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Starting from the premise that language instruction should be informed by how humans learn language, this module on second language acquisition (SLA) aims to provide teachers at any level with a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to the key findings about how second languages are learned in adulthood. This module explores a variety of topics including the mechanisms in the mind responsible for language acquisition, the roles that input and output play in acquisition, and how language develops in the learner’s mind over time. Furthermore, the module explores the many factors believed to impact the outcome of SLA, such as the role of the native language, individual differences in aptitude and motivation, and age of acquisition.
This 1986 textbook presents an account of the main concerns, problems and theoretical and practical issues raised by second language acquisition research. Research in this field had been mainly pedagogically oriented, but since the 1970s linguists and psychologists have become increasingly interested in the principles that underlie second language acquisition for the light these throw on how human language processing functions in general. Moreover, it is only through an understanding of these principles that foreign language teaching can become maximally effective. In the first part of his book, Wolfgang Klein provides a critical assessment of the state of the art at the time. The second part, 'from the learner's point of view', is devoted to four central problems which anyone learning a second language (either through everyday communication or in the classroom) is faced with, and whose solution constitutes the acquisition process. This accessible introduction provides students of linguistics and applied linguistics and anyone concerned with foreign language teaching with a real understanding of the fundamental issues in the field.
This collection of twelve papers demonstrates that the concepts developed within the Cognitive Linguistics movement afford an insightful perspective on several important areas of second language acquisition and pedagogy. In the first part of the book, three papers show how three Cognitive Linguistics constructs provide a useful theoretical frame within which second language acquisition data can be analyzed. First, Talmy's typology of motion events is argued to constitute the base relative to which acquisition discrepancies in motion events are most valuably investigated. Secondly, the notion of "construction" is invoked in order to account for systematic differences between the native and non-native speakers' use of the English verb get. Finally, frequency and similarity effects are shown to play a crucial part in the learning of prepositions in a second language. The second part of the book shows that the key concepts commonly invoked in Cognitive Linguistics analyses allow language teachers to insightfully structure the presentation of problematic material in the foreign language classroom. These concepts include among others polysemy, the figure/ground gestalt, the usage-based conception of grammar, the radial organization of categories, metaphors, and cultural scripts. The Cognitive Linguistics paradigm has already shown its viability to analyze a wide array of linguistic phenomena. This book establishes its relevance in the areas of second language acquisition and language pedagogy. Its intended public is composed of Cognitive Linguists, Second Language Acquisition specialists, as well as foreign language pedagogy researchers, instructors, and students.
On the Monitor Theory of adult second language acquisition.
Spanish Second Language Acquisition provides a panoramic overview of previous studies on the acquisition of Spanish as a second or foreign language, the theoretical approaches used in these studies, and the effects of various pedagogical approaches on the development of Spanish interlanguage systems. Barbara Lafford and Rafael Salaberry have compiled the first volume to provide a comprehensive critical overview of the research done and data compiled on how adults acquire Spanish as a second language. Major scholars in the field of SLA have contributed chapters having to do with a wide range of "products" (phonology, tense/aspect, subjunctive, clitics, lexicon, discourse/pragmatics) and "processes" (generative, cognitive and sociocultural theories) involved in the acquisition process-concluding with a discussion of the effects of instruction on Spanish interlanguage development. While being an invaluable reference tool for undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on the acquisition of Spanish as a second language, due to the extraordinary range of the review research on theoretical and methodological issues, this is also an extremely useful volume for second language theoreticians and practitioners involved in all aspects of the pedagogy of other second languages. It is the editors' desire that students, teachers, program administrators and scholars alike will benefit from the insights that the contributors bring to the myriad issues that language professionals confront.
In Foreign and Second Language Learning, William Littlewood surveys recent research into how people acquire languages and considers its relevance for language teaching. He describes the most important studies and ideas about first language acquisition, and how these have influenced and developed into studies of second language acquisition. He considers the background of language theories which were current before the present interest in acquisition research, and looks at factors such as learners' errors, whether learners are predisposed to acquire language in certain sequences, why some people are apparently more successful at learning languages than others, and how learners make use of their new language to communicate. The use of clear examples, the careful explanation and balanced commentary on the research enable the reader to evaluate the evidence and consider the relevance of work in this field to the day to day concerns of teaching and learning languages.

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