Understanding Second-Language Acquisition

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(8), 650–651. Reviews the book, Second Language Acquisition Research: Issues and Implications edited by William C. Ritchie (1978). The purpose of the book, according to Ritchie, is to bring together a broad sample of contemporary research work for the use of researchers and students in the fields of neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and related disciplines. Indicative of the growing maturity of the field of second-language acquisition is Dulay and Burt's contribution to the volume. A number of detailed empirical studies are included in the volume, complete with data and full descriptions of materials and analytical techniques. It is difficult in a book of readings to cover all aspects of a domain so vast as second-language acquisition, which cuts across several disciplines and can be viewed from diverse perspectives. In general, the quality of the papers is good and Ritchie clearly has taken his editorial duties seriously since the book is coherently organized and provided with a good index. In the absence of a comprehensive textbook on the topic, this volume will fulfill an obvious need. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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