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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of English and American Studies

Interactions of Sociocultural Theory and Emergentism in SLA and Language Education Studies – Conceptual and Interdisciplinary Concerns



13 December, 2013
Humboldt-­Universität zu Berlin, Germany
9am – 5pm


Venue: Humboldt-­Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

Room: 2249 + 2249a
(University main building;
West wing next to the International Office)


The symposium is jointly organised by the
AILA-Research Network "Sociocultural Theory and Emergentism" and
Also visit our Langscape Blog


Please contact us and register by e-mail.

Questions about this symposium? englischdidaktik@hu-berlin.de



Topic and scope of the symposium:


Even though Sociocultural Theory and Emergentism (also referred to as Dynamic Systems Theory, DST) have been on the scene of Applied Linguistics and SLA for many years, the view of bringing both into contact appears to be still fresh.

Both SCT and Emergentism embrace non-linear or context models of learning processes, disengage with merely positivist views of cognition and rely on epistemologies of situated knowledge. However, the relation of both approaches has been the subject of heated debate, which is by no means settled. The aim of the Symposium is therefore to set aside antagonising views of SCT and Emgergentism/DST and to explore potential contact zones at the theoretical, epistemological, conceptual and methodological level when bringing SCT and DST perspectives on L2-Ln learning together or when linking SCT and/or DST with other current theoretical/philosophical theories of language learning and language education.

Interaction will not only be aimed for at the level of theoretical discourse but also for the mode of collaboration. Preliminary versions of the papers will be circulated among the participants prior to the Symposium and discussed in workshop sessions on the basis of very short presentations. Papers will address the following topics:

  • Basic concepts
  • Research methodology
  • Implications for empirical research
  • Interdisciplinarity/multiperspectivity of research


Local organising committee: 

Claudia Schmidt, Langscape Assistant
Lutz Küster, Institut für romanische Sprachen
Stephan Breidbach, Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik