On the Internal Mechanisms of L<sub>2</sub> Acquisition: Linguistic and Cognitive Accounts
Keywords:Linguistic approaches to L2 acquisition, Cognitive approaches, Attention, Knowledge representation.
The purpose of the present study is twofold. In its theoretical part, it focuses on accounts of L2 acquisition that are cognitive in nature and those that are linguistic in orientation. My discussion of these two accounts is based on the premise that it is perfectly proper for Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research to postulate theories of its own to explain its own area.Â It is, also, appropriate for SLA research to take insights and methods from other disciplines when they are useful to it.Â In its empirical part, the present study reports on the outcomes of two experiments carried out by the author on some second language learners.Â The first experiment was designed to examine the written output of foreign students enrolled in the English Language Institute at the University of Pittsburg, USA (Beginners).Â It attempts to find answers for the following questions: (1) are studentsâ€™ errors in grammatical structures, as they will appear in their written output, due to deficiency in their conscious grammar rules, or to deficiency in their abilities to transfer this knowledge (if it exists) to other language tasks such as writing compositions in English?, and (2) can conscious rules of grammar guide studentsâ€™ performance in monitoring (self-correcting) their written output once their attention is drawn to an error?Â The second experiment was designed to investigate â€˜advancedâ€™ studentsâ€™ multilinguistic ability in solving multi-dimensional grammatical problems.Â It is an attempt to highlight the role of â€œfocus on formâ€ instruction in shaping L2 learnersâ€™ performance. The findings of both experiments were interpreted from both linguistic and cognitive perspectives.
â€¢ Adjemian, C. 1976. On the nature of interlanguage systems. Language Learning 26: 297-320.
â€¢ Anderson, J., 1983. The Architecture of Cognition, Cambridge, Mas: Harvard University Press.
â€¢ Atkinson, D. 2011. Alternative Approach to Second Language Acquisition. Routledge, London and New York.
â€¢ Bialystok, E. 1981. The role of linguistic knowledge in second language use. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 4(1): 31-54.
â€¢ Bitchener, J. 2008/ Evidence in support of written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing 17: 102-118.
â€¢ Bitchener, J. and Knoch, U. 2008. The value of focused approach to written corrective feedback. Language Teaching Research 12: 409-431.
â€¢ Bitchener, J., Young, S. and Cameron, D. 2005. The effect of different types of corrective feedback on ESL student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing 14: 191-205.
â€¢ Bloomfield, L. 1993. Language. New York: Holt.
â€¢ Boden, M. 2006. Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Charendon Press.
â€¢ Borer, H. and Wexler, K. 1987. The maturation of syntax. In T. Roeper and E. Williams (eds.), Parameter Setting. Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 123-187.
â€¢ Broadbent, D. 1958. Perception and Communication. London: Pergamon Press Ltd.
â€¢ Broadbent, D. 1971. Decision and Stress. London: Academic Press.
â€¢ Brown, R. 1973. A First Language: The Early Stages. London: Allen and Unwin.
â€¢ Brown, R. 2009. Students' and teachers' perceptions of effective foreign language teaching: A comparison of ideals. The Modem Language Journal 93: 46-60.
â€¢ Carpenter, T. 1986. Conceptual knowledge as a foundation for procedural knowledge: Implications from research on the initial learning of arithmetic. In Hiebert, J. (ed.), Conceptual and procedural knowledge: the case of mathematics. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
â€¢ Case, R. 1985. Intellectual Development Birth to Adulthood. New York; Academic Press.
â€¢ Chan, A. 2010. Toward a taxonomy of written errors: The investigation into the written errors of Hong Kong continuous EFL learners. TESOL Quarterly 44(2): 1-29.
â€¢ Chomsky, N. 1959. Review of B.F. Skinner Verbal Behaviour. Language 35: 26-58.
â€¢ Chomsky, N. 1964. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory. The Hague: Mouton.
â€¢ Chomsky, N. 1965. Formal Discussion: The Development of Grammar in Child Language. In U. Bellugi and R. Brown (eds.), The Acquisition of Language. Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press.
â€¢ Chomsky, N. 1980. Rules and Representations. Oxford: basil Blackwell.
â€¢ Chomsky, N. 1981. Principles and Parameters in Syntactic Theory. In N. Hornstein and D. Lightfoot (eds.), Explanations in Linguistics. London: Longman
â€¢ Chomsky, N. 1986. Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, origin and Use. New York: Praeger.
â€¢ Chomsky, N. 2007. Language and Thought. Descartes and Some Reflections on Venerable Themes. In A. Brook (ed.), The Prehistory of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Cohen, A. 2008. Strategy instruction for learners of Japanese: How do you do it and what's in it for them? In Japanese as a foreign language education: Multiple perspectives' (PP. 45-60). Tokyo: Kurosio Shuppan.
â€¢ Collins, A. and Gentner, D. 1980. A framework for a cognitive theory of writing. In Gregg, L. and Steinberg, E. (eds.), Cognitive processes in writing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
â€¢ Comrie, B. 1981. Language Universal s and Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
â€¢ Conley, M. 2008. Cognitive strategy instruction for adolescents: What we know about the promise, what we don't about the potential. Harvard Education Review, 78 (1), 84-106.
â€¢ Cook, V. 1993. Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. The Macmillan Press LTD.
â€¢ Cook, V. 1969. The Analogy between First and Second Language Learning. TRAL 7(3): 207-216.
â€¢ Cook, V. 1985. Language Functions, Social Factors, and Second Language Teaching. IRAL 13(3): l77-1 96.
â€¢ Corder, H. 1967. The Significance of Learnersâ€™ Errors. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Costall, A. 2007. Bringing the Body Back to Life. Eibsonâ€™s Ecology of Agency. In T. Ziemke, J. Zlatev, R. Frank (eds.), Body, Language and Minds, v. 1 (pp. 55-83). Amsterdam: Mouton de Grunter.
â€¢ Davis, K. 1995. Qualitative theory and methods in applied linguistic research. TESOL Quarterly 29: 427-454.
â€¢ De Bot, K.: Lowie, W. & Verspoor, M. 2007. A dynamic systems theory approach to second language acquisition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 10(1): 7-21.
â€¢ Deutsch, J. and Deutsch, D. 1963. Attention: Some Theoretical Considerations. Psychological Review, 70: 80-90.
â€¢ Doughty, C. and Long, M. 2003. The scope of inquiry and the goals of SLA. In C. Doughty and M. Long 9eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 3-16). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
â€¢ Dulay, H. and Burt, M. 1972. Remarks on Creativity in Language Acquisition. In M. Burt, H. Dulay, and Finocchiaro (eds.). Viewpoints on English as a Second Language. New York: Regent.
â€¢ Dulay, H. and Burt, M. 1974. Natural Sequences in Child Second Language Strategies. Language Learning 24: 37-53.
â€¢ Dulay, H. and Burt, M. 1980. On Acquisition Orders. In S. Felix (ed.), Second Language Development: Trends and Issues. Tubingen: Gunter Narr, pp. 265-328.
â€¢ Dulay, H. and M. Burt. 1973. Should we teach children syntax? Language Learning 23: 245-58
â€¢ Echevarria, J., Vogt, M. & Short, DJ. 2004. Making Content Comprehensible for English - Learners: The SIOP Model. Boston: Pearson.
â€¢ El-daly. H. 1999. Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Second Language Learners' Metalinguistic Performance: A Study of Learnersâ€¢ Grammaticality Judgments. Occasional Papers, Ain Shams University.
â€¢ Ellis, R. 2008. Current issues m the teaching of grammar: An SLA perspective. TESOL Quarterly 40: 83-107.
â€¢ Ellis, R., Sheen, Y, Murukami, M. and Takashima, H. (2008). The effects of focused and unfocused written corrective feedback in English as a foreign language context. System 36: 353-371.
â€¢ Ellis. R. 1 986. Understanding Second Language Acquisition. London: Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Eskildsen, S. 2008. Constructing another language - usage-based linguistics in second language acquisition. Applied Linguistics, Oxford University Press, 1-23.
â€¢ Farch, C. & Kasper, G. 1986. Cognitive dimensions of language transfer. In Kellerman, E. and Sharwood-Smith (eds.). Cross-linguistics Influence in Second Language Acquisition. New York: Simon and Schuster.
â€¢ Firth, A. & Wagner, J. 2007. S/FL learning as a social accomplishment: Elaborations on a â€˜reconceptualisedâ€™ SLA. The Modern Language Journal 91: 800-819.
â€¢ Fisk, A. & Schneider, W. 1984. Control and Automatic Processing during Tasks Requiring Sustained Attention: A New Approach to Vigilance. Human Factors 23: 737-750.
â€¢ Gardner, H. 1985. The mindâ€™s New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution. New York: Basic Books.
â€¢ Gass, S. & Mackey, A. 2011. The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
â€¢ Gass. S. 1983. The Development of L2 Intuitions. TESOL Quarterly 27 (2): 273-21 9.
â€¢ Gelman, R. & Meck. E. 1986. The Notion of Principle: The Case of Counting. In Hiebert, J. (ed.), Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge. The Case of Mathematics. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlabaum.
â€¢ George, H. 1972. Common Errors in Language Learning: Insights from English. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.
â€¢ Giebert, J. & Lefevre, H. 1986. Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge: The Case of Mathematics. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
â€¢ Greenberg, J. 1966. Universals of Language. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
â€¢ Hartshorn, K., Evans, N. & Merill, P. 2010. Effects of dynamic corrective feedback on ESL written accuracy. TESOL Quarterly 44(1): 84-109.
â€¢ Hiebert, J. & Lefevre, H., 1986. Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge. The Case of Mathematics, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
â€¢ Hoey, M., 2007. Grammatical creativity: A corpus perspective. In Hoey, M., Mahlberg, M., Stubbs, M. and Teubert, W. (eds.). Text, Discourse and Corpora. London, Continuum.
â€¢ James, W. 1890. The Principles of Psychology. New York : Holt.
â€¢ Jiang, N., 2007. Selective integration of linguistic knowledge in adult second language learning. Language Learning 57 (1): 1-33.
â€¢ Jonhnson, K. 1988. Mistake Correction. English Language Teaching Journal 42: 89-96.
â€¢ Kahneman, D., 1973. Attention and Effort. Englewood Cliffs, NI: Prentice-Hall.
â€¢ Kimberly, A., 2009. Adult learners' perceptions of the incorporation of their Ll in foreign language teaching and learning. Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Krashen, S. 1977. Some Issue Relating to the Monitor Model. In H. Brown, C. Yorio and R. Crymes (eds.). On TESOLâ€™77 (Washington, DC: TESOL).
â€¢ Krashen. S. 1981. Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
â€¢ Krashen. S. 1982. Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
â€¢ Krashen. S. 1985. The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications. London: Longman.
â€¢ Lado, R. 1957. Linguistics Across Cultures. Ann Arbor., Mich.: University of Michigan Press.
â€¢ Lado, R. 1964. Language Teaching: A Scientific Approach. New York: McGraw â€“Hill.
â€¢ Larsen Freeman, D. & Cameron, L., 2007. Complex systems and applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Larsen-freeman, D. 2007. Reflecting on the cognitive-social debate in second language acquisition. Modern Language Journal 9: 773-787.
â€¢ Lee, J. 2000. Five types of input and the various relationships between form and meaning. In J.F. Lee & A. Valdman (eds.). Form and Meaning: Multiple Perspectives (pp. 25-42). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
â€¢ Leow, R.P., 2000. A study of the role of awareness in foreign language behavior: Aware versus unaware learners. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 22: 557-584.
â€¢ Leow, R.P., 2001. Do learners notice enhanced forms while interacting with the L2? An online and offline study of the role of written input enhancement in L2 reading. Hispania 84: 496-509.
â€¢ Lightbown, P.M. & Spada, N. 2006. How Languages are Learned (3rd edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Lillis, T. & Curry, M. 2011. Academic Writing in a Global Context. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
â€¢ Locke, T. 2011. Beyond the Grammar Wars. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
â€¢ Loewen, S., Li, S. & Thompson, A. 2009. Second language learnersâ€™ beliefs about grammar instruction and error correction. The Modern Language Acquisition 22: 557-584.
â€¢ MacWhinney, B. and Bates, E. (eds.) 1989. The Crosslinguistic Study of Sentence Processing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
â€¢ Mangubhai, F. 2006: What do we know about learning and teaching second languages: Implications for teaching. Asian EEL Journal 8(3): 1-20.
â€¢ Mazurkewich. B. 1984a. The acquisition of the dative alternation by second language learners and linguistic theory. Language Learning 34: 91-109.
â€¢ Mazurkewich. B. 1984b. Dative questions and Markedness. In Eckman, F., Bell. L. and D. Nelson (eds.), Universals of Second Language Acquisition. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
â€¢ McLaughlin, B. 1978. Second Language Acquisition in childhood. Hillsdale, N J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
â€¢ McLaughlin, B. 1987. Theories of Second-Language Learning. London: Edward Arnold.
â€¢ McNeill, D. 1966. Developmental Psycholinguistics. In F. Smith and G. Miller (eds.), The Genesis of Language: A Psycholinguistic Approach. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
â€¢ Mgan, G. 1979. On the use of a Concurrent Memory Load to Measure Attention and Automaticity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 5: 189-207.
â€¢ Mitchell, R. and Myles, F. 1998. Second Language Learning Theories. London: Arnold.
â€¢ Nemser, W. 1971. Approximative Systems of Foreign Language Learners'. IRAL 9: 115-123.
â€¢ Oâ€™Malley, M., Chamot, A. & Walker, C. 1987. Some applications of cognitive theory to second language acquisition. SLA 9: 287-306.
â€¢ Poole, A., 2003. The kinds of forms learners attend to during focus on form instruction: A description of an advanced ESL writing class. The Reading Matrix (2).
â€¢ Reynolds, D., 2010. Assessing Writing, Assessing Learning. Ann Arbor., MI: University of Michigan Press.
â€¢ Rieck, A., Ogden, G. & Anderson, N. 1980. An investigation of varying amounts of component task practice on dual task performance. Human Factors 22: 373-84
â€¢ Ritchie, W. & Bhatia, T. 1996. Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Academic Press, Inc.
â€¢ Robinson, P. & Ellis, N. 2011. Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
â€¢ Rosenberg, R. 2009. Tools for activating materials and tasks in the English language classrooms. English Teaching Forum 47(4): 2-11.
â€¢ Schmidt, R. 1992. Psychological mechanisms underlying second language proficiency. Studies in Second language Acquisition 14: 357-385.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W. 1993a. Awareness and Second Language Acquisition. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 13: 206-226.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W. 1990a. The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics 11: 129-158.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W., 1990b. Consciousness, learning and interlanguage pragmatics. University of Hawaii Working Papers in ESL 9(1): 213-243.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W. 1993b. Consciousness, learning and interlanguage pragmatics. In Kasper, G. & Blum Kulka, S. (eds.). Interlanguage Pragmatics. New York: Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W. 1994a. Deconstructing consciousness in search of useful definitions for applied linguistics. AILA Review 11: 11-26.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W., 1994b. Implicit learning and the cognitive unconscious: Of artificial grammars and SLA. In N.C. Ellis (Ed.), Implicit and Explicit Learning of Languages (pp. 165-209). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W., 1995a. Attention and awareness in foreign language learning. Honolulu. HI: Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center, University of Hawaii.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W. 1995b. Consciousness and Foreign Language learning: A tutorial on the role of attention and awareness in learning. In R. Schmidt (Ed.), Attention and Awareness in Foreign Language Learning (p 259-302). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
â€¢ Schmidt, R.W. 2001. Attention. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and Second Language Instruction (pp. 3-32). New York: Cambridge University Press.
â€¢ Schneider, W. and Fisk, A. 1982a. Concurrent Automatic and Controlled Visual Search: Can Processing Occur Without Resource Cost? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Leamin2. Memory and Cognition 8:261:278.
â€¢ Schneider, W. and Fisk, A. 1982b. Degree of Consistent Training: Improvement in Search of Performance and Automatic Process Development. Perceptions and Psychophysics 31: 160-168.
â€¢ Schneider, W. and Fisk, A. 1984. Automatic Category Search and its Transfer. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning. Memory and Cognition 10: 1-15.
â€¢ Schneider. W. and Shriffrin, R. 1977. Controlled and Automatic Human Information Processing: Detection, Search, and Attention. Psychological Review 84: 1-66.
â€¢ Schneider. W., Dumais S. and Schiffrin, R. 1984. Automatic and Control Processing and Attention. In R. Parasuraman, D. Davies (eds.), Varieties of Attention (pp. 1-27). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
â€¢ Schulz. R. 1991. Second Language Acquisition Theories and Teaching Practice: How do They Fit? The Modem Language Journal 75(1): 17-26.
â€¢ Sebba, M., Mahootian, S. & Johnson, C. 2011. Language mixing and code-switching in writing. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
â€¢ Segalowitz, N. 2011. Cognitive bases of second language fluency. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
â€¢ Seliger, H. & Vago, R. (eds.) 1991. First Language Attrition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
â€¢ Selinker, L. 1972. Interlanguage. IRAL: 10(3).
â€¢ Sharwood-Smith, M., 2004. In two minds about grammar: On the interaction of linguistic and metalinguistic knowledge in performance. Transactions of the Philogical Society 102: 255-280.
â€¢ Sheen, R., 2005. Focus on forms as a means of improving accurate oral production. In A. Housen & M. Pierrard (eds.), Investigations in Language Acquisition (pp. 271-310). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
â€¢ Shiffrin, R. & Schneider, W. 1977. Controlled and automatic human information processing: Perceptual learning, automatic attending, and a general theory. Psychological Review 84: 127-190.
â€¢ Skemp, R. 1978. Relational and Instrumental Understanding. Arithmetic Teacher 26: 9-15.
â€¢ Skinner, B. 1957. Verbal Behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
â€¢ Sloan Foundation (1978). Cognitive Science, 1978: Report of the State of the Art Committee. New York: Sloan Foundation.
â€¢ Snow, C. 1998. Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition. In Gleason, J. and Ratner, N. (Eds), Psvcholinguistics. Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
â€¢ Spolsky, B. 1985. Conditions for Second Language Learning: Introduction to a General Theory. Oxford University Press.
â€¢ Stammers, R. 1982. Part and whole practice for a tracking task: Effects of task variables and amount of practice. Perceptual and Motor Skills 50: 203-210.
â€¢ Tomlin, R.S. & Villa, V., 1994. Attention in cognitive science and second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16: 183-203.
â€¢ Treisman, A. 1960. Contextual Cues in Selective Listening. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 12: 242-248
â€¢ Tyler, A. 2011. Applying Cognitive Linguistics. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
â€¢ Van Patten, B. & Williams, J. 2008. Theories in Second Language Acquisition. New York: Routledge.
â€¢ Wallace, B. 2007. Introduction. In B. Wallace, A. Rose, J. Davies and T. Anderson (eds.), The Mind, The Body and The World. Psychology After Cognitivism (pp. 1-32). Exeter.
â€¢ Weinreich, U. 1953. Language in Contact. The Hague: Mouton.
â€¢ Wheeler, M. 2005. Reconstructing the Cognitive World. The Next Step. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
â€¢ White, L. 1989. Against Comprehensible In put: The Input Hypothesis and the Development of L2 Competence. Applied Linguistics 8: 95-110
â€¢ White, L. 1981. The responsibility of Grammatical Theory to Acquisitional Data. In Hornstein, N. and Lightfoot, D. (eds.), Explanation in Linguistics: The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition. London: Longman.
â€¢ Wightman, D., Westra, D. and Lintern, G. 1985. Simulator Design Features for Helicopter Landing on Small Ships. Orlando.
â€¢ Wong, W., 2004. Processing instruction in French: The roles of explicit information and structured input. In B. VanPatten (Ed.), From input to output: A teacherâ€™s guide to second language acquisition (pp. 187-205). New York: McGraw Hill.
â€¢ Wyse, D. 2001. Grammar for writing? A critical review of empirical evidence. British Journal of Educational Studies 49 (4): 411-427.
How to Cite
- Papers must be submitted on the understanding that they have not been published elsewhere (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, or thesis) and are not currently under consideration by another journal published by any other publisher.
- It is also the authors responsibility to ensure that the articles emanating from a particular source are submitted with the necessary approval.
- The authors warrant that the paper is original and that he/she is the author of the paper, except for material that is clearly identified as to its original source, with permission notices from the copyright owners where required.
- The authors ensure that all the references carefully and they are accurate in the text as well as in the list of references (and vice versa).
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
- The journal/publisher is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work. It is the author's responsibility to bring an infringement action if so desired by the author.