re�searched disciplines, Applied Mathematics and Economics. Twenty articles were compiled for each discipline, making 40 research articles in all. Interview data were collected from authors of the articles and also specialists within each discipline (n=32). In this study, discourse ana�lytical and ethnographically-oriented approaches were integrated for the validity of the find�ings. A two-level rhetorical structure (Moves and Steps) was proposed in light of specialists’ contributions as actual authors of the articles in the corpus. The principal finding was the different role of Discussion in the target disciplines, which was difficult to analyse in Applied Mathematics in contrast to Economics. The findings showed the significant need for consulting specialist informants in genre analysis, which differs from the claim made by Askehave and Swales (2001) who argue that having specialist informants check the genre analysis may com�plicate the process.
... 20). Kramsch and Vork Steffensen (2008) also refer to "holism" as a keyword in ecology and emphasize that "language is not studied as an isolated, self-contained system, but rather in its natural surroundings, i.e. in relation to the personal, situational, cultural, and societal factors that collectively shape the production and evolution of language" (p.1 8). Through the process of carrying out the fieldwork, Sarah Cox began to consider how understandings of "context" and "environment" might differ and how the project could remain true to Haugen's Frontiers in Communication frontiersin.org . ...
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As we reflect and learn from the lessons lived during the COVID-19 pandemic that severely disrupted our ways of being in the world, in this article we call for restorative pedagogies which can reconnect us to each other and to the places we live in. We present the language learning needs and experiences of four newly arrived refugee women in Scotland. A language learning study was designed using ecological methodological approaches, an iterative spiral of critical participatory action research (CPAR), and the emergent framework of permaculture design of “earth share; fair share; people share.” The 5-month study included fourteen 2-h learning sessions starting with an initial pilot spanning across four 2-h learning sessions. The innovative restorative pedagogy, as we propose it here, connects language learning to translanguaging practices, processes of acclimatizing into a new environment, into new rituals and embodied experiences, moving inside and outside of the “classroom” and with the understanding of “layered simultaneity” of languages brought from and lived in multiple places. We conclude this article with reflections on the impact of these language experiences not only on designing language programmes for the integration of refugees in new communities, but also as an ethical practice for all of us in moments of crisis, when our most profound relations and habits are threatened or broken. A restorative pedagogy builds on language that respects human dignity, acknowledges the importance of place and land we walk on, and cultivates sustainable human connections in a vulnerable and unstable world.
... including Blommaert (2005), Kramsch (2002), Larsen-Freeman (2006) and others have called for an ecologically-oriented language pedagogy "where the meaning of events emerges in a nonlinear way in interactions with others, and social reality is constructed minute by-minute in the ongoing discourse" (Kramsch, 2013, p. 67). ...
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The purpose of the current study is to shed light on EFL classroom discourse at the Algerian secondary school level being one of the contexts where foreign ethnicity potentially hinders intercultural communication, and by consequence EFL learning. This study is based upon two main assumptions. The first states that by enhancing intercultural sensitivity, EFL learners would display an ethnorelative discourse towards ethnic other. The second assumption states that EFL learners’ ethnorelative ideology would legitimate ethnic other’s non-ideological meaning. Adopting van Dijk’s model of Ideological Discourse Analysis as well as van Leeuwen’s Model (2008) of (De) Legitimation, we have two objectives in mind: First, to check potential shift from ethnocentric to ethnorelative ideology as well as to examine how these former would be (de)legitimated. The sample of this study is a group of EFL learners at the Algerian secondary school. The experimental group is represented by the entire number of second year scientific stream classroom at Saadaoui Rachid secondary school. The analysis of learners’ written discourse reveals that the first hypothesis is confirmed with one exception. The second hypothesis is confirmed.
... Concerning the methods applied for describing cultures, Table 1 overviews the cultural dimensions most often taught in higher education including the predominantly essentialist views of culture which offer training models for business purposes such as those of frequently cited scholars such as Hall (1966), Hofstede (1980), Byram (1997) and Trompenaars (1996). The non-essentialists (Kramsch & Steffensen, 2008;Liddicoat & Scarino, 2013), on the other hand, assume that language users in interaction are in the process of becoming, making, and interpreting meaning (Kecskes, 2013). In addition, the table includes latest results of the lessspread academic World Values Survey (WVS, 2022a) as they also significantly shape the ICC approach by shifting the focus of both students and professionals from the boundaries of national groups that are presumed to be mostly homogenous to fluid dynamic culture zones mirroring pervasive cultural values in cross-national and over-time perspective towards an analysis of the trends of intercultural changes in post-industrial societies. ...
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The article deals with metadiscourse variation in academic texts across disciplinary boundaries. Its main focus is on the distribution of metadiscourse markers in Russian-authored academic prose in the field of applied linguistics and engineering. The study assumes that the distribution of metadiscourse devices is determined by disciplinary norms. The theoretical basis of the study is Hyland’s taxonomy of metadiscourse markers. With the aim of investigating metadiscourse in English-medium research article (RA) abstracts by Russian authors, the present study adopted a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The results revealed that RA abstracts feature four types of metadiscourse markers whose distribution varies across two disciplines representing the humanities and hard sciences. The study also investigated the degree of familiarity of linguistics and engineering scholars from leading Russian universities with metadiscourse devices and their awareness of the need to use them in research articles. To achieve this goal, a survey was conducted to obtain data on knowledge of metadiscourse as a discursive strategy. The findings carry therefore pedagogical implications for academic writing course designers and instructors and can enhance non-native English writers’ knowledge of academic writing conventions in the discipline.
... Concerning the methods applied for describing cultures, Table 1 overviews the cultural dimensions most often taught in higher education including the predominantly essentialist views of culture which offer training models for business purposes such as those of frequently cited scholars such as Hall (1966), Hofstede (1980), Byram (1997) and Trompenaars (1996). The non-essentialists (Kramsch & Steffensen, 2008;Liddicoat & Scarino, 2013), on the other hand, assume that language users in interaction are in the process of becoming, making, and interpreting meaning (Kecskes, 2013). In addition, the table includes latest results of the lessspread academic World Values Survey (WVS, 2022a) as they also significantly shape the ICC approach by shifting the focus of both students and professionals from the boundaries of national groups that are presumed to be mostly homogenous to fluid dynamic culture zones mirroring pervasive cultural values in cross-national and over-time perspective towards an analysis of the trends of intercultural changes in post-industrial societies. ...
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Discomfort perceived by speakers in intercultural situations becomes one of the main psychological factors which makes speakers give up attempts at communication and may result in frustration or inefficient communication. The article discusses the pedagogical potential of digital storytelling, understood as multimodal pedagogy that encourages creative expression and self-representation, as a tool for challenging and mitigating perceived communicational and intercultural discomfort within the context of intercultural competence development and training. The authors argue that collaborative digital storytelling in multicultural teams raises intercultural awareness by creating a safe, structured, and facilitated (virtual) space for students to develop their ability to interact with people from another country and culture in a foreign language and represents a viable tool of challenging and overcoming intercultural discomfort by providing an opportunity for repeated intercultural interaction through negotiation of meaning and intersubjective construction of knowledge as well as by providing motivating real-life context for students’ work. In supporting dialogic and constructivist approaches to educational practice, digital storytelling is fully equipped to provide a viable alternative to direct instruction and transmissive models of teaching. In addition to this, by providing a digital element, digital storytelling allows students to reflect on the culturally as well as technologically mediated nature of communication.
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This exploratory study investigated whether learners can correctly identify the grammaticality of items drawn from corrective feedback (CF) on their own oral production or on that of their peers. It was hypothesized that participants would judge less well-established items more slowly, and conversely that entrenched items, whether target-like or not, would be judged more quickly. 20 learners at two proficiency levels judged audio recordings of themselves reformulating errors they had made in small-group conversations. Items had been categorized according to reformulation accuracy and fluency, and the analysis investigated whether judgment accuracy and speed mirrored these categories. Results indicate clear parallels in reformulation and judgment accuracy, but a weak relationship between fluency of production and recognition. The categorization of errors occurring in both production and recognition, perhaps representing “attempts” at meaning-making (Edge, 1989; Willis, 2003), is proposed as the focus of future pedagogical research investigation. To this end, a pedagogical application of the self-judgment methodology is described.
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Employing an ecological framework, this study explores learners’ visual representation of their language learning practices and environments beyond the classroom in an Australian context. Specifically, this study’s aim is to better understand the features of individual language learning environments, the role of self-reflection, and the affordances involved in the construction of these environments. One hundred and seventy international students enrolled in English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) in Sydney drew mind maps on “Activities to improve my English in Australia.” The mind maps were analyzed thematically using NVivo 11 software and subsequent themes were developed. Findings showed individual differences in features of language learning environments, learners’ perceptions of their affordances, and insight into the degree of learner agency as seen from the visualization. This article closes by discussing the implications for using such visual materials in second language pedagogy in order to understand student language learning beyond the classroom.
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Irreversible processes are the source of order: hence 'order out of chaos.' Processes associated with randomness (openness) lead to higher levels of organisation. Under certain conditions, entropy may thus become the progenitor of order. The authors propose a vast synthesis that embraces both reversible and irreversible time, and show how they relate to one another at both macroscopic and minute levels of examination.-A.Toffler
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L2 learners' development of pragmatic ability has been studied from a variety of theoretical perspectives. This paper seeks to assess the contributions made by different approaches to interlanguage pragmatics as a subfield of Second Language Acquisition. A first approach locates the development of pragmatic ability within a comprehensive model of communicative competence, either examining pragmatics as an autonomous component or in its interaction with grammatical ability. The discussion focuses on the evidence for and against the interdependence of pragmatic and grammatical ability. A second perspective explores pragmatic learning as information processing, with a particular view to the roles of attention, awareness, input, and metapragmatic knowledge. One important question requiring further exploration is whether principles of grammar learning extend to the learning of pragmatics, A third approach investigates pragmatic learning in sociocultural perspective. A key observation has been that pragmatic knowledge emerges from assisted performance, both in student-teacher and peer interaction. The fourth approach is language socialization, investigating how cultural and pragmatic knowledge are jointly acquired through learners' participation in recurring situated activities. in a final section, the paper discusses whether the four perspectives are compatible or mutually exclusive.