Article published in:EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 7 (2007)
Edited by Leah Roberts, Ayşe Gürel, Sibel Tatar and Leyla Martı
[EUROSLA Yearbook 7] 2007
► pp. 205–220
The nature of the L2 user
Three of the basic issues raised by the multi-competence perspective for SLA research are: (1) who are the L2 users? Both as the possession of the individual and of the community, L1 and L2 are diverse and flexible, ranging from developing to relatively static to reducing. SLA research has to recognise the shifting flux of L1 and L2 systems. (2) what is the language that the L2 user knows? Five meanings of ‘language’ are discussed: human representation system, institutional object, set of sentences, community and individual possession, concluding that the language systems of the individual and of the community need to be treated as a whole. (3) What is the community the L2 user belongs to? L2 users belong to diverse communities of their own, both local and global. SLA research needs to explore the nature of these communities rather than assuming L2 users wish to be part of native monolingual communities.
Published online: 10 August 2007
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