Generative second language acquisition Generative second language acquisition

The Centre for Applied Research and Outreach in Language Education (CAROLE) is hosting a one-day seminar, on "Generative Second Language Acquisition and Foreign Language Teaching" moving from theory to implications for teaching, via experimental methods.

The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars with different orientations within the generative framework. The debate should focus on whether and how generative linguistic can contribute to both SLA and FLT research in the present day.


1. Theory

a. What is the current impact of the Minimalist Program on SLA research?

b. How should the notion of a non-native speaker's 'competence' be re-defined within the broader grammar-parser debate? To what extent and in which sub-domains are interlanguage grammars modeled after UG or constrained by processing limitations?

c. To what extent do the Critical Period Hypothesis (consideration for a learner's age) and the analysis of cross-linguistic differences (L1-L2 pairing) inform the current debate in GenSLA?

2. Methodology and experimental data

d. Are acceptability/grammaticality judgments a reliable source of information about a L2 learner's competence?

e. Can neurophysiological research using experimental methods (e.g. neuroimaging, ERP) tell us more about L2 development and about the relationship between innate (UG driven) and general-domain (cognitive-driven) L2 representations?

3. Implications for the language classroom

f. Can the learning vs. acquisition Krashenian distinction be considered still as being valid generalization in GenSLA research?

g. What is the relationship between nature and nurture in both naturalistic and instructed SLA? Should we – in the latter setting – still try to tear apart 'teachable' notions-representations from innate (non-teachable) ones?


Generative second language acquisition is hosted by the , University of Greenwich.