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Open Access “Je ziet het pas als je het doorhebt”

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In spite of convincing empirical evidence for the implicit nature of second language acquisition, second language teaching is still largely based on explicit instruction. The discrepancy between research and teaching is caused by deeply rooted assumptions about language learning. One of the most critical assumptions is that there is a linear and causal relationship between explicit grammar instruction and the process of language acquisition. We learn, it is assumed, by internalizing explicit grammar rules and by storing declarative lexical knowledge.

In this contribution, I will show how, contrary to these assumptions, language acquisition is characterized by a dynamic process of development that is strongly individual and hard to predict. This dynamic view on language acquisition is supported by longitudinal studies of language acquisition in different domains.

This dynamic perspective of second language development has relevant implications for language instruction. The most important implication is that communicative interaction and intensive exposure to the second language, combined with systematic support of the language learner, stand a better chance of successful language learning than explicit instruction.
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Keywords: complex dynamic systems; explicit instruction; second language acquisition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • Internationale Neerlandistiek is het wetenschappelijke tijdschrift van de Internationale Vereniging voor Neerlandistiek. Het Nederlandstalige tijdschrift bevordert de dialoog tussen alle wetenschappers die werkzaam zijn op het gebied van de internationale neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek richt zich op de Nederlandse (en Zuid-Afrikaanse) taal- en letterkunde in ruime zin, en heeft daarnaast aandacht voor interculturele aspecten van deze subdisciplines, communicatiewetenschap, didactiek en nieuwe technologie in de vakbeoefening, het verloop van canoniseringsprocessen, vertalen, culturele studies en voor de cultuur van de Lage Landen. Het tijdschrift heeft qua vraagstelling, methode en object een internationaal vergelijkende, en qua auteurs, lezers en verspreiding een internationale dimensie.

    Internationale Neerlandistiek is the scholarly journal of the International Association for Neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek is a Dutch language, peer-reviewed journal with an international focus. The journal aims to improve the discussion in international Dutch (including South-African) linguistics and literature, in the broadest sense, including intercultural aspects of subdisciplines, communication studies, translation, cultural studies and the culture of the Low Countries in general.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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