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  The contribution of second language acquisition research

Klein, W. (1998). The contribution of second language acquisition research. Language Learning, 48, 527-550. doi:10.1111/0023-8333.00057.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-32F4-B Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-32F6-7
Genre: Journal Article

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Klein, Wolfgang1, Author              
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1Language Acquisition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, escidoc:55202              

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 Abstract: During the last 25 years, second language acquisition (SLA) research hasmade considerable progress, but is still far from proving a solid basis for foreign language teaching, or from a general theory of SLA. In addition, its status within the linguistic disciplines is still very low. I argue this has not much to do with low empirical or theoretical standards in the field—in this regard, SLA research is fully competitive—but with a particular perspective on the acquisition process: SLA researches learners' utterances as deviations from a certain target, instead of genuine manifestations of underlying language capacity; it analyses them in terms of what they are not rather than what they are. For some purposes such a "target deviation perspective" makes sense, but it will not help SLA researchers to substantially and independently contribute to a deeper understanding of the structure and function of the human language faculty. Therefore, these findings will remain of limited interest to other scientists until SLA researchers consider learner varieties a normal, in fact typical, manifestation of this unique human capacity.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 1998
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1111/0023-8333.00057
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Title: Language Learning
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Ann Arbor, MI : Blackwell Publishing Limited
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 48 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 527 - 550 Identifier: Other: 954925420071
ISSN: 0023-8333