Cognitive Bases of Second Language Fluency

Cognitive Bases of Second Language Fluency

Cognitive Bases of Second Language Fluency

Cognitive Bases of Second Language Fluency

Synopsis

Winner of the 2011 Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize

Exploring fluency from multiple vantage points that together constitute a cognitive science perspective, this book examines research in second language acquisition and bilingualism that points to promising avenues for understanding and promoting second language fluency. Cognitive Bases of Second Language Fluencycovers essential topics such as units of analysis for measuring fluency, the relation of second language fluency to general cognitive fluidity, social and motivational contributors to fluency, and neural correlates of fluency. The author provides clear and accessible summaries of foundational empirical work on speech production, automaticity, lexical access, and other issues of relevance to second language acquisition theory. Cognitive Bases of Second Language Fluencyis a valuable reference for scholars in SLA, cognitive psychology, and language teaching, and it can also serve as an ideal textbook for advanced courses in these fields.

Excerpt

The Cognitive Science and Second Language Acquisition (CS&SLA) series is designed to provide accessible and comprehensive coverage of the links between basic concepts, and findings, in cognitive science (CS) and second language acquisition (SLA) in a systematic way. Taken together, books in the series should combine to provide a comprehensive overview of the conceptual and methodological intersects between these two fields. This means the books in the series can be read alone, or (more profitably) in combination. the field of sla is related to, but distinct from, linguistics, applied linguistics, cognitive psychology, and education. However, while a great many published book series address the link between sla and educational concerns, sla and linguistics, and sla and applied linguistics, currently no series exists which explores the relationship between sla and cognitive science. Research findings and theoretical constructs from cognitive science have become increasingly influential upon sla research in recent years. Consequently there is great reason to think that future sla research, and research into its educational applications, will be increasingly influenced by concerns addressed in cs and its subdisciplines. the books in the CS&SLA series are intended to facilitate this interdisciplinary understanding, and are grouped into four domains: (1) knowledge representation; (2) cognitive processing; (3) language development; and (4) individual differences.

Norman Segalowitz addresses the goals of the CS&SLA series admirably well in the present book, Cognitive Bases of Second Language Fluency, by putting the study of fluency in a broad cognitive science perspective. While centrally concerned with the second of the domains of cognitive science just described, cognitive processing, the implications of research into second language fluency for our understanding of knowledge representation, language development, and individual differences is made very clear. Beginning with his stated goal, “to locate the idea of fluency in a context that is much broader than what people usually think about when considering fluency in a language other than their native tongue,” in the first chapter Norman Segalowitz describes the multidimensional nature of the construct of fluency, its place at the . . .

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