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Title: The social brain of language : grounding second language learning in social interaction
Authors: Li, P 
Jeong, H
Issue Date: 2020
Source: npj Science of learning, v. 5, no. 8, p. 1-9.
Abstract: For centuries, adults may have relied on pedagogies that promote rote memory for the learning of foreign languages through word associations and grammar rules. This contrasts sharply with child language learning which unfolds in socially interactive contexts. In this paper, we advocate an approach to study the social brain of language by grounding second language learning in social interaction. Evidence has accumulated from research in child language, education, and cognitive science pointing to the efficacy and significance of social learning. Work from several recent L2 studies also suggests positive brain changes along with enhanced behavioral outcomes as a result of social learning. Here we provide a blueprint for the brain network underlying social L2 learning, enabling the integration of neurocognitive bases with social cognition of second language while combining theories of language and memory with practical implications for the learning and teaching of a new language in adulthood.
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal: npj Science of learning 
EISSN: 2056-7936
DOI: 10.1038/s41539-020-0068-7
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
The following publication Li, P., Jeong, H. The social brain of language: grounding second language learning in social interaction. npj Sci. Learn. 5, 8 (2020), is available at
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