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Innovative and evidence-based, this introduction to the main concepts and issues in language teaching uses a 'key questions' structure, enabling the reader to understand how these questions have been addressed by researchers previously, and how the findings inform language teaching practices. Grounded in research, theory and empirical evidence, the textbook provides students, practitioners and teachers with a complete introductory course in language teaching. Written in a clear and user-friendly style, and avoiding use of jargon, the book draws upon real-life teaching experiences and scenarios to provide practical advice. A glossary of key terms, questions for discussion and further reading suggestions are included. The book is perfectly suited to language teaching modules on English language, TESOL and applied linguistics courses.
In the epilogue, we reflect on some of the major themes linked to the questions driving research in second language acquisition and return to the question that started the field in the 1970s: Are first and second language acquisition similar or different?
This chapter centers on the major descriptive findings of second language research, focusing on ordered and systematic development. We review and discuss such things as morpheme orders, developmental stages/sequences, unmarked before marked, U-shaped development, among others. We also review the evidence for L1 influence on ordered development. We touch on the nature of internal (e.g., Universal Grammar, general learning mechanisms) and external constraints (e.g., quantity and quality of input and interaction with that input, frequency) as underlying factors in ordered development. We also briefly discuss variability during staged development.
In this chapter we discuss the qualitative difference between explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge (underlying mental representation). The chapter focuses on whether instruction affects the latter. We review the accepted finding that instruction does not affect ordered development. We also review the issue of whether instruction affects rate of development and ultimate attainment. We look at important variables in the research on instructed acquisition, including type of knowledge measured, the nature of assessments used in the research, and short-term vs. long-term studies, among others.