Instructed Second Language Acquisition and English Language Teaching: Theory, Research, and Pedagogy

  • Shawn LoewenEmail author
  • Masatoshi Sato
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


The relationship between instructed second language acquisition (ISLA) research, on the one hand, and English language teaching pedagogy, on the other, is not always clear and is sometimes contentious. While ISLA researchers hope to inform English second language (L2) pedagogy, teachers may feel that theory and research are of limited use in their classrooms.

The goal of ISLA, however, is to make explicit links among theory, research, and pedagogy by empirically evaluating theoretical claims about classroom instruction. This chapter explores the insights that ISLA theory and research, particularly from a cognitive-interactionist perspective, can bring to the classroom, while also considering the influence that pedagogical realities can have on theory and research. In particular, this chapter will explore the effects of explicit and implicit L2 instruction, along with the types of L2 knowledge (whether explicit or implicit) that result. Through this exploration, the chapter considers the relevance of ISLA for the English L2 classroom.


Instructed second language acquisition Explicit/implicit teaching Explicit/implicit knowledge Pedagogical interventions Learner psychology 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African LanguagesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of EnglishUniversidad Andres BelloLas CondesChile

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