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ERIC Number: EJ912912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1578-7044
The Two Faces of SLA: Mental Representation and Skill
VanPatten, Bill
International Journal of English Studies, v10 n1 p1-18 2010
In this essay, I argue for viewing mental representation and skill as distinct components of language acquisition. My claim is that language is not a monolithic entity--not a new concept, but one that is often overlooked by instructors and some scholars. I examine language as being (minimally) composed of mental representation and skill. Representation refers to the abstract and implicit knowledge that underlies all language. Skill refers to the use of language, especially fluency (the intersection of speed and accuracy). By thinking about language as at least the distinction between representation and skill, we might better sort out some of the issues related to adult SLA, namely the role that instruction has, and what instruction can actually impact.
University of Murcia. Department of English Philology Merced Campus, Calle Santo Cristo 1, Murcia 30071 Spain. Tel: +34-868-88-3406; Fax: +34-868-88-3409; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A