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By M. Martin O'Shea

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What determines the stage is the preponderance of the structure produced. A person is in stage 2 because the majority of what he or she produces for a given structure is stage 2-like for that structure. Some staged development obeys U-shaped behavior (see U-shaped acquisition). U-shaped behavior occurs when a learner produces something correctly, then begins to produce that same thing incorrectly (usually due to learning something else), and then regains the ability to produce that thing correctly.

Most knowledge is tacit knowledge; most learning is implicit” (p. 306). Key Issues 33 Such positions, to be sure, do not rule out explicit learning completely, or that it plays absolutely no role in SLA. What we mean to underscore here is that such positions suggest a primary and fundamental role for implicit learning in SLA; explicit learning plays a secondary or helpful role, if at all. SLA is largely explicit Few scholars believe that SLA is largely explicit, although some may claim that SLA begins with explicit learning (see below).

In addition, a major claim of those who support a role for interaction in acquisition is that it may produce feedback to learners that they are doing something wrong (see also negative evidence). This feedback could act as a signal that pushes learners Key Issues 39 to “scan the input” subsequently to “fix the problem” in their competence. In this way, interaction and negative evidence might heighten learner attention. Thus, there is an indirect causal link between output and acquisition, with input appearing again as a major and critical intervening factor.

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