ABSTRACT

Some years ago the author was working with a high school teacher in Orange County, California, who had begun teaching English-language development (ELD) after several years as a social studies teacher for native English speakers. As part of the school-university collaborative, they were searching for ways to modify the existing social studies curriculum to better meet the needs of her English-language learners (ELLs). The work of John Bowlby is central to our understanding of attachment in the young infant. His primary contribution, known as attachment theory, suggests that infants need at least one clear and responsive caregiver in order for healthy psychological development. Attachment theory seems at first glance an unlikely application for ELD teaching, or any teaching for that matter. The world of all L2 learners can be divided into two groups. The first group sees language as a puzzle to be solved. The second group consists of error-making, meaning-focused talkers who want to use the language to communicate.