Fall Lecture on Second Language Learning with Rod Ellis


Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Meeting Room C

Cognitive, Social and Psychological Dimensions of Corrective Feedback

Rod Ellis, University of Auckland, New Zealand

The role of corrective feedback (CF) in L2 acquisition is controversial, both with regard to whether CF has a significant role to play and, if it does, what type of CF is most facilitative.  This talk examines CF from three different perspectives.  The cognitive perspective draws on the Interaction Hypothesis, The Output Hypothesis and the Noticing Hypothesis to propose ways in which a corrective focus on form can influence interlanguage development. The social perspective recognizes that teachers and learners vary in how they orientate to CF depending on both the institutional context in which they work, the specific pedagogic activity they are engaged in, and their social background. The psychological perspective examines the role played by individual learner factors, such as language aptitude and anxiety, which influence how learners respond to and benefit from CF.  I will argue that a theory of CF needs to take account of all three perspectives and that the only theory with the power to do so is a sociocultural theory of CF.  In such a theory, CF is viewed as ‘a collaborative endeavour’ that must be adapted to both the individual learner and to the social/ situational context in which the CF occurs.  I will conclude with a set of general pedagogic proposals for conducting CF, drawing on the cognitive, social and psychological dimensions discussed previously.

Rod Ellis is currently Professor in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics, University of Auckland, where he teaches postgraduate courses on second language acquisition, individual differences in language learning and task-based teaching.  He is also a professor in the MA in TESOL program in Anaheim University and a visiting professor at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) as part of China’s Chang Jiang Scholars Program.  His published work includes articles and books on second language acquisition, language teaching and teacher education. His books include Understanding Second Language Acquisition (BAAL Prize 1986) and The Study of Second Language Acquisition (Duke of Edinburgh prize 1995). More recently, Task-Based Learning and Teaching (2003), Analyzing Learner Language (with Gary Barkhuizen) in (2005) and a second edition of The Study of Second Language Acquisition (2008) were published by Oxford University Press. He has also published several English language textbooks, including Impact Grammar (Pearson: Longman).  He is also currently editor of the journal Language Teaching Research.  In addition to his current position in New Zealand, he has worked in schools in Spain and Zambia and in universities in the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. He has also conducted numerous consultancies and seminars throughout the world.

Hosted by The Department of Linguistics, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, and the Center for Language and Culture.

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