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Journal Article

Extending the Scope of the Acculturation/Pidginization Model to Include Cognition

John H. Schumann
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 24, No. 4 (Winter, 1990), pp. 667-684
DOI: 10.2307/3587114
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3587114
Page Count: 18
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Extending the Scope of the Acculturation/Pidginization Model to Include Cognition
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Abstract

This paper examines five cognitive models for second language acquisition (SLA) and assesses how each of them might account for the pidginized interlanguage found in the early stages of SLA. The conclusion drawn from this analysis is that all the models offer some account for how a pidginized interlanguage might be formed, but none provides an adequate explanation of the cognition that would be involved in pidginization. Based on this assessment, the paper discusses criteria for evaluating cognitive models for SLA. In addition, an argument is made that abstract characterizations of learner behavior (principles, rules, strategies, etc.) must not be confused with the cognitive mechanisms that cause the behavior. Finally, it is suggested that the structure and function of the brain might be a good source of ideas about the cognitive architecture and mechanisms involved in SLA and that a complete general theory of second language learning will ultimately have to contain an account of cognitive processing.

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