Prediction and error-based learning in L2 processing and acquisition: a conceptual review

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There is currently much interest in the role of prediction in language processing, both in L1 and L2. For language acquisition researchers, this has prompted debate on the role that predictive processing may play in both L1 and L2 language learning, if any. In this conceptual review, we explore the role of prediction and prediction error as a potential learning aid. We examine different proposed prediction mechanisms and the empirical evidence for them, alongside the factors constraining prediction for both L1 and L2 speakers. We then review the evidence on the role of prediction in learning languages. We report computational modelling which underpins a number of proposals on the role of prediction in L1 and L2 learning, then lay out the empirical evidence supporting the predictions made by modelling, from research into priming and adaptation. Finally, we point out the limitations of these mechanisms in both L1 and L2 speakers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
Early online date9 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Nov 2021

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© The Author(s), 2021.

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