Noticing in SLA: is it a necessary condition for learning

Topics: Consciousness, Psychology, Linguistics Pages: 3 (849 words) Published: November 4, 2013
The importance of noticing in SLA: is it a necessary condition for learning? The importance of the processes of conscious and unconscious learning and the subject of interface in SLA development has been an ongoing debate in the field of cognitive psychology. Conscious learning is the idea that learners explicitly process linguistic features in the input that they receive, whilst unconscious learning is the idea that learners implicitly process input that they receive. The concept of conscious learning was eliminated by behaviourist with favour of psychological explanations of SLA; behaviourists believes that, consciousness played no causal role in life and consciousness is a meaning-less, prescientific term, a view expressed by some philosophers (Rey 1983), they came to the conclusion that consciousness cannot be scientifically investigated as conscious experience is subjective, and external observation is impossible, (Lyons 1986; Nisbett and Wilson 1977; Seliger 1983). These opposing theoretical views over conscious and unconscious learning have encouraged further experimental research on this particular concept in SLA, due to the view that second language acquisition is largely implicit. Scholars such as Ellis (1990) and Long (1998) have both looked into the notion of conscious learning; they concluded the view that it does help with the development of a second language, although it is not seen as necessary for learning. Schmidt (1990) puts forward a hypothesis which focuses on conscious learning, with reference to focus on form, he calls his hypothesis the noticing hypothesis; or as Skehan (1998) calls it, ‘the crucial concept of noticing’ (Skehan, 1998, p.48). The concept of noticing is the idea that learners can only acquire elements in the input that they notice. Thus, in order for learners to successfully pick up the language they must pay conscious attention in to the form. Schmidt (1990) supports fully the concept of conscious learning and rejects the...
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