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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reflections on a Career in Second Language Studies: Promising Pathways for Future Research


This paper highlights a series of areas deemed worthy of attention by language researchers. In some cases the research effort would entail following up on studies initiated some years ago and in other cases the effort would involve relatively new research thrusts. The paper includes ideas about research regarding: (1) pathways to success in language learning – language learners as informed consumers, the role of motivation in the L2-FL interface, the language of thought for learning the target language, the impact of L2/FL error correction over time, the use and impact of websites accessed in support of language learning, and language attrition over time; (2) language learner strategies – the fluctuating functions of strategies, refining strategies for language learning, the language strategies of hyperpolyglots, and test-taking strategies; and (3) pushing the envelope with regard to TL pragmatics – the less researched speech acts, the effects of explicit instruction in pragmatics, the learning of pragmatics in the TL classroom from native- and non-native teachers, and the teaching of pragmatics in World Englishes.

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