Social Constructivism and the Role of Place for Immigrant Language Learners

  • Steven L. ArxerEmail author
  • Maria del Puy Ciriza
  • Marco Shappeck
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 17)


This chapter follows contemporary work by introducing what is known as the “social turn” in second language acquisition theory. We argue that older immigrant language socialization is shaped by the social bonding and cooperation present between the novice learner and other interlocutors. We recognize that functioning in English-dominant spaces may generate cognitive and social challenges for older immigrant language learners and isolate them from positive socialization encounters with English-dominant interlocutors. In this context, age-related beliefs, behaviors, and self-representations emerge from the backdrop of recurrent social interactions. From this perspective, we emphasize that safe places of interaction promote linguistic resocialization for otherwise culturally isolated older immigrants. We argue that research is needed that identifies that practical ways places of language resocialization mediate and reduce these risks and limitations.


Social constructivism Applied linguistics Social turn Aging in place Right to speak Investment Safe zones 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven L. Arxer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria del Puy Ciriza
    • 2
  • Marco Shappeck
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and PsychologyUniversity of North Texas at DallasDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Spanish and Hispanic StudiesTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  3. 3.Department of Teacher Education and AdministrationUniversity of North Texas at DallasDallasUSA

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