Vol. 6. No. 3 A-2 December 2002
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'Noticing' in SLA: Is it a valid concept?

Jeremy Cross
British Council, Nagoya, Japan
< jeremy.cross@jpa.britishcouncil.or.jp>


This article focuses on the role of "noticing" and "noticing the gap" in second language acquisition. It is argued that this notion has gained wide support on the basis of intuition and assumption rather than on the findings of appropriate and exhaustive empirical research. The aim of this paper is twofold: a) to consider the theoretical constructs that underlie the role of noticing, and b) to assess the validity of the assumption that noticing enhances language acquisition. This paper concludes that 1) empirical research has yet to validate the role of noticing in language acquisition, 2) an alternative view offered by Truscott (1998), which suggests that noticing is merely tied to the acquisition of metalinguistic knowledge, is worthy of investigation, and 3) future research into the relationship between training learners to notice linguistic forms and the acquisition of metalinguistic knowledge may enhance our understanding of noticing in second language acquisition.

Keywords: ESL,EFL,noticing,SLA,second language acquisition, strategies,cognition


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