The effect of instruction on second language acquisition is limited

Target audience: intermediate learners.

The findings regarding the efficacy of instruction on Second language acquisition is mixed. Counterintuivitely, instruction is not always helpful.

  • Instruction sometimes has no effect on acquisition.

    It cannot allow learners to skip steps in developmental sequences (see Learners’ output proceeds along predictable paths).

  • Instruction can sometimes slow down acquisition.

  • Instruction can sometimes speed acquisition and allow learners to reach higher levels.

The circumstances under which instruction is effective are an active and controversial area of research.


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