This 1986 textbook presents an account of the main concerns, problems and theoretical and practical issues raised by second language acquisition research. Research in this field had been mainly pedagogically oriented, but since the 1970s linguists and psychologists have become increasingly interested in the principles that underlie second language acquisition for the light these throw on how human language processing functions in general. Moreover, it is only through an understanding of these principles that foreign language teaching can become maximally effective. In the first part of his book, Wolfgang Klein provides a critical assessment of the state of the art at the time. The second part, 'from the learner's point of view', is devoted to four central problems which anyone learning a second language (either through everyday communication or in the classroom) is faced with, and whose solution constitutes the acquisition process. This accessible introduction provides students of linguistics and applied linguistics and anyone concerned with foreign language teaching with a real understanding of the fundamental issues in the field.
Preface; Part I. The Process of Language Acquisition: 1. Some forms of language acquisition, some fundamental facts, some focal issues, some well-known theories; 2. Six dimensions of language acquisition; 3. Some consequences for foreign language instructions; Part II. From the Learner's Point of View: 4. The learner's four tasks; 5. The problem of analysis; 6. The problem of synthesis; 7. The embedding problem; 8. The matching problem; Conclusion; Notes; References; Index of names; Index of subjects.