Social Learning of Second Language: A Neurocognitive Framework

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Both folk wisdom and scientific knowledge have pointed to the apparent differences between children and adults in language acquisition, especially with regard to how native language (L1) acquisition versus second language (L2) learning differ. There have also been recent neuroimaging data that indicate differences in the neural representation of L1 and L2. In this talk, I highlight differences in the context of learning between children and adults, and suggest “social learning of L2” (SL2) as a new framework for thinking about L1-L2 differences and the corresponding neural correlates. I provide an overview the SL2 approach and the related theoretical models and hypotheses. If the social and affective cues relevant to the context of learning can be made available to L2-learning adults as they are to L1-learning children, the success of L2 learning may be enhanced and the child L1 vs. adult L2 discrepancy be reduced. The neural evidence from our work also shows that SL2-based learning, as compared with traditional classroom-based learning, can lead to brain network patterns in L2 that are more similar to those underlying L1. Finally, we can leverage rapidly developing digital technologies to simulate the conditions of social learning, which has significant promises to advance both our theories of language learning and pedagogical applications in language teaching.
Period24 Jun 2022
Event titleThe 17th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational