NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1134944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8333
Researching Acquisition Sequences: Idealization and De-Idealization in SLA
Ellis, Rod
Language Learning, v65 n1 p181-209 Mar 2015
Idealization plays a fundamental role in scientific inquiry. This article examines the case for maintaining the claim that the second language acquisition (SLA) of grammatical structures such as negation manifests identifiable stages of acquisition. It proposes that, while research has demonstrated the need for de-idealization, there is no need to abandon the idealization itself. Drawing on work on idealization in the philosophy of science, it argues that the sequence of acquisition should be seen as a minimal idealization that is of continuing value for the domains of both SLA and, in particular, teacher education. This thesis is explored by examining four studies of second language negation that investigated the same data set. These studies afford important insights about the variability evident in the different stages and, as such, identify the limitations of the idealization but do not justify its rejection. The article concludes with a discussion of other factors (e.g., the first language and the role of instruction), the investigation of which may reveal further limitations and thus contribute further to the de-idealization of the fundamental claim.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A