Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-gblv7 Total loading time: 0.515 Render date: 2022-05-19T00:20:53.726Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }


Practice: Time for a Reappraisal?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2018

Christian Jones
University of Liverpool
Get access


In DeKeyser (2007) I lamented how little research had focused on deliberate practice in second language learning, and how even the idea that extensive practice is necessary for second language learning, just as it is for athletic or musical performance, seemed questionable to some. Research in second language acquisition has not exactly taken a turn towards practice in the last ten years, but as the chapters in this book and the literature quoted therein show, there is a growing body of research that investigates the effect of a variety of types of deliberate practice. This research makes it increasingly clear that practice does not mean drill and kill, that deliberate practice is compatible with a variety of theoretical perspectives, and that all domains of language, from pronunciation and grammar to vocabulary and pragmatics can benefit from systematic practice.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Baker-Smemoe, W., Dewey, D. P., Brown, J. and Martinsen, R. A. 2014. ‘Variables affecting L2 gains during study abroad’, Foreign Language Annals 47(3): 464486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bird, S. 2010. ‘Effects of distributed practice on the acquisition of second language English syntax’, Applied Psycholinguistics 31(4): 635650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Briggs, J. G. 2016. ‘A mixed-methods study of vocabulary-related strategic behaviour in informal L2 contact’, Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education 1(1): 6187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carpenter, S. K., Cepeda, N. J., Rohrer, D., Kang, S. H. K. and Pashler, H. 2012. ‘Using spacing to enhance diverse forms of learning: Review of recent research and implications for instruction’, Educational Psychology Review 24(3): 369378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Jong, N. and Perfetti, C. A. 2011. ‘Fluency training in the ESL classroom: An experimental study of fluency development and proceduralization’, Language Learning, 62(2): 533568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeKeyser, R. M. 2007. ‘Situating the concept of practice’, in DeKeyser, R. M. (ed.), Practice in a Second Language: Perspectives from Applied Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeKeyser, R. M. 2009. ‘Cognitive-psychological processes in second language learning’, in Long, M. and Doughty, C. (eds.), Handbook of Second Language Teaching. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 119138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeKeyser, R. Forthcoming. ‘Task repetition for language learning: A perspective from skill acquisition theory’, in Bygate, M. (ed.), Task Repetition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
DeKeyser, R. M. and Prieto Botana, G. 2015. ‘The effectiveness of processing instruction in L2 grammar acquisition: A narrative review’, Applied Linguistics 36(3): 290305. doi: 10.1093/applin/amu071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hawkes, M. L. 2012. ‘Using task repetition to direct learner attention and focus on form’, ELT Journal 66(3): 327336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jensen, J. and Howard, M. 2014. ‘The effects of time in the development of complexity and accuracy during study abroad’, EUROSLA Yearbook 14: 364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, S. 2010. ‘The effectiveness of corrective feedback in SLA: A meta-analysis’, Language Learning 60(2): 309365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, M. and DeKeyser, R. Forthcoming. ‘Perception practice, production practice, and musical ability in L2 Mandarin tone-word learning’, Studies in Second Language Acquisition.
Lyster, R. and Saito, K. 2010. ‘Oral feedback in classroom SLA: A meta-analysis’, Studies in Second Language Acquisition 32(2): 265302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manchón, R. M. 2014. ‘The distinctive nature of task repetition in writing: Implications for theory, research, and pedagogy’, Estudios de Lingüística Inglesa Aplicada 14: 1341.Google Scholar
McCrudden, M. T. 2011. ‘Do specific relevance instructions promote transfer appropriate processing?’, Instructional Science 39: 865879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morgan-Short, K., Faretta-Stutenberg, M., Bill-Schuetz, K. A., Carpenter, H. and Wong, P. C. M. 2014. ‘Declarative and procedural memory as individual differences in second language acquisition’, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 17(1): 5672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nakata, T. 2015. ‘Effects of expanding and equal spacing on second language vocabulary learning: Does gradually increasing spacing increase vocabulary learning?’, Studies in Second Language Acquisition 37(4): 677711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paik, J. and Ritter, F. E. 2016. ‘Evaluating range of learning schedules: Hybrid training schedules may be as good as or better than distributed practice for some tasks’, Ergonomics 59(2): 276290. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2015.1067332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parks, C. M. 2015. ‘Transfer-appropriate processing in recognition memory: Perceptual and conceptual effects on recognition memory depend on task demands’, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 69(4): 12801286.Google Scholar
Pérez-Vidal, C. (ed.) 2014. Language Acquisition in Study Abroad and Formal Instruction Contexts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ren, W. 2013. ‘A longitudinal investigation into L2 learners’ cognitive processes during study abroad’, Applied Linguistics 35(5): 575594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rogers, J. 2015. ‘Learning second language syntax under massed and distributed conditions’, TESOL Quarterly 49(4): 857866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rohrer, D. 2015. ‘Student instruction should be distributed over long time periods’, Educational Psychology Review 27(4): 635643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sauro, S. and Smith, B. 2010. ‘Investigating L2 performance in text chat’, Applied Linguistics 31(4): 554577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Serrano, R. 2011. ‘The time factor in EFL classroom practice’, Language Learning 61(1): 117145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shintani, N. 2015. ‘The effectiveness of processing instruction and production-based instruction on L2 grammar acquisition: A meta-analysis’, Applied Linguistics 36(3): 306325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shintani, N. 2016. Input-based Tasks in Foreign Language Instruction for Young Learners. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Shintani, N. and Aubrey, S. 2016. ‘The effectiveness of synchronous and asynchronous written corrective feedback on grammatical accuracy in a computer-mediated environment’, The Modern Language Journal 100(1): 296316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shintani, N., Li, S. and Ellis, R. 2013. ‘Comprehension-based versus production-based grammar instruction: A meta-analysis of comparative studies’, Language Learning 63(2): 296329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Skehan, P. (ed.) 2014. Processing Perspective on Task Performance. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sobel, H. S., Cepeda, N. J. and Kapler, I. V. 2011. ‘Spacing effects in real world classroom vocabulary learning’, Applied Cognitive Psychology 25(5): 763767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spada, N., Jessop, L., Tomita, Y., Suzuki, W. and Valeo, A. 2014. ‘Isolated and integrated form-focused instruction: Effects on different types of L2 knowledge’, Language Teaching Research 18(4): 453473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Suzuki, Y. and DeKeyser, R. 2017a. ‘Effects of distributed practice on the automatization of L2 morphosyntax’, Language Teaching Research 21(2): 166188. doi: 10.1177/1362168815617334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Suzuki, Y. and DeKeyser, R. 2017b. ‘Exploratory research on L2 distributed practice: An aptitude-by-treatment interaction’, Applied Psycholinguistics 38(1): 2756. doi: 10.1017/S0142716416000084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tanner, D., Inoue, K. and Osterhout, L. 2014. ‘Brain-based individual differences in online L2 grammatical comprehension’, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 17(2): 277293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thai, C. and Boers, F. 2016. ‘Repeating a monologue under increasing time pressure: Effects on fluency, complexity, and accuracy’, TESOL Quarterly 50(2): 369393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van Beuningen, C. G., de Jong, N. H. and Kuiken, F. 2012. ‘Evidence on the effectiveness of comprehensive error correction in second language writing’, Language Learning 62(1): 141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yang, J.-S. 2016. ‘The effectiveness of study-abroad on second language learning: A meta-analysis’, The Canadian Modern Language Review / La revue canadienne des langues vivantes 72(1): 6694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yilmaz, Y. 2016. ‘The role of exposure condition in the effectiveness of explicit correction’, Studies in Second Language Acquisition 38: 6596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yilmaz, Y. and Granena, G. 2016. ‘The role of cognitive aptitudes for explicit language learning in the relative effects of explicit and implicit feedback’, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 19(1), 147161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Foreword
  • Edited by Christian Jones, University of Liverpool
  • Book: Practice in Second Language Learning
  • Online publication: 27 February 2018
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Foreword
  • Edited by Christian Jones, University of Liverpool
  • Book: Practice in Second Language Learning
  • Online publication: 27 February 2018
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Foreword
  • Edited by Christian Jones, University of Liverpool
  • Book: Practice in Second Language Learning
  • Online publication: 27 February 2018
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats