This textbook offers an introductory overview of eight hotly-debated topics in second language acquisition research. It offers a glimpse of how SLA researchers have tried to answer common questions about second language acquisition rather than being a comprehensive introduction to SLA research. Each chapter comprises an introductory discussion of the issues involved and suggestions for further reading and study. The reader is asked to consider the issues based on their own experiences, thus allowing them to compare their own intuitions and experiences with established research findings and gain an understanding of methodology. The topics are treated independently so that they can be read in any order that interests the reader.
The topics in question are:
• how different languages connect in the mind;
• whether there is a best age for learning a second language;
• the importance of grammar in acquiring and using a second language;
• how the words of a second language are acquired;
• how people learn to write in a second language;
• how attitude and motivation help in learning a second language;
• the usefulness of second language acquisition research for language teaching;
• the goals of language teaching.
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