Building Socio-environmental Infrastructures for Learning

  • John HellermannEmail author
  • Steven L. Thorne
  • Jamalieh Haley
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 38)


Language use, second-language development, and technology mediated human activity are complex processes situated in, and in some cases demonstrably interwoven with, specific material and social contexts. This study highlights the context embedded and context producing interactional practices of learning in the wild as participants in small groups notice visible aspects of their immediate environment. The groups are involved in mobile augmented reality (AR) game play and are walking across an urban university campus and adjacent environments. Video-recorded interactions from 15 groups of three participants from four languages (English, German, Hungarian, and Japanese) were observed and transcribed. Sequential, multimodal analysis revealed numerous instances of noticing environmental resources and we show how participants use coordinated gaze, gesture, and language to make relevant particular perceived objects from the built environment for accomplishing the groups’ goal-directed activity as well as for co-constructing socio-environmental infrastructures for learning.


Augmented reality Cognition Semiotic fields Place-based Mobility 


  1. Atkinson, D. (2010). Extended, embodied cognition and second language acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 31(5), 599–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bucholtz, M., & Hall, K. (2016). Embodied sociolinguistics. In N. Coupland (Ed.), Sociolinguistics: Theoretical debates (pp. 173–197). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clark, A. (2008). Supersizing the mind: Embodiment, action, and cognitive extension. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cowley, S. (2009). Distributed language. Pragmatics & Cognition, 17(3), 495–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Stefani, E. (2013). The collaborative organisation of next actions in a semiotically rich environment. Shopping as a couple. In P. Haddington, L. Mondada, & M. Nevile (Eds.), Interaction and mobility: Language and the body in motion (pp. 123–151). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  6. De Stefani, E. (2014). Rearranging (in) space: On mobility and its relevance for the study of face to face interaction. In P. Auer, M. Hilpert, & A. Stukenbrock (Eds.), Space in language and linguistics: Geographical, interactional, and cognitive perspectives (pp. 434–463). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  7. Erickson, F. (1982). Classroom discourse as improvisation: Relationships between academic task structure and social participation structure in lessons. In L. C. Wilkinson (Ed.), Communicating in the classroom (pp. 153–181). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  8. Firth, A., & Wagner, J. (1997). On discourse, communication, and (some) fundamental concepts in SLA research. Modern Language Journal, 81(3), 285–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fox, B. (1999). Directions in research: Language and the body. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 32, 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fox, B. (2001). On the embodied nature of grammar. In J. Bybee & M. Noonan (Eds.), Complex sentences in grammar and discourse: Essays in honor of Sandra A. Thompson (pp. 79–99). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  11. Garfinkel, H. (2002). Ethnomethodology’s program. Working out Durkheim’s aphorism. Lantham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Gee, J. P. (2007). Good video games and good learning. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  13. Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional vision. American Anthropologist, 96, 606–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goodwin, C. (1995). Seeing in depth. Social Studies of Science, 25, 237–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goodwin, C. (2000). Action and embodiment within situated human interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 32, 1489–1522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goodwin, C. (2007). Environmentally coupled gestures. In S. D. Duncan, J. Cassell, & E. T. Levy (Eds.), Gesture studies: Gesture and the dynamic dimension of language: Essays in honor of David McNeill (pp. 195–212). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goodwin, C. (2013). The co-operative, transformative organization of human action and knowledge. Journal of Pragmatics, 46, 8–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goodwin, M., & Goodwin, C. (2012). Car talk: Integrating texts, bodies, and changing landscapes. Semiotica, 191(1–4), 257–286.Google Scholar
  19. Gruenewald, D. A. (2003). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 32(4), 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Haddington, P. (2013). Projecting mobility: Passengers directing drivers at junctions. In P. Haddington, L. Mondada, & M. Nevile (Eds.), Interaction and mobility: Language and the body in motion (pp. 179–209). Berlin: De Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harris, R. (1981). The language myth. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  22. Harris, R. (1998). Introduction to integrational linguistics. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Hellermann, J., Thorne, S. L., & Fodor, P. (2017). Mobile reading as social and embodied practice. Classroom Discourse, 8(2), 99–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Holden, C., & Sykes, J. (2011). Leveraging mobile games for place-based language learning. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 1(2), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Holden, C., Dikkers, S., Martin, J., & Litts, B. (Eds.). (2015). Mobile media learning: Innovation and inspiration. Pittsburgh: ETC Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hopper, P. J. (1998). Emergent grammar. In M. Tomasello (Ed.), The new psychology of language: Cognitive and functional approaches (pp. 155–175). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  27. Hutchins, E. (1995). Cognition in the wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hutto, D. D., & Myin, E. (2013). Radicalizing enactivism: Basic minds without content. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  29. Järvilehto, T. (2009). The theory of the organism-environment system as a basis of experimental work in psychology. Ecological Psychology, 21, 112–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jensen, O. (2010). Erving Goffman and everyday life mobility. In M. H. Jabobsen (Ed.), The contemporary Goffman (pp. 333–351). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Jones, A. M. (2015). Starting and stopping as a group: Multimodal practices for walking as a group in an augmented reality place based game. Unpublished Masters thesis. Portland State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  32. Kääntä, L. (2014). From noticing to initiating correction: Students’ epistemic displays in instructional interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 66, 86–105. Scholar
  33. Kaptelinin, V., & Nardi, B. A. (2006). Acting with technology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  34. Keisanen, T. (2012). “Uh-oh, we were going there”: Environmentally occasioned noticings of trouble in in-car interaction. Semiotica, 191, 197–222.Google Scholar
  35. Kendon, A. (1990). Conducting interaction: Patterns of behavior in focused encounters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Klein, W. (1982). Local deixis in route directions. In R. J. Jarvella & W. Klein (Eds.), Speech, place, and action: Studies in deixis and related topics (pp. 161–182). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  37. Koschmann, T., & Zemel, A. (2014). Instructed objects. In M. Nevile, P. Haddington, T. Heinemann, & M. Rauniomaa (Eds.), Interacting with objects: Language, materiality, and social activity (pp. 357–377). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  38. Lantolf, J., & Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural theory and the genesis of second language development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Laurier, E., Brown, B., & McGregor, M. (2016). Mediated pedestrian mobility: Walking and the Map App. Mobilities, 11(1), 117–134. Scholar
  41. Levinson, S. C. (2004). Deixis. In L. R. Horn & G. Ward (Eds.), The handbook of pragmatics (pp. 97–121). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  42. Liberman, K. (2013). More studies in ethnomethodology. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  43. Manzotti, R. (2016). Experiences are objects: Towards a mind-object identity theory. Rivista Internazionale Di Filosofia E Psicologia, 7(1), 16–36.Google Scholar
  44. Maynard, D. W. (2006). Cognition on the ground. Discourse Studies, 8(1), 105–115. Scholar
  45. Mondada, L. (2014). The local constitution of multimodal resources for social interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 65, 137–156. Scholar
  46. Mondada, L. (2016). Challenges of multimodality: Language and the body in social interaction. Journal of SocioLinguistics, 20(3), 336–366. Scholar
  47. Mondada, L. (2017). An interactionist perspective on the ecology of linguistic practices: The situated and embodied production of talk. In R. Ludwig, S. Pagel, & P. Mühlhäusler (Eds.), Linguistic ecology and language contact (pp. 77–108). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Nevile, M., Haddington, P., Heinemann, T., & Rauniomaa, M. (Eds.). (2014). Interacting with objects: Language, materiality, and social activity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  49. Schegloff, E. (1972). Notes on conversational practice: Formulating place. In D. Sudnow (Ed.), Studies in social interaction (pp. 75–119). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  50. Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Sequence organization in interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schegloff, E. A., & Sacks, H. (1973). Opening up closings. Semiotica, 8(4), 289–327. Scholar
  52. Scollon, S. B. K., & Scollon, R. (2003). Discourses in place: Language in the material world. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Spivey, M. (2007). The continuity of mind. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Squire, K. D. (2009). Mobile media learning: Multiplicities of place. Horizon, 17(1), 70–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Streeck, J. (2009). Gesturecraft: The manu-facture of meaning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schmidt, R. (1983). Interaction, acculturation, and the acquisition of communicative competence: A case study of an adult. In N. Wolfson & E. Judd (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language acquisition (pp. 137–174). Rowley: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  57. The Douglas Fir Group. (2016). A transdisciplinary framework for SLA in a multilingual world. The Modern Language Journal, 100, 19–47.
  58. Thorne, S. L. (2013). Language learning, ecological validity, and innovation under conditions of superdiversity. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 6(2), 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Thorne, S. L. (2016). Cultures-of-use and morphologies of communicative action. Language Learning & Technology, 20(2), 185–191.Google Scholar
  60. Thorne, S. L., & Lantolf, J. (2007). A linguistics of communicative activity. In S. Makoni & A. Pennycook (Eds.), Disinventing and reconstituting languages (pp. 170–195). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  61. Thorne, S. L., Fischer, I., & Lu, X. (2012). The semiotic ecology and linguistic complexity of an online game world. ReCALL Journal, 24(3), 279–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Thorne, S. L., Hellermann, J., Jones, A., & Lester, D. (2015). Interactional practices and artifact orientation in mobile augmented reality game play. PsychNology Journal, 13(2–3), 259–286.Google Scholar
  63. van Lier, L. (2002). An ecological-semiotic perspective on language and linguistics. In C. Kramsch (Ed.), Language acquisition and language socialization: Ecological perspectives (pp. 140–164). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  64. van Lier, L. (2004). The ecology and semiotics of language learning. Boston: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wagner, J. (2015). Designing for language learning in the wild: Creating social infrastructures for second language learning. In T. Cadierno & S. Eskildsen (Eds.), Usage-based perspectives on second language learning (pp. 75–101). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  66. Wertsch, J. V. (2002). Voices of collective remembering. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zemel, A., & Koschmann, T. (2014). “Put your fingers right in here”: Learnability and instructed experience. Discourse Studies, 16(2), 163–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Hellermann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steven L. Thorne
    • 2
  • Jamalieh Haley
    • 3
  1. 1.Applied LinguisticsPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.World Languages and LiteraturesPortland State University and University of GroningenPortlandUSA
  3. 3.American University of Iraq-SuliamaniSulaimaniaIraq

Personalised recommendations