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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

1 - What Are the Origins of Second Language Acquisition as a Research Field?


This chapter lays the foundation for how the field of second language acquisition arose. We briefly review the pioneering work in the late 1950s and 1960s in first language acquisition (e.g., Berko Gleason, Brown, Klima & Bellugi). We also review the generative revolution in linguistics and how it laid the groundwork for the idea of constrained language acquisition. We then review the seminal articles by S. Pit Corder (1967) and Larry Selinker (1972) that posited the major questions in second language acquisition, and end with the pioneering work that mirrored first language acquisition (e.g., Dulay & Burt, Krashen, Wode). We end the chapter with the major question that launched second language research in the early 1970s: Are first and second language acquisition similar or different?