Research in Second Language Acquisition

This page collects references to research on second language acquisition, language learning techniques and strategies.

Theories and Research on Language Acquisition

Books are listed in chronological order (by year of publication).

Understanding Second Language Acquisition (1985)

Ellis, Rod: Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985. (323 pages) ISBN 0 19 437081 X.
(Now outdated, but gives an impression of the state of SLA research in the mid 1980s. See Understanding Second Language Acquisition on this website.)

Effective Language Learning (1997)

Graham, Suzanne: Effective Language Learning: Positive Strategies for Advanced Level Language Learning. Modern Languages in Practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1997. ISBN 1-85399-379-6.
This book investigates difficulties that learners of French and German experience when they transition to an advanced level, and the strategies and affective processes that help them overcome these difficulties.

Achieving Success in Second Language Acquisition (2005)

Leaver, Betty Lou; Ehrman, Madeline; Shekhtman, Boris: Achieving Success in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge University Press, 2005. (280 pages) ISBN 9780521546638.
From the description by Cambridge University Press: This clear and informative textbook is designed to help the student achieve optimal success as a language learner and user. Aimed at beginning to intermediate undergraduates and above, it teaches students to understand their own preferences in learning, to develop individual learning plans and approaches, and to select appropriate learning strategies.

Third or Additional Language Acquisition (2007)

De Angelis, Gessica: Third or Additional Language Acquisition. Multilingual Matters, 2007. (160 pages). ISBN 9781847690036.

Understanding Second Language Acquisition (2008)

Ortega, Lourdes: Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Routledge, 2008. (320 pages). ISBN 9780340905593.

Second Language Acquisition Myths (2012)

Brown, Steven; Larson-Hall, Jenifer: Second Language Acquisition Myths: Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2012. (208 pages) ISBN 978-0-472-03498-7.

How Languages are Learned (2013)

Lightbown, Patsy M.; Spada, Nina: How Languages are Learned. Oxford Handbooks For Language Teachers. 4th Edition. Oxford University Press, 2013. (272 pages) ISBN 9780194541268.
This book discusses theories of both first and second language acquisition. It is aimed at language teachers, not researchers, and does not require a background in psycholinguistics, so it is also accessible to general readers with an interest in language learning theories. Nevertheless, the focus is on theories; the book does not provide lesson plans or materials that teachers can directly use in the classroom.
See the book's companion website, where you can download a glossary, discussion questions and other materials. See also the three-part interview with Patsy Lightbown and Nina Spada on YouTube: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Fremdsprachenunterricht und Neurowissenschaften (2013)

Sambanis, Michaela: Fremdsprachenunterricht und Neurowissenschaften. Narr, 2013. (153 Seiten) ISBN 978-3-8233-6800-7.

Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course (2013)

Gass, Susan M.; Behney, Jennifer; Plonsky, Luke: Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course. 4th edition. Routledge, 2013. (624 pages) ISBN 9780415894951.
Companion website.

First Exposure to a Second Language (2014)

Han, Zhaohang; Rast, Rebekah; et al: First Exposure to a Second Language: Learners' Initial Input Processing. Cambridge University Press, 2014. (220 pages) ISBN 9781107017610.

Multilingualism (2015)

Stavans, Anat; Hoffmann, Charlotte: Multilingualism. Key Topics in Sociolinguistics. Cambridge University Press, 2015. (319 pages) ISBN 9781107471481.

Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction (2015)

VanPatten, Bill; Williams, Jessica: Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction. 2nd edition. Routledge, 2015. (296 pages) ISBN 9780415824217.

Introducing Second Language Acquisition (2016)

Saville-Troike, Muriel; Barto, Karen: Introducing Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics. 3rd edition. Cambridge University Press, October 2016. ISBN 9781316603925. (Second edition, 2012 (230 pages): ISBN 9781107010895)

Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition (1993)

Cook, Vivian: Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. Red Globe Press (Macmillan International Higher Education), 1993. (333 pages) ISBN 9780333555347.

Autonomy and Self-Regulated Learning

Language Learning Strategies


(The Myth of) Learning Styles

Bloom's 2 Sigma Problem, Group Instruction and Tutoring

Language Transfer / Linguistic Interference

Language Attrition

Miscellaneous Resources on Language and Linguistics

History of Language Teaching Methods

This is a temporary section.

Child Language Acquisition

(Temporary list of books and links.)

Unsorted Links