This book explores the contributions that cognitive linguistics and psychology, including neuropsychology, have made to the understanding of the way that second languages are processed and learnt. It examines areas of phonology, word recognition and semantics, examining 'bottom-up' decoding processes as compared with 'top-down' processes as they affect memory. It also discusses second language learning from the acquisition/learning and nativist/connectionist perspectives. These ideas are then related to the methods that are used to teach second languages, primarily English, in formal classroom situations. This examination involves both 'mainstream' communicative approaches, and more traditional methods widely used to teach EFL throughout the world.
The book is intended to act both as a textbook for students who are studying second language teaching and as an exploration of issues for the interested teacher who would like to further extend their understanding of the cognitive processes underlying their teaching.