Consciousness and Second Language Learning Author: John Truscott

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13 Nov 2014
Second Language Acquisition
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This book explores the place of consciousness in second language learning. It offers extensive background information on theories of consciousness and provides a detailed consideration of both the nature of consciousness and the cognitive context in which it appears. It presents the established Modular Online Growth and Use of Language (MOGUL) framework and explains the place of consciousness within this framework to enable a cognitively conceptualised understanding of consciousness in second language learning. It then applies this framework to fundamental concerns of second language acquisition, those of perception and memory, looking at how second language representations come to exist in the mind and what happens to these representations once they have been established (memory consolidation and restructuring).


This is a masterly and enlightening treatment of the challenging topic that is consciousness. It is informed by cutting-edge research from within cognitive science which is then applied, in clear and concise terms, to the vexed but vital question of how conscious processes might influence the acquisition and use of second languages. Highly recommended.

- Mike Sharwood Smith, Academy of Social Sciences, Warsaw, Poland

Truscott advances the understanding of the cognitive processes underlying second language development by providing a clear and readable treatment of the longstanding and difficult phenomenon of consciousness. Situated within a psychologically plausible model of second language development, this thought-provoking work has much to contribute to current debates in cognitive approaches to language learning and teaching.

- Melinda Whong, University of Leeds, UK

John Truscott explores the links between consciousness and second language learning by giving a wealth of detailed, precise and concise information, along with cutting-edge research from cognitive science, on the conscious and unconscious processes that influence the acquisition and the use of language... (This) book offers stimulating reading for researchers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers and anyone else interested in how we learn and how we should teach, especially in SLA.

- BAAL News, 107/108, 2015 - Argyro Kanaki, University of Dundee, UK

In a word, this work by Truscott supports the study of second language development by offering a vivid and readable investigation of the long-standing and intractable phenomenon of consciousness. This inspiring piece has greatly contributed to the on-going debates in cognitive approaches to language teaching and language learning.

- LINGUIST List 26.5367 - Mohamed Yacoub, Missouri State University, USA

Author Biography:

John Truscott is a Professor in the Center for Teacher Education, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. His research interests include second language acquisition, cognitive science, linguistic theory and syntax and he has published extensively on these topics.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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