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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 11, 2012

Cognitivism, adaptive intelligence, and second language acquisition

Dwight Atkinson,


There is no doubt that the “cognitive revolution,” in tandem with a focus on second language teaching, gave birth to the organized study of second language acquisition (SLA). In this sense, SLA studies has always been a cognitive science, although calls have recently been made to reemphasize and strengthen the connection. This paper: 1) reviews the cognitivist vision of mind/brain which has historically dominated both cognitive science and SLA studies; 2) describes how cognitive science has changed in recent years; and 3) introduces an alternative paradigm in cognitive science, adaptive intelligence, which may help us to better understand SLA.

Purdue University, USA

Published Online: 2012-10-11
Published in Print: 2012-10-10

©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston