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I'm doing research on vocabulary learning in EFL contexts.
Ernesto Macaro (2001) had said that the brain does not store language as it appears in society outside the brain. By this he meant that language exists as 'sounds and squiggles' in the socio-cultural context outside the brain, but not as 'sounds and squiggles' inside the brain. Inside the brain, language exists as meaning, e.g. ideas and propositions. I have read this to mean that the L2 learner therefore does not learn vocabulary as such, merely the meaning of language items.
I have never read this idea anywhere else. Does anyone know anything about this theory? If so, can someone clarify for me what this really means.