Skill, dwelling, and the education of attention

Probing the constraints of second language academic writing


  • Linus Salö Stockholm University & KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Gunnar Norrman Stockholm University


academic writing, dwelling, development, second language, skill


This paper endeavours to take stock of academic writing not merely as an activity that precedes publishing but as an art and a craft in its own right. We also draw attention to some of the conditions that affect writing in academia today, notably second language userhood in the production of text. In order to do that, we invoke the reasoning of British social anthropologist Tim Ingold, particularly his perspective on dwelling, skill, and the education of attention. From this emerges a view of academic writing as a practice founded in skill, developed through the dweller’s practical involvement with his or her everyday tasks and influenced by different constraints. Because no one is born a skilled writer, attentive dwelling lies at the core of the writer’s education of attention as a situated mode of perceptual engagement with the environments in which he or she dwells, be it through reading, co-authorship or textual response.

Conceptual articles


2022-12-05 — Updated on 2022-12-20


How to Cite

Salö, L., & Norrman, G. (2022). Skill, dwelling, and the education of attention: Probing the constraints of second language academic writing. Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 16(3), 35–47. (Original work published December 5, 2022)