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Agendas for Language Learning Research

Lourdes Ortega (Editor), Alister Cumming (Editor), Nick C. Ellis (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-59070-6
212 pages
March 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
Agendas for Language Learning Research (1118590708) cover image


Currents in Language Learning provides programmatic state-of-the-art overviews of current issues in the language sciences and their applications in first, second, and bi/multilingual language acquisition in naturalistic and tutored contexts.

  • Draws on interdisciplinary perspectives from linguistics, psychology, education, anthropology, sociology, cognitive science, and neuroscience
  • Brings together a team of leading linguists to explore current issues
  • Develops research agendas in areas including: progress and relevance in second language acquisition; usage-based linguistics; age effects in language learning; second language pragmatics; vocabulary knowledge; transfer of learning in second language instruction; language, literacy, and culture; academic language development in schools; practice theory; and evolutionary perspectives on language



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Author Information

Lourdes Ortega is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University. She investigates additional language development in instructed contexts from cognitive-interactionist and usage based perspectives and has long-standing interests in second language writing, foreign language education, and research methods. She serves as Journal Editor of Language Learning.

Alister Cumming is Professor and Head of the Centre for Educational Research on Languages and Literacies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.  His research and teaching focus on writing in second languages, language assessment, language program evaluation and policies, and research methods. He serves as Executive Director of Language Learning.

Nick C. Ellis is Professor of Psychology, Professor of Linguistics, and Research Scientist in the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan. His research interests include language acquisition, cognition, emergentism, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, applied linguistics, and psycholinguistics He serves a General Editor of Language Learning.

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The inaugural volume of the new Currents in Language Learning brings together a stellar group of scholars to address a central question: What is the role of SLA among the many disciplines investigating human language capacity? In other words, what have we learned in the past few decades, what notions inform our research practice and teaching, and what do we have to contribute to other disciplines? The result is a tour de force collection that provides us with an informed sense of the field’s foundations, an insightful analysis of the disciplinary progress, including recent theoretical twists and turns, a compelling synthesis of the findings to date, and, most importantly, an inspiring vision of future directions in the field.—Aneta Pavlenko, Temple University

This first issue of Currents in Language Learning moves forward the study of second language learning along multiple dimensions by demonstrating how researchers have addressed problems emanating from important contexts such as schools. The many problems demand a variety of perspectives on learners' language development; these are richly presented by researchers who have written in their respective areas of expertise. By engaging with other disciplines, the collection positions the study of second language development as critical to the understanding of human behavior and learning.  The volume will be welcomed by readers eager to see second language learning take the central role it deserves in the study of learning.—Carol Chapelle, Iowa State University

Informative and challenging, this collection will stimulate discussion among researchers who approach language learning from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Each chapter contains a vast amount of information, presented by skillful writers who engage the reader and invite interaction with the text. Time and again, I found myself underlining passages to share with colleagues and students.—Patsy M. Lightbown, Concordia University

Currents in Language Learning, a new biennial supplement to Language Learning, aims to provide programmatic state-of-the-art overviews of current issues in the field. This first issue, consisting of contributions from Language Learning’s editors and editorial board members, succeeds admirably in its goal of incorporating diverse disciplinary perspectives to survey the current scene, identify emerging trends, and chart new directions.  Since the editors and board members are among the elite of the discipline, it is satisfying (though not surprising) to find here sophistication in theory and research and a keen sense of what the most important questions are and will be.—Richard Schmidt, University of Hawaii

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