People are in continual engagement in socioculturally framed face-to-face activities as they participate in and live their everyday lives. Participation in these oral practices is bounded to some extent by one's knowledge of the interactive resources needed for participation and of the conventional ways of using the resources. Active and frequent participation in the oral practices of one's group leads to the development of sociocultural competence and the ability to use the resources to display and/or modify this competence. The formal study of such practices2 leads to the development of an understanding of the resources available to and used by the participants in a practice, and of those people whose practices they are.In what follows I argue for the incorporation of this sociocultural perspective of interaction and the concomitant study of oral practices into the disciplinary schema which currently defines second and foreign language learning. This study includes the identification of practices important to those groups whose language is being learned, and the description and analysis of the situated use of the interactive resources of such practices. To develop the argument I first situate the notion of oral practice in its larger interdisciplinary context and then present an etic framework to facilitate such study. I then discuss the current treatment of oral language in the literature on second and foreign language learning in order to demonstrate how the incorporation of the notion and study of oral practice can contribute to the development of a more complete model of language learning. A discussion of the pedagogic implications concludes the paper.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language