Recommend to your Librarian

The Social Turn in Second Language Acquisition

David Block


What is Second Language Acquisition?

In recent years there has been a notable increase in the number of publications discussing and debating issues surrounding SLA. In The Social Turn in Second Language Acquisition David Block critically examines the key assumptions behind this research. He unpacks and analyses the way the key components of SLA are commonly understood, asking what is meant by the terms 'second', 'language' and 'acquisition'.

Block discusses a wide variety of research by applied linguists and those working in SLA who have drawn on recent developments in social theory in their attempts to make sense of language practices and language learning. The main thread running through the text is the suggestion that SLA researchers need to concern themselves not only with language learning as an individual and primarily cognitive process, but also as a sociohistorically situated phenomenon.

This book is written for applied linguists and students on applied linguistics courses, who are familiar with recent developments in the field of SLA.

Key Features

  • New ideas about SLA and a useful critique of the field
  • Readable style
  • Includes an extensive bibliography of over 400 sources.

About the Author

David Block is a Lecturer in Research Professor in Sociolinguistics at the Universitat de Lleida.


This book goes to the very heart of what SLA is ... The value of this book is its contribution to the debate about the objectives of SLA research. If the aim of those working within SLA is to better understand communicative competence it can surely only be a good thing as Block proposes to keep the interdisciplinary barriers down.
- Language Issues
Makes an outstanding contribution to the field of Second Language Acquisition Research, as it not only provides an informed, critical overview of developments since the early beginnings of this area, but it also lucidly and convincingly argues for the need for SLA researchers to widen the accepted agenda for research in this field by adopting a more multi-disciplinary and socially informed perspective.
- Baal News

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