Date: Thursday, 20 February 2020
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm HKT
The limited effects of instruction in second language acquisition: A way forward
Dr. Alessandro Giovanni Benati
American University of Sharjah, UAE
What are the effects of instruction in second language acquisition? Instruction on formal features of language does not affect ordered development and staged development. It is also not clear that instruction on formal features of language speeds up acquisition or affects in any ways ultimate attainment. Current research measuring short-term effects of instruction is mostly biased toward the testing of explicit knowledge. Meta-analyses on the effects of instruction have generated questions/concerns on the nature of the treatments and assessments used to measure its effects. In this talk, the role and effects of instruction in second language acquisition will be discussed, and a way forward to effectively assess the effects of instruction will be proposed. Future research has to make use of measurements that probe underlying implicit knowledge that is qualitatively different from explicit knowledge. The main findings from this research would have important implications for language teaching.
Alessandro Benati is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Head of the Department of English at the American University of Sharjah, UAE. He is also the leader of the research cluster: Emerging methods and research in language sciences https://www.aus.edu/department-of-english. He has previously worked in the UK at the University of London, Middlesex University, University of Portsmouth and University of Greenwich where he was the Director of the Centre for Applied Research and Outreach in Language Education. His research examines instructed second language acquisition, in general, and in particular the role and nature of the input processing theory. He has published ground-breaking research on the pedagogical framework called processing instruction. He has coordinated high-impact research projects funded by the EU, Leverhulme Trust, AHRC, British Academy and other research bodies. He is co-editor of a new series for Cambridge University Press called Elements in Second Language Acquisition, and co-editor of ISLA. He is a honorary professor at the University of York St. John, a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and the REF Panel 2021 in the UK (Sub-panel 26: Modern Language and Linguistics).
Visit HAAL at http://www.haal.hk/