By Birgit Harley

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G. , 1974; Snow & Hoefnagel-Höhle, 1978a,b). Clearly these studies need to be closely examined in a theoretical light to determine what differences in the subjects, settings, or experiments can be hypothesized to account for the apparently contradictory results. A major purpose of this book is to carry out such an examination of empirical studies in the light of the various theoretical perspectives that have been brought to bear on the age issue. The analysis of the literature in Part I leads to a number of conclusions Page xii concerning the need for further research on specific aspects of L2 acquisition by older and younger learners.

Thus, with their arrival at the formal operational state "at around 12 years," adolescents gain potential access to an extensive Monitorthat is, the ability to inspect and alter their output by a learned system of rules. According to Krashen: "Learned language consists of conscious mental representations of linguistic rules and is the result of either a formal language learning situation or some kind of self-study program" (Krashen, 1978:175). Such formal language learning situations are characterized by the presence of feedback (error correction) and rule isolation.

The Same L2 Learning Process in Children and Adults McLaughlin (1978, 1981) takes issue with Krashen's hypothesis that conscious "learning" can act only as an editor in the L2 performance of older learners but cannot be used as an utterance initiator. Instead of an acquisition/learning distinction, McLaughlin (1978, 1981) applies the concepts of "controlled" and "automatic" processing to L2 learning at any age. Controlled processes are described as tightly capacity limited, requiring active attention and using information in short-term memory.

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