THE PHENOMENON OF ‘ATTENTION’ AND THE “NOTICING HYPOTHESIS”: FROM COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY TO L2 LEARNING
United Arab Emirates University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Recently in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) much attention has been focused on cognitive mechanisms that underpin learners’s performance in tasks with various constraints. The present study focuses on” attention” and other related concepts with respect to their definitions, theories and presents empirical evidence of their role in shaping second language learners’ performance in essay writing; unfocused, and focused correction tasks. First, it demonstrates that the deficiency in L2 learners’ knowledge results in inaccurate composition writing and unsuccessful correction of errors. Second, it offers another interpretation based on the theory of attention and the ‘Noticing’ hypothesis. Such an interpretation is mainly based on the argument that composing in English is a multidimensional activity which requires L2 learners to do more than one thing simultaneously. Finally, this study shows that our students’ failure to perform language tasks may be due, sometimes, to cognitive deficiency, rather than linguistic one. Accordingly, this study argues that language acquisition may not be fully understood without addressing the interaction between language and cognition. This is why further research is needed to know how our students think and how to teach them to think strategically.
Keywords: Noticing hypothesis, Second language Acquisition, Cognitive mechanisms.