The neurocognition of second language

Authored by: Kara Morgan-Short , Michael T. Ullman

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


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This chapter examines the neurocognition of second language, that is, the neural and cognitive (psychological and computational) bases of late-learned second or subsequent language (L2). The chapter focuses on lexical and grammatical processes. We first summarize the historical context of research related to the neurocognition of L2, and then examine current neurocognitive theories and their predictions. Next, we describe two common neurocognitive measures (Event-Related Potentials and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging—that is, ERPs and fMRI) and review their extant neurocognitive empirical evidence for L2. Finally, we discuss the instructional relevance of such theories and evidence and suggest future directions for research.

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