Attention and awareness in second language learning

John Rogers, Xiuli Yang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This chapter examines the role of attention and awareness in second language (L2) learning, with a particular focus on instructed learning contexts. This chapter begins by providing definitions of some of the key terms and concepts related to this topic, such as noticing, implicit vs. explicit instruction / learning / knowledge, incidental vs. intentional learning, and so on. This is followed by a discussion of the degree that attention, awareness, and explicit instruction can facilitate L2 learning. The chapter also briefly highlights what recent research has revealed with respect to these topics, with a particular emphasis on the value of explicit instruction at the initial stages of L2 learning. This chapter then goes on to offer a practical discussion of how awareness and attentional processes might be harnessed and promoted as part of the teaching process. As part of this discussion, the chapter provides a number of examples of activities and course book materials that are pre-designed to raise students’ awareness and/or draw their attention to target linguistic items (such as particular vocabulary items of interest). The chapter further provides suggestions as to how existing materials might be modified to further influence students’ attentional processes. The chapter concludes with suggestions for an action research and/or replication project that teachers might undertake to investigate the role of attention and/or awareness in their own classroom(s).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational Psychology for TESOL
Subtitle of host publicationA guide for practitioners
EditorsAndrzej Cirocki, Bimali Indrarathne, Sharon McCulloch
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


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