The Intentional Dynamics of TESOL

by Juup Stelma
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Juup Stelma The Intentional Dynamics of TESOL
Juup Stelma - The Intentional Dynamics of TESOL

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This book presents intentional dynamics, which is a new perspective on TESOL contexts, activity and outcomes.The key innovation is a synthesis of complex systems and ecological theories, as well as the concept of intentionality from the philosophy of mind, to understand the psychological and social processes of TESOL. One aspect of intentional dynamics is the ‘ordinary’ intentions of individuals to perform particular actions, and of organisations to achieve planned outcomes. Another aspect is philosophically defined psychological and social forms of intentionality. Psychological intentionality is understood as what language learners' and teachers' (and other stakeholders') beliefs and emotions are ‘about’ or ‘directed at’. Social intentionality is the ‘aboutness’ expressed by TESOL materials, curricula and policies. The book explores how intentional dynamics both emerge from and give shape to TESOL activity, and outlines what are the practical implications of intentional dynamics for TESOL learners, teachers, researchers, managers and policy-makers.


Juup Stelma
Achilleas Kostoulas

Further information

Illustrations Note:
10 b/w ill., 11 b/w tbl.
Biography Artist:
Juup Stelma, The University of Manchester, UK; Achilleas Kostoulas, University of Thessaly, Greece.

Stelma and Kostoulas have enriched the potential of the partnership between complex dynamic systems and ecological theories by contributing the concept of intentionality. Importantly, their model of intentional dynamics places meaning and meaning-making at the heart of an ecological and complex dynamic systems account of TESOL. The authors don't stop with theory. They illustrate the power of their model in exemplifying four different contexts and types of activities, reinterpreting them through the lens offered by their model and thereby making a case for its versatility. In so doing, they demonstrate its real-world relevance to the TESOL teaching and research community. In addition to conceiving of language learning as intentional becoming, their understanding affords a critical-intentional perspective on power, freedom, and agency to counter injustice-a perspective that is much-needed in the world today.

Diane Larsen-Freeman, Professor Emerita of Education and of Linguistics, University of Michigan

Number of Pages:
The series Trends in Applied Linguistics meets the challenges of the rapidly growing field of applied linguistics. In a very broad sense, applied linguistics is understoodby focusing on the application of theoretical linguistics to current problems arising in different contexts of human society. Given the interdisciplinary character of applied linguistics, the series includes cognitive, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and educational perspectives.

The following topicsare included in the series:

Second language acquisition and the acquisition of additional languages
Bilingual and multilingual education
Language planning and language policy
Literacy skills
Second/foreign language pedagogy
Translation and interpretation
Language for specific purposes
Discourse analysis
Language testing and assessment
Child language
Language and gender
Pragmatics and rhetorics
Corpus analysis
Critical pedagogies
Research methodology in applied linguistics
Language and technology
Media Type:
de Gruyter Mouton

Master Data

Product Type:
Hardback book
Release date:
April 19, 2021
Package Dimensions:
0.235 x 0.159 x 0.021 m; 0.526 kg
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