Cognitive Factors in Learning about Structured Sequences Journal Article uri icon



  • Cognitive science has developed a number of experimental techniques for studying how people learn about sequentially structured stimulus material. We describe these techniques, review findings they have produced, and discuss the findings' relevance for understanding the mastery of syntax during second language learning. Three issues are addressed: (a) the nature or content of what is learned and how it might be represented in the language learner's knowledge base, paying special heed to acquiring abstract rules versus generalizing across stored examples, (b) the role of conscious awareness in syntactic learning, and (c) the role of limited-capacity processing or focal attention in syntactic learning. Care is taken to distinguish between the latter two factors—Focal attention to the task of learning about syntax and conscious awareness of particular syntactic structures are not the same thing and may well play different roles in successful acquisition.

publication date

  • June 1, 1994

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • June 11, 2014 9:19 AM

Full Author List

  • Carr TH; Curran T

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0272-2631

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1470-1545

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 205

end page

  • 230


  • 16


  • 2