Second Language Acquisition

Read Complete Research Material


Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course by Susan M Gass and Larry Selinker


The ultimate goal of second language acquisition research is to come to an understanding of what is acquired and the mechanisms which bring that knowledge about. In recent years, the attempt to understand these issues has come from varying perspectives: some researchers have been concerned with language development as it relates to conversation; others have dealt with the role of affect, while others have investigated first language influences on the process of second language acquisition. What has been lacking is a global and comprehensive view which shows how these various perspectives interlock. In this book I sketch out such a view incorporating sociolinguistic, psycho-linguistic, and linguistic aspects of acquisition.

Within the proposed framework, there are five levels in a learner's conversion of ambient speech (input) to output: (1) apperceived input, (2) comprehended input, (3) intake, (4) integration, and (5) output. In this book I expand upon each of these levels as well as explicate the factors which mediate between one level and another. In addition, I discuss implications for fossilization and variation as they relate to concepts presented.

Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course by Susan M Gass and Larry Selinker

About the Authors

Susan Gass is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages at Michigan State University. She has conducted research in a wide variety of sub-areas of second language acquisition including language transfer, language universals, second language research methods, and input and interaction. She is the author/editor of numerous books, has served as the President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and is the President of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA).

Larry Selinker is one of the original contributors to the research field of Second Language Acquisition, having introduced the concepts "interlanguage" and "fossilization" and having conducted one of the first empirical studies in "language transfer" research in 1969. Consistently seeking a more unified account which would integrate concepts of "interdialect," "interculture," and "interliteracy" with new media, he is now preparing a 40-plus year fossilization study on participants first looked at in 1964. He has held professorships at the Universities of Michigan and London and visiting professorships at various universities around the world. Currently, he is Visiting Professor at New York University and, exploring processes of "around sourcing," is helping to organize Research Production Associates.

Critique of the Book

The new and updated edition of this bestselling introductory textbook is a comprehensive overview of the field of second language acquisition. In an easy-to-read, accessible style, it provides students with information about the scope of the field, but also provides background information on related areas such as first language acquisition. The book introduces students to current issues of data collection and data analysis, as well as provides an historical overview of the field, thus giving students context and perspective about how today's issues arise from earlier approaches (Gass, Selinker, 2008).

Each chapter offers discussion questions and/or problems so that students can put their ...
Related Ads