Skip to main content Accesibility Help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 26
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Lambert, Craig 2019. Referent Similarity and Nominal Syntax in Task-Based Language Teaching. p. 31.

    Bowles, Melissa A. 2018. The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology. p. 339.

    Ren, Wei 2016. Email Discourse Among Chinese Using English as a Lingua Franca. p. 163.

    Valfredini, Alessia 2015. Studying the Process of Writing in a Foreign Language: An Overview of the Methods. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 6, Issue. 5, p. 907.

    Bella, Spyridoula 2014. A contrastive study of apologies performed by Greek native speakers and English learners of Greek as a foreign language. Pragmatics, Vol. 24, Issue. 4, p. 679.

    Rezvani, Ehsan Eslami-Rasekh, Abbass and Vahid Dastjerdi, Hossein 2014. Teaching speech acts: Input enhancement versus presentation, practice, and production. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, Vol. 3, Issue. 4,

    Ren, Wei 2014. A Longitudinal Investigation into L2 Learners’ Cognitive Processes during Study Abroad. Applied Linguistics, Vol. 35, Issue. 5, p. 575.

    Smith, Patriann and King, James R. 2013. An Examination of Veridicality in Verbal Protocols of Language Learners. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 3, Issue. 5,

    Godfroid, Aline Boers, Frank and Housen, Alex 2013. AN EYE FOR WORDS. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol. 35, Issue. 03, p. 483.

    Kim, YouJin 2013. Effects of Pretask Modeling on Attention to Form and Question Development. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 47, Issue. 1, p. 8.

    Valeo, Antonella 2013. Language awareness in a content-based language programme. Language Awareness, Vol. 22, Issue. 2, p. 126.

    Jamieson, Joan and Poonpon, Kornwipa 2013. DEVELOPING ANALYTIC RATING GUIDES FOR TOEFL IBT'S INTEGRATED SPEAKING TASKS. ETS Research Report Series, Vol. 2013, Issue. 1, p. i.

    Yanguas, Iñigo and Lado, Beatriz 2012. Is Thinking Aloud Reactive When Writing in the Heritage Language?. Foreign Language Annals, Vol. 45, Issue. 3, p. 380.

    Uggen, Maren S. 2012. Reinvestigating the Noticing Function of Output. Language Learning, Vol. 62, Issue. 2, p. 506.

    Sun, Sanjun 2011. Think-Aloud-Based Translation Process Research: Some Methodological Considerations. Meta: Journal des traducteurs, Vol. 56, Issue. 4, p. 928.

    Goo, Jaemyung 2010. Working Memory and Reactivity. Language Learning, Vol. 60, Issue. 4, p. 712.

    Bowles, Melissa A. 2010. Concurrent Verbal Reports in Second Language Acquisition Research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 30, Issue. , p. 111.

    Ellis, Nick C. and Sagarra, Nuria 2010. Learned Attention Effects in L2 Temporal Reference: The First Hour and the Next Eight Semesters. Language Learning, Vol. 60, Issue. , p. 85.

    Sanz, Cristina Lin, Hui-Ju Lado, Beatriz Bowden, Harriet Wood and Stafford, Catherine A. 2009. Concurrent Verbalizations, Pedagogical Conditions, and Reactivity: Two CALL Studies. Language Learning, Vol. 59, Issue. 1, p. 33.

    Bowles, Melissa A. 2008. TASK TYPE AND REACTIVITY OF VERBAL REPORTS IN SLA: A First Look at a L2 Task Other Than Reading. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol. 30, Issue. 03,

  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: October 2012

12 - Cognition, instruction and protocol analysis



If we desire to better understand the processes involved in second language (L2) learning and to make claims regarding learners' attention to and processing of different types of linguistic input, it is important to examine the cognitive processes of interest to us as directly as possible. One method of data collection which allows researchers to do this is protocol analysis, in which verbal reports are collected from the language learner.

While this method has been used for over a century in the field of psychology in order to investigate problem-solving and memory skills, it is only within the past few decades that SLA researchers have begun to use protocols to observe the cognitive processes utilized in language behaviours and tasks. As Schmidt has pointed out, ‘The problem in applied linguistics has not been over reliance on first-person reports and data, but an almost total neglect of them’ (1994c: 22).

The goal of this paper is to address this situation by examining the strengths of protocol analysis as a method for looking at a variety of cognitive processes of interest to second language acquisition (SLA) researchers. The methods involved in the collection and analysis of protocols will be addressed, followed by a discussion of various linguistic studies which have utilized protocols and how the information gained from such research can inform SLA theory. Finally, both the limitations and benefits of this method of data collection for language acquisition research will be considered.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Cognition and Second Language Instruction
  • Online ISBN: 9781139524780
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *