Input processing

Authored by: Bill VanPatten

The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415479936
eBook ISBN: 9780203808184
Adobe ISBN: 9781136666896

10.4324/9780203808184.ch16

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Abstract

Input processing emerged as a field of inquiry in the mid-1980s. The central question it sought to address was “What linguistic data do learners process in the input and what constrains/guides that processing?” As such, research on input processing was a natural outgrowth of the importance given to input within the field of second language acquisition (SLA) during the 1970s and 1980s. At that time, research tended to focus on how input was negotiated by learners and/or modified by other speakers (e.g., Hatch, 1983; Long, 1983; and the many papers in Gass and Madden, 1985). The central concern of the time was what made input comprehensible and thus useable by second language (L2) learners. An underlying assumption of the research seemed to be that if input was comprehensible, learners would comprehend it correctly and get good linguistic data from that input (see, for example, Krashen, 1982).

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