This position paper builds on ethnomethodological conversation analysis to make a number of interrelated, empirically derived claims about speaking a second language and learning to do it as a social endeavor. We will show that: (1) language is primarily action, that linguistic units are primarily designed and used for and learned as actions in situ; (2) language is occasioned and environmentally contingent, and speaking is turn-taking that presupposes an ability to monitor other people’s talk; and (3) language, learning and cognition are socially distributed, co-constructed, embodied and embedded in local situations. They are each other’s ongoing continuations or extensions, made visible by verbal and bodily behavior. They rely on other people’s actions in situ as language is co-constructed and language-as-action emerges.
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