Theories in Second Language Acquisition

An Introduction

Theories in Second Language Acquisition

The second edition of Theories in Second Language Acquisition seeks to build on the strengths of the first edition by surveying the major theories currently used in second language acquisition research. This volume is an ideal introductory text for undergraduate and graduate students in SLA and language teaching. Each chapter focuses on a single theory, written by a leading scholar in the field in an easy-to-follow style – a basic foundational description of the theory, relevant data or research models used with this theory, common misunderstandings, and a sample study from the field to show the theory in practice. This text is designed to provide a consistent and coherent presentation for those new to the field who seek basic understanding of theories that underlie contemporary SLA research. Researchers will also find the book useful as a "quick guide" to theoretical work outside their respective domains.

Crosscurrents in Second Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theories

Crosscurrents in Second Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theories

The term “crosscurrent” is defined as “a current flowing counter to another.” This volume represents crosscurrents in second language acquisition and linguistic theory in several respects. First, although the main currents running between linguistics and second language acquisition have traditionally flowed from theory to application, equally important contributions can be made in the other direction as well. Second, although there is a strong tendency in the field of linguistics to see “theorists” working within formal models of syntax, SLA research can contribute to linguistic theory more broadly defined to include various functional as well as formal models of syntax, theories of phonology, variationist theories of sociolinguists, etc. These assumptions formed the basis for a conference held at Stanford University during the Linguistic Institute there in the summer of 1987. The conference was organized to update the relation between second language acquisition and linguistic theory. This book contains a selection of (mostly revised and updated) papers of this conference and two newly written papers.

Theory Construction in Second Language Acquisition

Theory Construction in Second Language Acquisition

Recently, many SLA researchers have adopted a postmodernist approach which challenges the assumption that SLA research is a rationalist, scientific endeavour. The resulting epistemological arguments, plus problems of theory proliferation, contradicting theories, and theory domain, hinder progress towards a unified theory of SLA. Theory Construction in SLA addresses these problems by returning to first principles; it asks whether there is such a thing as reliable knowledge, what is special about scientific method, and how we can best explain SLA. It is the first book to use the philosophy of science in order to examine the epistemological underpinnings of SLA research and evaluate rival theories of SLA. Part One explores the central issues in the philosophy of science, defends rationality against relativists, and offers Guidelines for theory assessment. Part Two examines different theories of SLA and evaluates them in terms of how well they stand up to the Guidelines.

Contemporary Approaches to Second Language Acquisition

Contemporary Approaches to Second Language Acquisition

Second language acquisition (SLA) is a field of inquiry that has increased in importance since the 1960s. Currently, researchers adopt multiple perspectives in the analysis of learner language, all of them providing different but complementary answers to the understanding of oral and written data produced by young and older learners in different settings. The main goal of this volume is to provide the reader with updated reviews of the major contemporary approaches to SLA, the research carried out within them and, wherever appropriate, the implications and/or applications for theory, research and pedagogy that might derive from the available empirical evidence. The book is intended for SLA researchers as well as for graduate (MA, Ph.D.) students in SLA research, applied linguistics and linguistics, as the different chapters will be a guide in their research within the approaches presented. The volume will also be of interest to professionals from other fields interested in the SLA process and the different explanations that have been put forward to account for it.

Second Language Learning Theories

Second Language Learning Theories

Second Language Learning Theories is a clear and concise overview of the field of second language acquisition (SLA) theories. Written by a team of leading academics working in different SLA specialisms, this book provides expert analysis of the main theories from multiple perspectives to offer a broad and balanced introduction to the topic. The book covers all the main theoretical perspectives currently active in the SLA field and sets them in a broader perspective per chapter, e.g. linguistic, cognitive or sociolinguistic. Each chapter examines how various theories view language, the learner, and the acquisition process. Summaries of key studies and examples of data relating to a variety of languages illustrate the different theoretical perspectives. Each chapter concludes with an evaluative summary of the theories discussed. This third edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect the very latest research in the field of SLA. Key features include: a fully re-worked chapter on cognitive models of language and language learning a new chapter on information processing, including the roles of different types of memory and knowledge in language learning the addition of a glossary of key linguistic terms to help the non-specialist a new timeline of second language learning theory development This third edition takes account of the significant developments that have taken place in the field in recent years. Highly active domains in which theoretical and methodological advances have been made are treated in more depth to ensure that this new edition of Second Language Learning Theories remains as fresh and relevant as ever.

Linguistic Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition

Linguistic Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition

This volume explores how a second language is acquired and what learners must do in order to achieve proficiency. The hardback edition is a collection of original essays that approaches second language acquisition from a linguistic rather than a sociological, psychological, or purely pedagogical perspective. A wide range of viewpoints and approaches is represented. However, all authors agree on the fundamental importance of linguistic theory in the study of second language acquisition. Few works have explored in depth how a second language is acquired and what the second language learner must do mentally to achieve proficiency in another language. The essays in this book provide an incisive analysis of these questions. For greater accessibility, the chapters are arranged topically from those covering the broad area of theories of acquisition to those focusing specifically on syntax, semantics, pragmatics, lexicon, and phonology in another language.

Understanding Second Language Acquisition 2nd Edition - Oxford Applied Linguistics

Understanding Second Language Acquisition 2nd Edition - Oxford Applied Linguistics

In the 30 years since Rod Ellis first published the award-winning Understanding Second Language Acquisition, it has become a classic text. This new, fully updated edition continues to provide an authoritative and highly readable introduction to key areas of theory and research in second language acquisition. Ellis presents a comprehensive overview of the different theories in this field and examines critical reactions to them. The book reflects recent trends in looking at cognitive and social aspects of second language acquisition, as well as examining the roles played by implicit and explicit instruction in language learning. “An excellent and much-needed, in-depth review of the research on how children and literate adults learn a second language. Ellis provides a sound knowledge base for language teachers and beginning graduate students in applied linguistics, focusing on relevant findings of research on second-language learning by children and literate adults in both naturalistic and instructed contexts.” Elaine Tarone, Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota Additional online resources are available at www.oup.com/elt/teacher/understandingsla Rod Ellis is the Distinguished Professor of Applied Language Studies in the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics in the University of Auckland. Oxford Applied Linguistics Series Advisers: Anne Burns and Diane Larsen-Freeman.

Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition

Methods, Theory, and Practice

Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition

How do people learn nonnative languages? Is there one part or function of our brains solely dedicated to language processing, or do we apply our general information-processing abilities when learning a new language? In this book, an interdisciplinary collaboration of scholars and researchers presents an overview of the latter approach to adult second language acquisition and brings together, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the latest research on this subject. Clearly organized into four distinct but integrated parts, Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition first provides an introduction to information-processing approaches and the tools for students to understand the data. The next sections explain factors that affect language learning, both internal (attention and awareness, individual differences, and the neural bases of language acquisition) and external (input, interaction, and pedagogical interventions). It concludes by looking at two pedagogical applications: processing instruction and content based instruction. This important and timely volume is a must-read for students of language learning, second language acquisition, and linguists who want to better understand the information-processing approaches to learning a non-primary language. This book will also be of immense interest to language scholars, program directors, teachers, and administrators in both second language acquisition and cognitive psychology.

Second Language Acquisition

Second Language 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.

Positive Psychology in SLA

Positive Psychology in SLA

Positive psychology is the scientific study of how human beings prosper and thrive. This is the first book in SLA dedicated to theories in positive psychology and their implications for language teaching, learning and communication. Chapters examine the characteristics of individuals, contexts and relationships that facilitate learning: positive emotional states such as love, enjoyment and flow, and character traits such as empathy, hardiness and perseverance. The contributors present several innovative teaching ideas to bring out these characteristics among learners. The collection thus blends new teaching techniques with cutting-edge theory and empirical research undertaken using qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods approaches. It will be of interest to SLA researchers, graduate students, trainee and experienced teachers who wish to learn more about language learning psychology, individual differences, learner characteristics and new classroom practices.