Toward a unified theory of language development: The transdisciplinary nexus of cognitive and sociocultural perspectives on social activity

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikel


As applied linguistics becomes increasingly diverse in the topics, methods, and theories within its scope, the field has more potential than ever to reach a truly holistic and integrated understanding of language development and meaning-making across the lifespan. Perhaps the greatest challenge to attaining this goal is the building of knowledge in parallel across respective areas of specialization without a mechanism for connecting the parts to form a whole. As individual scholars, we have deep insight into the components on which we focus. As a field, our grasp of how the components form a system is only beginning to emerge. Building upon work by the Douglas Fir Group, which proposes a transdisciplinary approach to thinking about the multidimensional nature of language development, I put forward nexus analysis as a useful mechanism to explain connections among components of the system. Nexus analysis, originally developed by Ron Scollon and Suzie Wong Scollon, is a conceptual orientation that is specifically designed to identify and map connections. I present the core elements of nexus analysis, rendering them in broad strokes, with a focus on how they might serve generally as a way to conceptualize the processes through different dimensions of language teaching and learning integrate. I posit ways in which nexus analysis, with its emphasis on social action and the factors that mediate it, can facilitate links across cognitive and sociocultural perspectives on language development.


  • Francis Hult
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik
  • Lärande


Sidor (från-till)136-144
TidskriftModern Language Journal
Utgåva nummerSupplement 2019
StatusPublished - 2019
Peer review utfördNej