Skip to main content

Second language acquisition, teacher education and language pedagogy

  • Rod Ellis (a1)

Various positions regarding the Second Language Acquisition (SLA) – Language Pedagogy (LP) nexus have been advanced. Taking these as a starting point, this article will examine the nature of the SLA/LP relationship both more generally and more concretely. First, it will place the debates evident in the different positions regarding the relationship in a broader educational and professional context by examining the nature of the theory/practice nexus – because the issues at stake do not just concern SLA. Second, it will examine critically a number of options for bridging the divide (e.g. through presenting the pedagogical implications of research, engaging teachers in researching their own classroom or promoting research–teacher collaboration). Third, it will probe the relationship in terms of a framework that links (i) SLA researchers, (ii) classroom researchers, (iii) teacher educators and (iv) language teachers. This framework will serve as a basis for formulating a set of eleven principles that can guide attempts to use SLA theory and research in teacher education programmes.

Hide All
Alatis J., Stern H. & Strevens P. (eds.) (1983). Applied Linguistics and the preparation of teachers: Towards a rationale. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Allwright D. (2003). Exploratory practice: Rethinking practitioner research in language teaching. Language Teaching Research 7.2, 113141.
Allwright D. (2005). From teaching points to learning opportunities and beyond. TESOL Quarterly 39.1, 931.
Angelova M. (2005). Using Bulgarian mini-lessons in an SLA course to improve the KAL of American ESL teachers. In Bartels N. (ed.), Applied Linguistics and teacher education (vol. 4): Educational linguistics. New York: Springer, 2742.
Badger M., McDonald M. & White G. (2001). Second language acquisition courses and student teachers' values. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 22 September.
Bahns J. (1990). Consultant not initiator: The role of the applied SLA researcher. ELT Journal 44.2, 110116.
Bardovi-Harlig K. (1995). The interaction of pedagogy and natural sequences in the acquisition of tense and aspect. In Eckman et al. (eds.), 151–168.
Block D. (2003). The social turn in second language acquisition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Brindley G. (1990). Inquiry-based teacher education: A case study. Presented at 24th Annual Convention, San Francisco, 6–10 March 1990.
Brumfit C. (1983). The integration of theory and practice. In Alatis et al. (eds.), 59–74.
Brumfit C. & Mitchell R. (eds.) (1990). Research in the language classroom (ELT Documents 133). London: Modern English Publications.
Burns A. (1999). Collaborative action research for English language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bygate M. (2004). Some current trends in Applied Linguistics. AILA Review 17, 622.
Bygate M. (2005). Applied Linguistics: A pragmatic discipline, a generic discipline? Applied Linguistics 26.4, 568581.
Byrnes H. (2000). Shaping the discourse of a practice: The role of linguistics and psychology in language teaching and learning. The Modern Language Journal 84.4, 472494.
Canagarajah S. A. (1996). From critical research practice to critical research reporting. TESOL Quarterly 28.2, 321330.
Chapelle C. (2007). Pedagogical implications in TESOL Quarterly? Yes, please. TESOL Quarterly 41.2, 404406.
Clarke M. (1994). The dysfunctions of theory/practice discourse. TESOL Quarterly 28.1, 926.
Cook V. (1999). Using SLA research in language teaching. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 9.2, 267284.
Crandall J. (2000). Language teacher education. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 20, 3455.
Crookes G. (1993). Action research and second language teachers: Going beyond teacher-research. Applied Linguistics 14.2, 130144.
Davies A. (1999). An introduction to Applied Linguistics: From practice to theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Doughty C. & Long M. (eds.) (2003). The handbook of second language acquisition. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Eckman F., Highland D., Lee P., Mileham J. & Weber R. (eds.) (1995). Second language acquisition theory and pedagogy. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Ellis N. (2002). Frequency effects in language processing: A review with implications for theories of implicit and explicit language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 24.2, 143188.
Ellis R. (1994). Second language acquisition research and teacher development: The case of teachers’ questions. In Li et al. (eds.), 175–193.
Ellis R. (1997). SLA and language pedagogy: An educational perspective. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 19.1, 6992.
Ellis R. (2005). Instructed second language acquisition: A literature review. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd.
Ellis R. (2008). The study of second language acquisition (2nd edn.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ellis R. (2009). Corrective feedback and teacher development. L2 Journal 1.1, Article 2, 18 pp.
Eraut M. (1994). Developing professional knowledge and competence. London: Falmer.
Erlam R. (2008). What do you researchers know about language teaching? Bridging the gap between SLA research and language pedagogy. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching 2.3, 253267.
Erlam R., Sakui K. & Ellis R.. (2006). Instructed second language acquisition: Case studies. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd.
Firth A. & Wagner J. (1997). On discourse, communication, and (some) fundamental concepts in SLA. The Modern Language Journal 81.3, 285300.
Firth A. & Wagner J. (2007). Second/foreign language learning as a social accomplishment: Elaborations on a reconceptualized SLA. The Modern Language Journal 91.5, 798817.
Freeman D. (1994). Knowing into doing: Teacher education and the problem of transfer. In Li et al. (eds.), 1–20.
Freeman D. & Johnson K. (1998). Reconceptualizing the knowledge-base of language teacher education. TESOL Quarterly 32.3, 397417.
Freidson E. (1977). Profession of medicine: A study of sociology of applied knowledge. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co.
Gass S. (1995). Learning and teaching: the necessary intersection. In Eckman et al. (eds.), 3–20.
Gass S., Mackey A. & Ross-Feldman L. (2005). Task-based interactions in classroom and laboratory settings. Language Learning 5.4, 575611.
Gee J. (1990). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. London: Falmer.
Han Z. (2007). Pedagogical implications: Genuine and pretentious. TESOL Quarterly 41.2, 387393.
Harmer J. (1983). The practice of English language teaching. London: Longman.
Hatch E. (1978). Apply with caution. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 2.1, 123143.
Hirst P. (1966). Educational theory. In Tibbles J. (ed.), The study of education. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 2958.
Hopkins D. & Nettle M. (1994). Second language acquisition research: A response to Ellis. ELT Journal 48.2, 157161.
Hudson R. (2008). Linguistic theory. In Spolsky & Hult (eds.), 53–65.
Kramsch C. (1985). The applied linguist and the foreign language teacher: Can they talk to each other? Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 18.1, 116.
Kramsch C. (2000). Second language acquisition, Applied Linguistics, and the teaching of foreign languages. The Modern Language Journal 84.3, 311326.
Krashen S. (1983). Second language acquisition theory and the preparation of teachers. In Alatis et al. (eds.), 255–263.
Lantolf J. (2008). Note in Chapter 17 of R. Ellis, The study of second language acquisition (2nd edn.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 950.
Larsen-Freeman D. (2000). Second language acquisition and Applied Linguistics. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 20, 165181.
Lewin K. (1952). Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers. London: Tavistock.
Li D., Mahoney D. & Richards J. (eds.) (1994). Exploring second language teacher development. Hong Kong: City Polytechnic.
Lightbown P. (1985). Great expectations: Second language acquisition research and classroom teaching. Applied Linguistics 6.2, 173189.
Lightbown P. (2000). Anniversary article: Classroom SLA research and language teaching. Applied Linguistics 21.4, 431–62.
Lightbown P. & Spada N. (1993). How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lightbown P. M. & Spada N. (2006). How languages are learned (3rd edn.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Long M. (1990). Second language classroom research and teacher education. In Brumfit & Mitchell (eds.), Research in the language classroom (ELT Documents 133). London: Modern English Publications, 161170.
Long M. (1996). The role of the linguistic environment in second language acquisition. In Ritchie W. & Bhatia T. (eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 413468.
Long M. (ed.) (2006). Problems in SLA. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Magnan S. (2007). Gauging the scholarly value of connecting research to teaching. TESOL Quarterly 41.2, 400404.
Markee N. (1997). SLA research: A resource for changing teachers’ professional cultures? The Modern Language Journal 81.1, 8093.
McDonough K. (2006). Action research and the professional development of graduate teaching assistants. The Modern Language Journal 90.1, 3347.
Nobuyoshi J. & Ellis R. (1993). Focused communication tasks. ELT Journal 47.3, 203210.
Nunan D. (1990). The teacher as researcher. In Brumfit & Mitchell (eds.), 16–32.
Nunan D. (1991). Methods in second language classroom-oriented research: A critical review. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 13.2, 249274.
Pennycook A. (1994). The cultural politics of English as an international language. London: Longman.
Pica T. (1994). Questions from the language classroom: Research perspectives. TESOL Quarterly 28.1, 4979.
Pica T. (2008). Task-based teaching and learning. In Spolsky & Hult (eds.), 525–538.
Schachter J. (1993). Second language acquisition: Perceptions and possibilities. Second Language Research 9.2, 173187.
Schon D. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.
Sheen Y. (2006). Corrective feedback, individual differences and the acquisition of articles by second language learners. Ph.D. thesis, University of Nottingham.
Slimani A. (2003). Exploring a world of paradoxes: An investigation of group work. Language Teaching Research 7.2, 221239.
Spolsky B. (1990). Introduction to a colloquium: The scope and form of a theory of second language learning. TESOL Quarterly 24.4, 609616.
Spolsky B. & Hult B. (eds.) (2008). Handbook of educational linguistics. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Stenhouse L. (1975). An introduction to curriculum research and development. London: Heinemann.
Stewart T. (2006). Teacher–researcher collaboration or teachers’ research? TESOL Quarterly 40.2, 421430.
Tarone E., Cohen A. & Dumas G. (1976). A closer look at some interlanguage terminology: A framework for communication strategies. Working Papers on Bilingualism 9.1, 7690.
Templer B. (2008). Pedagogies for plainer talk: Reclaiming the commons of discourse. Reflections on English Language Teaching 7.1, 120.
Uccelli P & Snow C. (2008). A research agenda for Applied Linguistics. In Spolsky & Hult (eds.), 626–641.
Ur P. (1996). A course in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Van Lier L. (1994). Some features of a theory of practice. TESOL Journal 4.1, 610.
Wallace M. (1997). Action research for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wells G. (1994). Introduction: Teacher-research and educational change. In Wells G., Bernard L., Gianotti M. A., Keating C., Konjevic C., Kowal M., Maher A., Mayer C., Moscoe T., Orzechowska E., Smieja A. & Swartz L. (eds.), Changing schools from within: Creating communities of enquiry. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 135.
Widdowson H. (1984). The role of theory in practice. In Widdowson H., Explorations in Applied Linguistics 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2836.
Widdowson H. (1990). Aspects of language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Widdowson H. (2000). Object language and the language subject: On the mediating role of Applied Linguistics. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 20, 2133.
Wright T. (1992). Classroom research and teacher education: Towards a collaborative approach. In Flowerdew J., Brock M. & Hsia S. (eds.), Perspectives on second language teacher education. Hong Kong: Hong Kong City Polytechnic, 187209.
Recommend this journal

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

Language Teaching
  • ISSN: 0261-4448
  • EISSN: 1475-3049
  • URL: /core/journals/language-teaching
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 86
Total number of PDF views: 797 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1909 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.