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Exploring and Exposing a Gap in L2 Research: How Socio-linguistic Roles and Relationships Facilitate or Frustrate Second Language Acquisition

Colby Toussaint Clark and Ian Clark
Atlantis
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Junio 2008), pp. 101-113
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41055309
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Exploring and Exposing a Gap in L2 Research: How Socio-linguistic Roles and Relationships Facilitate or Frustrate Second Language Acquisition
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Abstract

This article has two central aims. Firstly, to discuss how a sociolinguistic approach to language learning creates measurable increases in performance and secondly to highlight the need for a greater quantity and quality of research in this area. The article begins with a discussion on the discontent that exists regarding studies which investigate how sociolinguistic variables influence the quality of classroom learning. This will be followed by a brief discussion on the now mature field of classroom interaction, which will reaffirm the potential of this approach to deliver measurable increases in performance across the curriculum before moving on to briefly discuss how these general understandings are relevant to the discipline of second language acquisition. The remaining content of the article will be confined to a discussion concerning the sociolinguistic roles 'acted-out' by learners in pairs and small groups. The work of Neomy Storch has been selected as a research feature because it presents a particularly clear argument for the potential of the sociolinguistic perspective. Este artículo tiene dos objetivos principales. En primer lugar, discutir el incremento palpable del rendimiento que trae consigo un enfoque sociolingüístico y, en segundo lugar, resaltar la necesidad de una mayor cantidad y calidad de investigación en esta área. El artículo comienza con una discusión sobre el descontento existente en torno a los estudios que investigan la influencia de las variables sociolingüísticas en la calidad del aprendizaje en el aula. A esto le sigue una breve discusión sobre el ya maduro campo de la interacción en el aula, que reafirma el potencial de este acercamiento para proporcionar incrementos palpables de rendimiento a todos los niveles, antes de pasar a ocuparnos de la relevancia de estos conocimientos generales para la disciplina de la adquisición de segundas lenguas. El resto del artículo gira en torno a los papeles sociolingüísticos que juegan los estudiantes en las actividades en pareja o en pequeños grupos. Se ha escogido el trabajo de Noemi Storch como piedra angular porque presenta un argumento especialmente claro del potencial de la perspectiva sociolingüística.

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