Numa Markee, Mi-Suk Seo
April 2, 2009
Since the beginning, second language acquisition (SLA) studies have been predominantly cognitive in their theoretical assumptions and programmatic agendas. This is still largely true today. In this paper, we set out our proposals for learning talk analysis (LTA). LTA synthesizes insights from linguistic philosophy, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, discursive psychology, and the discourse hypothesis in SLA. LTA points to behavioral, process-oriented accounts of mind, cognition, affect, language, and language learning that are agnostic about a priori theoretical claims that such traditionally psychological constructs underlie SLA. Instead, LTA treats these constructs as observable, socially distributed interactional practices. While an ethnomethodological respecification of SLA studies is a key agenda item of LTA, LTA is also concerned to foster an on-going conversation with all SLA researchers. The paper defines LTA, discusses how the various intellectual traditions it invokes form a coherent whole, provides a sustained, empirical exemplification of how LTA works, and suggests possible areas for future collaboration between behavioral and cognitive SLA researchers.