Second language reading from an Hegelian perspective

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Second language research has traditionally been characterized by the cognitive perspective which focuses on how the individual processes language. There has been an emerging trend over the past few decades on taking into consideration the social influences on second language learning based on diverse theoretical frameworks. Research on second language reading is no exception. Hegel points out the unique features of publicity, persistence over time, resistance to negation, universality and objectivity of the written form. These features enable the written form to perform some social and collective functions such as cultural preservation and enforcement of contracts that cannot be replaced by the spoken form. Hegel’s philosophy also suggests that reading in a second language is qualitatively different from reading in a first language, and second language reading is an enculturation process. Hegel’s accounts on these three aspects of second language reading provide new insights to both theories and practice of the teaching of second language reading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-357
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Hegel · Second language acquisition · L2 reading · Critical literacy · Enculturation · Universalization


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