Thursday, July 4, 2013

SLA Glossary L - O

Language acquisition device
A term used by Chomsky to describe the innate faculty for language acquisition


The process by which each hemisphere of the brain becomes specialized for different functions

Learning strategies
Techniques that learners consciously select to assist them in the achievement of their learning goals

Learning styles

Learners’ traits and preferences relating to the ways they perceive, process and remember information

The mental store of words that each learner has acquired

A classification which describes the default, unmarked form in contrast to the less common, marked form in pairs of language features such as unvoiced and voiced consonants

Metalinguistic knowledge
Explicit conceptual knowledge about language

Minimalist Program
A development of Chomsky’s Principles and Parameters model that aims to account for the properties of language with maximum economy

Monitor Model

Krashen’s hypothesis that learners can consciously monitor and correct the output from their acquired language system

Morpheme studies
Studies of the order in which grammatical morphemes are acquired, which provide support for the belief in a natural order of acquisition independent of the influence of the learner’s L1


The degree of desire to accomplish a goal, which partly determines the amount of effort one is willing to make to do so

The theory that all humans are born with an innate capacity for language acquisition

Natural Order Hypothesis
The theory that the grammatical features of a language are acquired in a set sequence, independent of the learner’s first language

Negative evidence

Feedback on Learner L2 output indicating that there is a gap between the interlanguage form produced and the correct target language form

Negotiation of meaning

The collaborative use of comprehension checks and clarification requests to prevent or repair breakdown of communication

Paying conscious attention to a feature of the L2 input

Output Hypothesis
The claim that the language produced by L2 learners plays a significant part in the process of acquisition

The application of a rule to cases where it should not be applied, such as erroneously adding –ED to form the past tense of an irregular verb

Original definitions and selection of terms © 2013 Anglo-Hellenic Teacher Training


VanPatten, B.  & Benati, A. (2010) Key Terms in Second Language Acquisition. London: Continuum. 

VanPatten, B. & Williams, J. (eds.). (2007) Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction. London: Routledge

Doughty, C. and Long, M.  (eds.) (2003) Handbook of second language acquisition (2nd edition) Oxford: Blackwell.  

Mitchell, R., Myles, F. & Marsden, E. (eds.). (2012) Second Language Learning Theories (3rd Edition) London: Routledge 

Saville-Troike, M. (2012) Introducing Second Language Acquisition (2nd edition) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

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