Updating the interlanguage hypothesis

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This article revisits the Fossilization Hypothesis, starting with the earliest set of questions (still the most comprehensive) (Selinker & Lamendella 1978) and using them as a basis for updating the Hypothesis.The current understanding of fossilization is presented by introducing an alternative hypothesis, the Selective Fossilization Hypothesis (Han 2009) and, in the light of that alternative, reviewing a selection of fossilizable structures documented in the recent literature.189) This makes it an elusive concept that is very difficult to assess and research.Additionally, there are very vague borders between fossilization and other numerous related concepts such as critical period, maturational constraints, and stabilization.A founding concept in second language acquisition (SLA) research, fossilization has been fundamental to understanding second language (L2) development.The Fossilization Hypothesis, introduced in Selinker's seminal text (1972), has thus been one of the most influential theories, guiding a significant bulk of SLA research for four decades; 2012 marks its fortieth anniversary.For example; English, as a language, is so dynamic in its current existence that native proficiency would be extremely difficult to define.

(Long, 2003) It can be contended, then, that both the current reconstructions of the concept of fossilization, (Han, 2013a; Selinker, 2014) and the criticisms of the research to date (Larsen-Freeman, 2006; Long, 2003) are attempting to revive a concept that has always had problematic implications for SLA theory and will continue to.Finally, problems for the interlanguage hypothesis are discussed.The first public presentation of the ideas leading up to the Interlanguage (IL) Hypothesis occurred a decade ago at the Second International Congress of Applied Linguistics (Selinker 1969; presented in greater detail in Selinker 1972).Abstract Contrastive Analysis, Transfer Analysis, Error Analysis, and Interlanguage are methods used for second language learning investigation. They constitute evolutionary phases in the attempt to understand and explain the nature of the target language learners’ performance.

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