Introduction: Investigating Written Dyadic Interaction through a Complex Dynamic Systems Theory Perspective

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Shafinaz Ahmed
Anna Ciriani Dean


Since its inception in the late 1960’s, the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) has undergone many transformations. As pre-existing theories have been expanded upon and new theories introduced, researchers and practitioners have come to a deeper understanding of the second language (L2) learning process. The past two decades, in particular, have seen a shift in the way that L2 learning is conceived. Ever since Diane Larsen-Freeman published her seminal article on complex systems and L2 development (Larsen-Freeman, 1997), the theory known as Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST) has brought a new orientation into SLA discourse. Since then, researchers have transferred their attention from acquisition to development, linearity to nonlinearity, and stability to variability. It is this shift that provides the impetus for this special issue of the Teachers College Working Papers in TESOL and Applied Linguistics.

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