The Least a Second Language Acquisition Theory Needs ot Explain

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1990
Authors
Long, Michael H.
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Valid descriptions of second language acquisition (SLA) are syntheses of well-attested empirical findings about process and product in interlanguage development related to universals and variance in learners and learning environments. Theories of SLA are attempts at explanation of those findings, an important component of which will be one or more mechanisms to account for change. Description and explanation are two points on a continuum in theory construction, however, not a dichotomy, and while theories differ in scope and so legitimately often relate only to partial descriptions, they need to account for major accepted findings within their domain if they are to be credible. Identification of "accepted findings", therefore, is an important part of theory construction and evaluation. Such findings will be the least a SLA theory needs to explain. Sample accepted findings are proposed, along with some implications for current SLA theories.
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17 pages
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University of Hawai'i Working Papers in English as a Second Language 9(1)
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