Second Language Studies | Topics Second Language Studies
S600 | 26854 | Dekydtspotter, L

Topic:  Problems of Learning.  This course investigates a basic
problem of knowledge: To what extent do second language learners
acquire knowledge of structures that are not licensed by their native
grammar? Generally, we will focus on the gap between the information
provided by the input and the state of knowledge that the learner
develops (both cases where knowledge seems to far
exceed the information provided by input and cases where acquisition
seems plodding). We will investigate the following notions: the
poverty of the stimulus problem, the underdetermination problem, the
projection problem, and related paradoxes. We will consider a typology
of poverty of the stimulus argumentation in L2 acquisition and the
centrality of a learnability discussion in L2 work. We will examine
types of explanations that various schools of thought have provided or
suggested about the relationship between
input and learner?s internal systems. Students will be developing
their own research around a central learning problem under the
guidance of the instructor.