The focus of this special issue is instructed second language acquisition (ISLA). It is to explore some of the most recent developments in this area of SLA research and its implications for classroom instruction. Drawing on some current definitions (Leow, 2015; Loewen, 2015; Nassaji, 2015; Nassaji & Fotos, 2010), ISLA is defined as an area of SLA that investigates not only the effects but also the processes and mechanisms involved in any form-focused intervention (explicit or implicit) with the aim of facilitating language learning and development. Instructed SLA differs from naturalistic SLA, which refers to second language (L2) acquisition taking place through exposure to language in naturalistic language learning settings with no formal intervention (Doughty, 2003). It is also different from classroom instruction with no focus on form. Furthermore, although instructed SLA is often taken to refer to what is learned inside the classroom, instructed SLA can also take place outside the classroom through, for xample, various instructional strategies (such as feedback, tasks, or explanation) that are often associated with instruction. Of course, this does not mean that the processes involved in SLA in and outside the classroom are exactly the same. Although there might be commonalities in learning processes, the classroom context has its unique features that might have an impact on learning. For example, in classroom learning a group of learners come together in a particular place to learn the language jointly during a given period of time. This might have an impact on learning opportunities in terms of the nature of the discourse created, learners’ participation, interaction, and engagement with language. As Allwright (1984, p. 156) pointed out, language interaction in the classroom setting is collectively constructed by all learners and “the importance of interaction in classroom learning is precisely that it entails this joint management of learning.”
Allwright, R. (1984). The importance of interaction in classroom language learning. Applied Linguistics, 5, 156-171.
Cook, V. (1991). Second language learning and language teaching. London: Edward Arnold.
Doughty, C. (2003). Instructed SLA: Constraints, compensation, and enhancement. In C. J. Doughty & M. H. Long (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 256-310). Oxford: Blackwell.
Doughty, C., & Williams, J. (Eds.). (1998). Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dulay, H., Burt, M., & Krashen, S. (1982). Language two. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ellis, R. (2006). Current issues in the teaching of grammar: An SLA perspective. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 83-107.
Ellis, R. (2008). The study of second language acquisition (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Housen, A., & Pierrard, M. (2005). Investigations in instructed second language acquisition. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Krashen, S. (1985). The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. Oxford: Pergamon.
Krashen, S., & Terrell, T. (1983). The natural approach: Language acquisition in the classroom. Oxford: Pergamon.
Larsen-Freeman, D., & Long, M. H. (1991). An introduction to second language acquisition research. London: Longman.
Leow, R. (2015). Explicit learning in the L2 classroom: A student-centered approach. New York: Routledge.
Loewen, S. (2015). Introduction to instructed second language acquisition. New York: Routledge.
Long, M. (1983). Does second language instruction make a difference. TESOL Quarterly, 17, 359-382.
Nassaji, H. (2015). The interactional feedback dimension in instructed second language learning: Linking theory, research, and practice. London: Bloomsbury.
Nassaji, H. (2016). Research timeline: Form-focused instruction and second language acquisition. Language Teaching, 49, 35-62.
Nassaji, H., & Fotos, S. (2010). Teaching grammar in second language classrooms: Integrating form-focused instruction in communicative context. London: Routledge.
Norris, J. M., & Ortega, L. (2000). Effectiveness of l2 instruction: A research synthesis and quantitative meta-analysis. Language Learning, 50, 417-528.
Schwartz, B. (1993). On explicit and negative data effecting and affecting competence and linguistic behavior. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 15, 147-163.
Spada, N. (1997). Form-focused instruction and second language acquisition: A review of classroom and laboratory research. Language Teaching, 29, 1-15.
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