This article provides a response to two of the papers in the collection. In doing so it takes up two issues: the conceptualization and analysis of discourse within Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and notions of identity and subject positioning within CHAT. Bernstein [(2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: Theory research critique (revised edition). Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.] and Hasan [(2005). Semiotic mediation, language and society: Three exotripic theories—Vygotsky, Halliday and Bernstein. In J.J. Webster (Ed.), Language, society and consciousness: Ruqaiya Hasan. London: Equinox.] inform the commentary.