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This Cambridge Element examines the role and nature of focus on form in second language acquisition. An overall assessment of the role of instruction and the nature of language is provided. Instruction might have a facilitative role in the rate of acquisition. The Element briefly reviews empirical research examining the relative effects of different types of focus on form and presents some of the key implications for second language learning and teaching. An effective focus on form type is one that is input and meaning oriented. Manipulating input to facilitate language processing and form-meaning connections might enhance second language acquisition.
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.