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Title: Theory Construction in Second Language Acquisition
Written By: Geoff Jordan

Recently, many SLA researchers have adopted a postmodernist approach which challenges the assumption that SLA research is a rationalist, scientific endeavour. The resulting epistemological arguments, plus problems of theory proliferation, contradicting theories, and theory domain, hinder progress towards a unified theory of SLA. Theory Construction in SLA addresses these problems by returning to first principles; it asks whether there is such a thing as reliable knowledge, what is special about scientific method, and how we can best explain SLA. It is the first book to use the philosophy of science in order to examine the epistemological underpinnings of SLA research and evaluate rival theories of SLA. Part One explores the central issues in the philosophy of science, defends rationality against relativists, and offers Guidelines for theory assessment. Part Two examines different theories of SLA and evaluates them in terms of how well they stand up to the Guidelines.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements xiii
Abstract xv
The Guidelines (Abridged) xvii
Part 1. Some fundamental issues concerning the construction and assessment of theories of SLA
1. Key terms and current problems in SLA 5
2. Research methodology: Rationalism and its critics 19
3. Recent relativists 51
4. In defence of rationalism 69
5. The construction and assessment of theories of SLA 87
Part 2. A critical rationalist review of some hypotheses, models and theories of SLA
6. Chomsky 123
7. The role of UG in an explanation of SLA 151
8. Approaches to SLA that o.end the guidelines 167
9. Signs of progress 203
10. Explaining SLA 251
Bibliography 267
Name index 287
Subject index 291

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
Second Language Acquisition
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588114813
ISBN-13: 9781588114815
Pages: xviii, 295 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 132
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1588114821
ISBN-13: 9781588114822
Pages: xviii, 295 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 48.95