Cambridge Press English Grammar in Use

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Syntactic categories may also be non-consciously activated once they are well established. MacKay (1990) has reported that highly familiar meanings and syntactic categories of words (in the L1) receive unconscious processing (as shown by priming of semantic and syntactic associates) without entering awareness; however, comprehending what is new requires conscious processing. , utterances (and parts of utterances) that may be exemplars of higher level categories and principles of the linguistic system, but not the principles or the system itself.

Detected without awareness). Learner reports, for example in diary studies, provide another source of information about what learners pay attention to and notice. Schmidt and Frota (1986) reported the results of a diary study in which there were so many instances of L2 use matching the learner’s reports of what had been noticed when interacting with native speakers that the study was taken to support the hypothesis that there is no language learning without attention and noticing. On the other hand, Warden, Lapkin, Swain, and Hart (1995) found no particular relationship between the quantity and quality of linguistic observations recorded by high school students of French in their journals during a summer exchange program and their progress as reflected in test scores.

Chunking appears to be a ubiquitous feature of human memory. ’ (Newell, 1990: 7). The power law of practice describes the rate of acquisition of most skills (see DeKeyser, this volume): for example, Anderson (1982) showed that this function applies to cigar rolling, syllogistic reasoning, book writing, industrial production, reading inverted text, and lexical decision. The critical feature in this relationship is not just that performance, typically time, improves with practice, but that the relationship involves the power law in which the amount of improvement decreases as a function of increasing practice or frequency.

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