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An Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research (Applied Linguistics and Language Study) 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0582553774
ISBN-10: 0582553776
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'..the comprehensiveness of the book, combined with its detailed descriptions of empirical studies and the extensive bibliography, make it an excellent reference source for readers already familiar with the field.'
Applied Linguistics, Vol 17, No 3, 1996.

'One of the most useful features of this volume is its extensive and comprehensive bibliographical coverage of research in language teaching, language acquisition and related areas of applied linguistics.'
Forum for Modern Language Studies, Vol XXVIII, No 3, 1992.

'I believe that instructors using the book can feel confident that students will have a balanced mainstream view of the core issues in SLA.'
Issue in Applied Linguistics, Vol 3, No 2, 1992.

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Product Details

  • Series: Applied Linguistics and Language Study
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 10, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582553776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582553774
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,532,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Elvin on August 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read An Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research a number of years ago while I was studying for my Master's in TESOL, and picked it up again only recently in order to review it. I had no recollection of it being a good read, but it's actually quite good. It covers just about everything that the applied linguist needs to know, including research methodology, data collection, modern theories of second language acquisition together with their historical development, learner variables and their relation to success or failure, and an excellent bibliography for those who would like to read more. I think that although this book claims that its intended audience needs no prior knowledge of SLA, from my personal experience, I would contest that it takes a few years for everything to sink in! I recommend this book only if you have been involved in linguistics for a number of years, or are an exceptionally keen or smart grad student. If you are considering doing your own research, then this book is also a very worthwhile read.
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I think a lot of the previous reviewers have misinterpreted the purpose of this book. The key word in the title is "research". This book prepares graduate students who are going to do SLA reasearch in the course of their studies. It provides an excellent introduction to research by first presenting the different styles of reseach used in the field as well as research methods. The rest of the book consists of the major studies that have been conducted up until the publication of the book. A graduate student can use this as a resource book for their research. The methods of each study are well described. Also, students will be able to see what kind of research has already been conducted, so they can check whether the problem they want to research has already been done. Also, some new questions have arisen from these studies which would make excellent research projects.

I assume that the previous reviewers were not interested in research, but in application. If that is the case then they bought the wrong book. For an introductory text to SLA research, I recommend Lightbrown and Spada's "How Languages are Learned". That book is designed for practicing educators, and it gives good explanations of the research without using much jargon. Please be sure to choose the book that suits your purpose. In other words, the previous negative reviews are more due to the reviewers' poor choice of material rather than any defect in the material itself.
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Format: Paperback
I am a K-12 teacher and I've used this book in an introductory second language acquisition class for teachers. I and my classmates found that the authors used a heavy academic discourse. The book doesn't not provide a glossory of the technical terminology. I believe that this book would be useful for someone who already has a backgound in second language acquisiton and is interested in doing reaserch in this field. I DO NOT recommend this book to be used as a basic textbook for a Second Language Acquisition Introductory course.
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Format: Paperback
I am a professor of Spanish Linguistics. I used this book one semester in an undergraduate applied linguistics course and received very negative feedback from the students. In spite of the fact that the back cover claims that the book is for those with no previous knowledge of L2 acquisition research, it was definitely not accessible to my students. It lacks a clearly organized approach in explaining the history of the discipline, existing L2 acquisition theory, what motivates researchers to conduct the studies that they do, and the terminology of the discipline. I have since found that a better choice for real begginers in this area is "Principles of Language Learning and TEaching" by H.D. Brown (1994). Its scope includes more than L2 acquisition theory, as the title suggests, but it provides the basic understanding necessary to then begin to talk about current research.
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Format: Paperback
This book was very helpful for master's thesis. It includes a broad landscape of SLA research. The studies described succinctly but with enough detail to evaluate the methods used. I came here hoping to find an updated version since 14 years have elapsed since its publication.
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