As we noted at the beginning of Chapter 4, the field of SLA during the 1980s and 1990s was largely driven by the quest to understand the interaction of learnerinternal and learner-external variables, guided by the cognitive-interactionist framework that has its roots in Piagetian developmental psychology. The goal of this research is to identify universal patterns that should be largely true of any human who learns an additional language and the underlying belief is that universal patterns can help us explain L2 learning as a general phenomenon. Beginning in the mid-1990s, however, several SLA researchers felt dissatisfied with this state of affairs and opened up new venues for SLA thought (Hall, 1993; van Lier, 1994; Block, 1996; Lantolf, 1996; Firth and Wagner, 1997). Attuning to the spirit of the times, which in many other human and social sciences had for some time been shaped by a social turn, these critics suggested that the nature of reality was social and fundamentally unknowable and that a pursuit of the particular, and not the general, would be a better disciplinary strategy to illuminate complex human problems, such as additional language learning. Other scholars from the wider field of applied linguistics also pointed at the paucity of social theorizing that characterized SLA work (Rampton, 1990; Sridhar, 1994; Norton Peirce, 1995). This increasing disciplinary awareness set forth a process of intellectual crises and reconceptualization that has yet to be completed, but that was characterized in the early twenty-first century as ‘the social turn in SLA’ (Block, 2003). By now, diverse lines of work in the field have begun to harvest a social understanding of the very same L2 learning phenomena that others have been trying to explain through universal principles and psychological-individual constructs.