ERIC Number: EJ777316
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Reference Count: 0
At the Interface: Dynamic Interactions of Explicit and Implicit Language Knowledge
Ellis, Nick C.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v27 n2 p305-352 Jun 2005
This paper considers how implicit and explicit knowledge are dissociable but cooperative. It reviews various psychological and neurobiological processes by which explicit knowledge of form-meaning associations impacts upon implicit language learning. The interface is dynamic: It happens transiently during conscious processing, but the influence upon implicit cognition endures thereafter. The primary conscious involvement in SLA is the explicit learning involved in the initial registration of pattern recognizers for constructions that are then tuned and integrated into the system by implicit learning during subsequent input processing. Neural systems in the prefrontal cortex involved in working memory provide attentional selection, perceptual integration, and the unification of consciousness. Neural systems in the hippocampus then bind these disparate cortical representations into unitary episodic representations. These are the mechanisms by which Schmidt's (1990) "noticing" helps solve Quine's (1960) problem of referential indeterminacy. Explicit memories can also guide the conscious building of novel linguistic utterances through processes of analogy. Formulas, slot-and-frame patterns, drills, and declarative pedagogical grammar rules all contribute to the conscious creation of utterances whose subsequent usage promotes implicit learning and proceduralization. Flawed output can prompt focused feedback by way of recasts that present learners with psycholinguistic data ready for explicit analysis. Other processes of acquisition from output include differentiation, analysis, and preemption. These processes of conscious construction in working memory underpin relationships between individual differences in working memory capacities and language learning aptitude.
Descriptors: Interaction, Memory, Psycholinguistics, Language Acquisition, Individual Differences, Second Language Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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