Advertisement

Introduction: Generative Second Language Acquisition and Language Pedagogy

  • Melinda WhongEmail author
  • Kook-Hee Gil
  • Heather Marsden
Chapter
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 16)

Abstract

For the uninitiated, it might seem quite obvious that research in second language acquisition is of relevance to the profession of language teaching. Yet in reality this relationship is not very clear, especially in terms of more formal approaches to second language acquisition and Chomskyan generative second language acquisition (henceforth GenSLA), in particular. From the point of view of language pedagogy, the question of what role theory should play in practice is one of continuous debate. This is not a trivial question; researchers need to isolate variables in order to investigate phenomena. In doing so, the complexity of reality is immediately compromised. Teachers, by contrast, must contend with reality in all of its complexity whether an explanation exists or not. Nevertheless, assuming that being able to explain phenomena means having a better understanding, we take the view that the more classroom instruction is underpinned by an understanding of theoretical principles, the more effective it will be. Accepting, then, that there is a role for theory, there is the added question of which theories. As noted some time ago by Stern (1983), the practice of language teaching implicates assumptions from a number of areas of inquiry ranging from language to learning, to education and to society. Clearly, even if we limit ourselves to language and learning, this still leaves us with a broad arena of research as the range of subfields within these two subjects is as diverse as it is wide.

Keywords

Word Order Language Acquisition Language Teaching Explicit Instruction Classroom Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Baker, M. 2001. The atoms of language: The mind’s hidden rules of grammar. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  2. Belletti, A., E. Bennati, and A. Sorace. 2007. Theoretical and developmental issues in the syntax of subjects: Evidence from near-native Italian. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25: 657–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Block, D. 2003. The social turn in second language acquisition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Borer, H. 1984. Parametric syntax: Case studies in Semitic and Romance languages. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
  5. Brumfit, C. 1991. Applied linguistics in higher education: riding the storm. BAAL Newsletter 38: 45–49.Google Scholar
  6. Chomsky, N. 1957. Syntactic structures. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  7. Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on government and binding theory. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
  8. Chomsky, N. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Cumming, A. 2008. Theory in an applied field. TESOL Quarterly 42: 285–291.Google Scholar
  10. Fasold, R.W., and J. Connor-Linton. 2006. An introduction to language and linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Firth, A., and J. Wagner. 1997. On discourse, communication, and (some) fundamental concepts in SLA research. The Modern Language Journal 81: 285–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Guasti, M.T. 2002. Language acquisition: The growth of grammar. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hawkins, R. 2001. Second language syntax: A generative introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  14. Juffs, A. 1998. Some effects of first language argument structure and morphosyntax on second language sentence processing. Second Language Research 14: 406–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Juffs, A. 2006. Processing reduced relative vs. main verb ambiguity in English as a second language: A replication study with working memory. In Inquiries in linguistic development in honor of Lydia White, ed. R. Slabakova, S. Montrul, and P. Prevost, 213–232. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  16. Katamba, F., W. O’Grady, and J. Archibald. 2011. Contemporary linguistics: An introduction, 2nd ed. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  17. Krashen, S. 1985. The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  18. Lardiere, D. 2000. Mapping features to forms in second language acquisition. In Second language acquisition and linguistic theory, ed. J. Archibald. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  19. Lightbown, P. 1985. Great expectations. Second-language acquisition research and classroom teaching. Applied Linguistics 6: 173–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Long, D., and J. Rothman. 2013. Generative approaches and the competing systems hypothesis: Formal acquisition to practical application. In Theoretical and pedagogical innovations in SLA and bilingualism, ed. J. Schweiter. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  21. Piske, T., and M. Young-Scholten. 2009. Input matters in SLA. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  22. Pollack, J.Y. 1989. Verb movement, universal Grammar, and the structure of IP. Linguistic Inquiry 20: 365–424.Google Scholar
  23. Rizzi, L. 1982. Issues in Italian syntax. Dordrecht: Foris.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rothman, J. 2008. Aspectual selection in adult L2 Spanish and the competing systems hypothesis: When pedagogical and linguistic rules conflict. Languages in Contrast 8: 74–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rothman, J. 2010. Theoretical linguistics meets pedagogical practice: Pronominal subject use in Spanish as a second language (L2) as an example. Hispania 93: 52–65.Google Scholar
  26. Schwartz, B.D. 1993. On explicit and negative data effecting and affecting competence and linguistic behavior. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 15: 147–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Slabakova, R. 2008. Meaning in the second language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Snyder, W. 2001. On the nature of syntactic variation: Evidence from complex predicates and complex word-formation. Language 77: 324–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sorace, A., and F. Filiaci. 2006. Anaphora resolution in near-native speakers of Italian. Second Language Research 22: 339–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sorace, A., and L. Serratrice. 2009. Internal and external interfaces in bilingual language development: Beyond structural overlap. International Journal of Bilingualism 13: 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stern, H.H. 1983. Fundamental concepts of language teaching: Historical and interdisciplinary perspectives on applied linguistics research. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  32. White, L. 2003. Second language acquisition and universal grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. White, L. 2011. Second language acquisition at the interfaces. Lingua 121: 577–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Whong, M. 2011. Language teaching: Linguistic theory in practice. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Yusa, N., M. Koizumi, J. Kim, N. Kimura, S. Uchida, S. Yokoyama, N. Miura, R. Kawashima, and H. Hagiwara. 2011. Second-language instinct and instruction effects: Nature and nurture in second-language acquisition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23: 2716–2730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, School of Modern Languages and CulturesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.School of English Literature, Language and LinguisticsUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.Department of Language and Linguistic ScienceUniversity of YorkYorkUK

Personalised recommendations