Theory Construction in Second Language Acquisition
Recently, many SLA researchers have adopted a postmodernist approach which challenges the assumption that SLA research is a rationalist, scientific endeavour. The resulting epistemological arguments, plus problems of theory proliferation, contradicting theories, and theory domain, hinder progress towards a unified theory of SLA. "Theory Construction in SLA" addresses these problems by returning to first principles; it asks whether there is such a thing as reliable knowledge, what is special about scientific method, and how we can best explain SLA. It is the first book to use the philosophy of science in order to examine the epistemological underpinnings of SLA research and evaluate rival theories of SLA. Part One explores the central issues in the philosophy of science, defends rationality against relativists, and offers Guidelines for theory assessment. Part Two examines different theories of SLA and evaluates them in terms of how well they stand up to the Guidelines.
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ability accept according acquired acquisition adopt answer applied approach argue argument assumptions attempts causal Chapter Chomsky Chomsky's claim cognitive competence complex concerned construction context course criticism defined describe discussion domain Ellis empirical English evidence examine example existence experience explain fact factors field functions given gives grammar Gregg Guidelines human hypotheses idea important individual inductive input involved issues knowledge Kuhn L2 learners language learners learning limited linguistic logical Long look meaning method methodology nature objective observation offer paradigm particular perhaps phenomena Popper position possible predictions principles problem production programme progress question rational rationalist reason referred reject relativists rules scientific scientists seen sense sentences SLA research social stage structures studies suggests theory of SLA things tion tradition true types understanding universal