Theory Construction in Second Language Acquisition

Theory Construction in Second Language Acquisition

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Recently, many SLA researchers have adopted a postmodernist approach which challenges the assumption that SLA research is a rationalist, scientific endeavour. The resulting epistemological arguments, plus problems of theory proliferation, contradicting theories, and theory domain, hinder progress towards a unified theory of SLA. Theory Construction in SLA addresses these problems by returning to first principles; it asks whether there is such a thing as reliable knowledge, what is special about scientific method, and how we can best explain SLA. It is the first book to use the philosophy of science in order to examine the epistemological underpinnings of SLA research and evaluate rival theories of SLA. Part One explores the central issues in the philosophy of science, defends rationality against relativists, and offers Guidelines for theory assessment. Part Two examines different theories of SLA and evaluates them in terms of how well they stand up to the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 313 pages
  • 150 x 250 x 20mm | 449.06g
  • John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Benjamins (John) North America Inc.,US
  • Netherlands
  • English
  • 1588114821
  • 9781588114822

Table of contents

1. Acknowledgements; 2. Abstract; 3. The Guidelines (Abridged); 4. Part 1. Some fundamental issues concerning the construction and assessment of theories of SLA; 5. 1. Key terms and current problems in SLA; 6. 2. Research methodology: Rationalism and its critics; 7. 3. Recent relativists; 8. 4. In defence of rationalism; 9. 5. The construction and assessment of theories of SLA; 10. Part 2. A critical rationalist review of some hypotheses, models and theories of SLA; 11. 6. Chomsky; 12. 7. The role of UG in an explanation of SLA; 13. 8. Approaches to SLA that offend the guidelines; 14. 9. Signs of progress; 15. 10. Explaining SLA; 16. Bibliography; 17. Name index; 18. Subject indexshow more

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