2004
Volume 56, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729

Abstract

Abstract

This paper characterizes three views on learning and language development that successively prevailed over the last hundred years: (1) behaviorism and structuralism (1920-1960), (2) the Cognitive Revolution, including Chomsky’s generative linguistics (1960-1990), and (3) connectionism and Usage-based linguistics (1990-present). Because of the large distance between abstract constructs and empirical observations in all three approaches, it is difficult to empirically falsify theories in any of them. Views of the behaviorist/structuralist and of the generative schools can no longer be considered relevant for the teaching and learning of a foreign or second language, while some views of connectionism, Usage-based linguistics and Construction Grammar are. The paper is rounded off with some recommendations for second-language instruction, emphasizing the importance, for implicit learning of grammatical patterns, of word-by-word understanding of spoken language.

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2018-11-01
2021-09-24
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