In this chapter, I review recent sociolinguistic studies that have addressed the language of both ‘early’ and ‘late’ bilinguals in different sorts of settings, i.e. second language (L2) classroom learners, study abroad participants and immersion learners, HL speakers, and (im)migrant bilinguals. I highlight principal points of commonality in research endeavors that underscore the impact of linguistic variability, context of acquisition, social interaction, and speaker agency and identity on processes of formal and informal language learning, development, and use. I begin with some explanation of what has distinguished socially oriented approaches from other approaches to understanding language acquisition since the early 20th century.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andrewlynch/21/