Date of Original Version



Book Chapter

Abstract or Description

Language learning is a three-way interaction between the input, the learner, and the interactional context (Bloom, 1974). This three-way interaction provides a general framework for understanding first and second language acquisition, in both naturalistic and formal contexts. In order to elaborate this general framework, we need to model its three components: 1. The input. We need to know how the linguistic input can be structured to maximize effective learning. What aspects of the phonology, syntax, semantics, and morphology of the input does the learner use to “crack the code” of the new language? 2. The learner. We need to understand exactly how the cognitive abilities of the learner shape the process and outcome of second language instruction. 3. The context. Traditionally, the classroom environment maintains a rather uniform structure in which interaction is controlled by the instructor. How does this framework affect learning and how can it be varied to improve the learning process?


A revised version appears in 'Cognition and Second Language Instruction' edited by Peter Robinson, Cambridge University Press.