Fall Speaker Series - Bill VanPatten, 09/11

Event Date: 
09/11/2015 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Minor 125

Bill VanPatten, Michigan State University

Title: What Everyone Should Know About Second Language Acquisition

The premise of this presentation is that language teaching ought to be informed by what we know (not believe or think) about language and language teaching. To this end, we will review six major aspects of second language acquisition that can be used as discussion points for addressing curricular decisions. These aspects revolve around the following topics: the nature of language and the nature of mental representation; the essential ingredients in language acquisition; the nature of communication and skill; the role of the first language; individual differences; the role of “shortcuts.”


Bill VanPatten (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is Professor of Spanish and Second Language Studies at Michigan State University. Prof. VanPatten regularly teaches courses in both second language acquisition and second language teaching. He has published widely with eight books, eight edited volumes and over 120 articles and book chapters. In addition, he is the author of best-selling college-level textbooks in Spanish and French, as well as movies and video materials. He has won a variety of awards at the national, regional, and local level for his scholarship and teaching. Currently, he is co-editor of the premier Cambridge journal, Studies in Second Language Acquisition as well as co-editor of the new Routledge series on Foundations of Contemporary Language Teaching.  When not engaged in scholarly activities, Prof. VanPatten writes fiction and is currently completing a new collection of short stories that take place in West Texas called Dust Storm. For more information, please visit his website: https://sites.google.com/site/bvpsla/