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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

4 - Theoretical Frameworks in L2 Acquisition

from Part I - Theories


It is important to distinguish between a theory and the hypotheses that are derived from it, on the one hand, and a theoretical framework on the other. The crucial criterion for judging a theory, in addition to its explanatory value, is its ability to make useful predictions. A framework functions at a higher level of abstraction. The level can vary between a narrow, “local” framework restricted to a well-specified research domain and one that has a wider coverage, ending up with frameworks that also facilitate interdisciplinary research projects. What all frameworks have in common is that they contain some commitments that cannot be significantly altered: this is the framework’s metatheory. Then there are the areas where variation is perfectly possible, allowing researchers to carry out many alternative applications of the metatheory that defines that particular framework.