Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction

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Bill VanPatten, Jessica Williams
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 261 pages
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Theories in Second Language Acquisition surveys the major theoretical approaches currently used in second language acquisition (SLA) research, providing a systematic and coherent presentation in a single source. Each chapter follows a consistent chapter model constructed around the same set of questions, including "What is the Theory?" "What are the major constructs?" "What counts as evidence?" "What are the common misunderstandings about the theory?" The answers to these questions are written at a basic level by a leading expert in the respective theoretical model. As a result, the volume as a whole presents complex ideas in an accessible manner.

The book's methodical format allows for easy comparison of approaches. Topics of discussion throughout include:
*early theories in SLA;
*linguistic theory, universal grammar, and SLA;
*the concept-oriented approach;
*the associative-cognitive creed;
*skill acquisition theory; and
*processibility theory and autonomous induction.

Intended to serve as an introductory textbook for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students, Theories in Second Language Acquisition is an exceptionally thorough resource that effectively expounds the theoretical foundations of the field.

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About the author (2007)

Bill VanPatten, recently of the University of Illinois at Chicago, has published widely in the fields of second language acquisition and second language teaching. His research interests include input processing, second and bilingual sentence processing, and the effects of instruction.

Jessica Williams is a professor in the Applied Linguistics/TESOL program in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is director of the ESL composition program and less commonly taught languages. Her research areas include lexical acquisition, the effect of instruction, and second language writing, with a particular focus on writing centers.

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