Legitimate Peripheral Participation as a Framework for Conversation Analytic Work in Second Language Learning


  • Gitte Rasmussen Hougaard University of Southern Denmark




conversation analysis, lay understanding of "learning", Legitimate Peripheral Participation, members' knowledge, second language learning, social actions


Since its inception, Conversation Analysis (CA) has become not only a framework and a set of methods for studying the generic machinery of talk-in-interaction but also a celebrated, qualitative method for studying a wealth of phenomena and exploring and testing concepts and hypotheses from numerous disciplines, including linguistics, psychology, anthropology and Second Language Acquisition (SLA). CA is often resorted to as the key to resolving knots and dead-ends in these neighboring disciplines. Despite the very interesting results that such work admittedly produces, it is too often not accompanied by focused considerations of how the specific concerns from one field match with the aims that CA procedures have been developed for and hence with the procedures themselves. This paper takes recent applications of CA to the study of SLA as a case in point. It discusses a) whether CA can shed light on "learning" as commonly defined in SLA and b) whether the resort to a particular model of learning (LAVE & WENGER, 1991), Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP) helps overcoming some of the problems with which CA work in SLA is confronted. It is hoped that the specific discussions of problems involved in the project, CA-for-SLA, will contribute to the ongoing, general discussion of qualitative research methods and their prospects and problems. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs090247


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Gitte Rasmussen Hougaard, University of Southern Denmark

Gitte Rasmussen HOUGAARD is employed as an Associate Professor at the Institute of Language and Communication. She is director of the Research Center for Social Practices and Cognition (SoPraCon). Her research interests are ethnomethodological and conversation analytic studies of everyday life, interaction and cognition and institutional Interaction. Recent publications are: Brouwer, Catherine E., Rasmussen, Gitte & Wagner, Johs (2004). Embedded corrections in second language talk. In Rod Gardner & Johs Wagner (Eds.), Second language conversations (pp.75-92). London: continuum. Hougaard, Anders R. & Hougaard, Gitte R. (2007). Implications of cognitive metaphor and gesture studies to ethnomethodology and conversation analysis and vice versa. In Alan Cienki & Cornelia Müller (Eds.), Metaphor and gesture (pp.263-272). Amsterdam: Benjamins. Hougaard, Gitte R. (2008). Membershipping in international telephone conversations. Journal of Pragmatics, 40(2), 307-332. Hougaard, Gitte R. (2008). "Mental spaces" and "blending" in "discourse" and "interaction". A response. In Anders R. Hougaard & Todd Oakley (Eds.), Mental space in discourse and interaction. Pragmatics and beyond (pp.247-250). Amsterdam: Benjamins.


How to Cite

Hougaard, G. R. (2009). Legitimate Peripheral Participation as a Framework for Conversation Analytic Work in Second Language Learning. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-10.2.1280