Diane Larsen-Freeman

Diane Larsen-Freeman
University of Michigan | U-M

Doctor of Philosophy

About

108
Publications
86,645
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12,352
Citations
Citations since 2016
29 Research Items
7197 Citations
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Publications

Publications (108)
Article
Full-text available
The following is an edited transcript of a webinar that took place on 11 June 2022 between Diane Larsen-Freeman and seven colleagues (in alphabetical order: Anne Burns, Hossein Farhady, Mathias Schulze, Scott Thornbury, Benjamin White, Henry Widdowson, and Yasin Yazdi-Amirkhiz), who generously took the time to formulate and submit questions in adva...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In contemporary methodological thinking, replication is increasingly holding an important place in various disciplines, including applied linguistics. At the same time, relatively little attention has been paid to replication in the context of complex dynamic systems theory (CDST), perhaps due to uncertainty regarding the epistemology–methodology m...
Article
The data‐rich articles in this special issue invite readers to consider how grammar and multimodality enact social practices. In particular, they propose a reconceptualization of grammar, moving beyond an autonomous system of items and combinatorial rules to demonstrate how grammar is an embodied resource for social interaction. In this discussion,...
Article
Full-text available
Complexity theory/dynamic systems theory has challenged conventional approaches to applied linguistics research by encouraging researchers to adopt a pragmatic transdisciplinary approach that is less paradigmatic and more problem-oriented in nature. Its proponents have argued that the starting point in research design should not be the quantitative...
Article
Full-text available
WATCH THE VIDEO: https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1FS4y1j7ed - In contemporary methodological thinking, replication holds a central place. However, relatively little attention has been paid to replication in the context of complex dynamic systems theory (CDST), perhaps due to uncertainty regarding the epistemology-methodology match between these do...
Article
Full-text available
Learner agency refers to the feeling of ownership and sense of control that students have over their learning. Agentive learners are motivated not only to learn but also to take responsibility for managing the learning process. Learner agency emerges, grows, and is expressed through meaningful interactions within a community of stakeholders which...
Chapter
Complexity Theory, now referred to in second language development as Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST), introduces a holistic, ecological, and relational systems account into research on language classrooms. It is a post-structuralist, non-reductionist approach that accords agency to language learners and considers learning to be a dynamic nonl...
Article
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We report on a complex dynamic systems study of an untutored adult French learner’s development of English syntax, specifically two non-finite adverbial constructions. The study was conducted over one academic year of 30 weeks. From an analysis of L2 speech samples collected weekly, certain patterns in the flux emerged. The learner’s ensuing second...
Article
Chaos/complexity theory (C/CT) is a transdisciplinary systems theory that deals fundamentally with change. Although it originated in the physical sciences and mathematics, it has been widely used in the social sciences and humanities. In essence, it is a poststructural metatheory with its own ontology and epistemology. Complex systems are dynamic,...
Article
This article traces the evolution of the field of second language acquisition/development (SLA/SLD). It chronicles the evolution in terms of different disciplines and theories that have been influential, beginning with the origin of SLA/SLD in linguistic thinking and expanding its scope of inquiry to psycholinguistics. It has developed further with...
Article
The launching of The Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning is a signal achievement. I begin this commentary by speculating on why it is that the Psychology of Language Learning (PLL) has enjoyed such vigor of late. I expect that one reason is the coming together of a critical mass of researchers and strong leaders over their shared intere...
Article
Agency has attracted considerable attention, especially of late. Nevertheless, perceptions of language learners as nonagentive persist. In this article the Douglas Fir Group's call for a transdisciplinary perspective is heeded in a Complex Dynamic Systems Theory's (CDST) conceptualization of agency. It is suggested that CDST maintains the structure...
Chapter
This chapter begins by introducing Complexity Theory and five of its theoretical tenets that have implications for both second language development (SLD) and language planning and policy (LPP). The tenets have to do with qualities of complex systems: emergence, interconnected levels and timescales, nonlinearity, dynamism, and context dependence. Th...
Article
The field of Second Language Acquisition/Development (SLA/D) has evolved to a point where the paradigm gap between SLA/D and world Englishes (WE), identified by Sridhar and Sridhar (1986), has narrowed. The closing of the gap is due in part to SLA/D and WE leaving behind their ontological inheritance of a static competence from linguistics and find...
Article
This article begins by situating modern-day second language acquisition (SLA) research in a historical context, tracing its evolution from cognitive to social to sociocognitive accounts. Next, the influence of the zeitgeist is considered. In this era of rapid change and turmoil, there are both perils and opportunities afforded by globalization. In...
Article
Full-text available
I have always been interested in learning. I chose to study psychology as an undergraduate because it was in my psychology courses that I got to study theories of learning. I learned that the psychologists couldn't agree on what the explanandum was. Some thought it was human behavior; others argued for mental competence. It was only later that I fo...
Article
William A. Kretzschmar Jr , Language and complex systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp xiv. + 230. ISBN 9781107100459. - Diane Larsen-Freeman, Philip Herdina
Article
Full-text available
Bringing a complex systems perspective to bear on classroom-oriented research challenges researchers to think differently, seeing the classroom ecology as one dynamic system nested in a hierarchy of such systems at different levels of scale, all of which are spatially and temporally situated. This article begins with an introduction to complex dyna...
Article
This selective review of the second language acquisition and applied linguistics research literature on grammar learning and teaching falls into three categories: where research has had little impact (the non-interface position), modest impact (form-focused instruction), and where it potentially can have a large impact (reconceiving grammar). Overa...
Article
http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/106962/1/modl12097.pdf
Article
As applied linguists know very well, how we use language both constructs and reflects our understanding. It is therefore important that we use terms that do justice to our concerns. In this presentation, I suggest that a more apt designation than multilingual or second language acquisition (SLA) is multilingual or second language development (SLD)....
Article
Instruction is motivated by the assumption that students can transfer their learning, or apply what they have learned in school to another setting. A common problem arises when the expected transfer does not take place, what has been referred to as the inert knowledge problem. More than an academic inconvenience, the failure to transfer is a major...
Chapter
Chaos/complexity theory (C/CT) and closely related dynamic systems theory were first proposed in the physical sciences and mathematics to explain the behavior of complex dynamic systems. The systems usually involve a large number of elements or agents, which interact and give rise to a different order of complexity at a higher level. An oft-cited e...
Article
Full-text available
The general trend in language education over the years has been to ascribe to language learners increasing power and responsibility for their own learning. While this is commendable, the autonomy of learners is still constrained by views of language that see learners as being mere ?hosts? of another?s language. Such views restrict learners to roles...
Article
In this plenary address, I suggest that Complexity Theory has the potential to contribute a transdisciplinary theme to applied linguistics. Transdisciplinary themes supersede disciplines and spur new kinds of creative activity (Halliday 2001 [1990]). Investigating complex systems requires researchers to pay attention to system dynamics. Since appli...
Article
Repetition is common in language use. Similarly, having students repeat is a common practice in language teaching. After surveying some of the better known contributions of repetition to language learning, I propose an innovative role for repetition from the perspective of complexity theory. I argue that we should not think of repetition as exact r...
Chapter
An initial consideration in thinking about learning is defining what it is that is being learned. This is no small order in applied linguistics, for definitions of language are abundant and diverse (see, for example, Cook and Seidlhofer’s 12 definitions (1995: 4) or Cook’s six (this volume). In order to limit the discussion, I will represent two do...
Article
It is a good practice to try to understand matters at hand by first stepping back and adopting an historical perspective, which I will begin this review by doing. Next, I will take up the challenges that each of the authors in the articles in this volume has presented for the study of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) in second language acqui...
Article
This article presents an analysis of interactions in the usage, structure, cognition, coadaptation of conversational partners, and emergence of linguistic constructions. It focuses on second language development of English verb-argument constructions (VACs: VL, verb locative; VOL, verb object locative; VOO, ditransitive) with particular reference t...
Article
Language has a fundamentally social function. Processes of human interaction along with domain-general cognitive processes shape the structure and knowledge of language. Recent research in the cognitive sciences has demonstrated that patterns of use strongly affect how language is acquired, is used, and changes. These processes are not independent...
Article
Applied linguists have quite naturally turned to linguists’ theories for their conceptions of language. Until recently, dominant theories in linguistics have encouraged applied linguists to view language as an abstract, static system. However, static views of language are not especially helpful when it comes to language teaching, language acquisiti...
Article
Diane Larsen-Freeman is a professor of education, professor of linguistics, and research scientist at the English Language Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is also a distinguished senior faculty fellow at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, United States.
Article
Changes to research methodology motivated by the adoption of a complexity theory perspective on language development are considered. The dynamic, nonlinear, and open nature of complex systems, together with their tendency to self-organization and interaction across levels and time scales, require changes in traditional views of the functions and ro...
Article
Firth and Wagner's (1997) call for a more socially and contextually situated view of second language acquisition (SLA) research has generated a great deal of discussion and debate, a summary of which is offered in this reflective commentary. Given the individualistic, cognitive origin of the SLA field, such controversy is entirely understandable. W...
Article
The book introduces key concepts in complexity theory to readers concerned with language, its learning, and its use. It demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of these concepts to a range of areas in applied linguistics including first and second language development, language teaching, and discourse analysis. It concludes with a chapter tha...
Article
In the late 1980s, I reviewed what was known about the field of second language acquisition (SLA), first with a co-author in a book (Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991) and then in a highly condensed form for a 25th anniversary issue of the TESOL Quarterly (Larsen-Freeman, 1991). Stock-taking activities can be very useful, and I was grateful for these o...
Article
We share an interest in language. We want to understand it, its origins, structure, functions, use, acquisition, instruction, and change. We seek causes for observed effects. Scientific studies of language representation and competence and of language acquisition and use are complementary. Yet these two theoretical enterprises have traditionally be...
Article
Seeing language as a complex, dynamic system and language use/acquisition as dynamic adaptedness ('a make-do' solution) to a specific context proves a useful way of understanding change in progress, such as that which occurs with a developing L2 system. This emergentist shift of perspective provides another way of understanding previously observed...
Article
We conducted a study to determine if informal learners of ESL had the same acquisition order of morphemes as formal learners have been found to possess. Secondly, we wanted to find out what would happen to the established order if only certain of the grammatical morphemes were to be explained and drilled. We found that we had overestimated the abil...
Article
Second language (L2) acquisition researchers have acknowledged the need for an index of development (Hakuta 1975), comparable to the MLU (Mean Length of Utterance) of first language acquisition research, with which L2 researchers could compare populations with similar target language proficiencies. In an attempt to delineate a L2 index of developme...
Article
Second language acquisition researchers (Dulay and Burt 1973, 1974a; Bailey, Madden and Krashen 1974) have claimed there exists an acquisition order of English morphemes to which ESL learners, despite their different ages and language backgrounds, adhere. Thus far, however, an explanation for the occurrence of such a morpheme order has eluded resea...
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
Nick Ellis's article is impressive for its breadth of scholarship and the cogent case made for frequency as an important factor in second language acquisition (SLA). This response begins with a brief historical sketch, which aims to contextualize the frequency factor in terms of the evolution of SLA research. Although researchers have known about a...
Article
Shows how English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teachers can demystify the process of verb tense selection by showing students their functional relationship at the text level. (Author/VWL)
Article
Suggests that from a pedagogical perspective, there is a cost to associating grammar with rules. Discusses reasons for underlying rules and gives implications for a reason-based approach to teaching grammar. (Author/VWL)
Article
Just as applied linguistics (AL) may be said to be an emerging discipline, so too is one of its sub-fields, second language acquisition (SLA). The parallelism may not be surprising; after all, a difference of only about twenty years separates the points at which the two were identified as autonomous fields of inquiry. Then, too, the two share centr...
Article
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There are many striking similarities between the new science of chaos/complexity and second language acquisition (SLA) Chaos/complexity scientists study complex nonlinear systems They are interested in how disorder gives way to order, of how complexity arises in nature ‘To some physicists chaos is a science of process rather than state, of...
Article
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Grammar is often misunderstood in the language teaching field. The misconception lies in the view that grammar is a collection of arbitrary rules about static structures in the language. Further questionable claims are that the structures do not have to be taught, learners will acquire them on their own, or if the structures are taught, the lessons...
Article
The purpose of this study was to align verbal descriptions of test takers' language performance with distributions of the numerical scores they received on the three sections (Listening Comprehension, Structure and Written Expression, and Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The study used the...
Article
Since its emergence some 20 years ago, the field of second language acquisition research has focused on two areas: the nature of the language acquisition process and the factors which affect language learners. Initial research was essentially descriptive. More recently, researchers have been attempting to explain how acquisition occurs and how lear...
Article
For hundreds of years, language educators have alternated between favoring language teaching approaches which focus on language form and those which emphasize language use or which focus on the message (Celce-Murcia 1979). For the greater part of this past decade, it has been the latter which have been fashionable. As a consequence, language teache...
Article
Five innovative methodologies currently practiced in the teaching of foreign languages are discussed: the Silent Way, Suggestopedia, Community Language Learning, the Comprehension Approach, and the Communicative Approach. In order to understand how these methodologies are innovative, a discussion of teaching practices during the first half of the t...
Article
The field of second language acquisition (SLA) developed from the study of second language teaching, and includes the study of the learning setting, learner variables, the nature of the target language and the learner native language, and the reasons for language learning. Much SLA research to date focuses on one or another of these dimensions (lin...
Article
The following papers and reports on discourse analysis are included here: (1) "Discourse Analysis, What's That?" by Hatch and Long; (2) "Contextual Analysis of English: Applications to TESL" by Celce-Murcia; (3) "Discourse and Second Language Acquisition of Yes/No Questions" by Vander Brook, Schlue, and Campbell; (4) "An Approach to Conducting Rese...
Article
This paper is a report on the progress we are making in an attempt to establish a second language acquisition index of development. Such an index would be a developmental yardstick by which researchers could expediently and reliably gauge a learner's proficiency in a second language. Encouraged by the findings of an earlier pilot study, a more ambi...
Article
This study presents a formal device which can be used to display interlanguage variability while revealing its overall systematicity. Two types of variability are recognized: (1) production of a number of variant structures for a single target language structure at one point in time; and (2) variation over time that is attributable to the instabili...

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