For some time now second language acquisition (SLA) research has been hampered by un- helpful debates between the “cognitivist” and “sociocultural” camps that have generated more acrimony than useful theory. Recent developments in second generation cognitive sci- ence, first language acquisition studies, cognitive anthropology, and human development re- search, however, have opened the way for a new synthesis. This synthesis involves a reconsid- eration of mind, language, and epistemology, and a recognition that cognition originates in social interaction and is shaped by cultural and sociopolitical processes: These processes are central rather than incidental to cognitive development. Here I lay out the issues and argue for a language socialization paradigm for SLA that is consistent with and embracive of the new research.
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