Input processing and processing instruction: pedagogical and cognitive considerations for L3 acquisition

Alessandro Benati, John W. Schwieter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Input Processing refers to the initial process by which learners connect grammatical forms with their meanings as well as how they interpret the roles of nouns in relationship to verbs. The pedagogical intervention derived from this theoretical framework, Processing Instruction (PI), has consistently shown success at improving second language (L2) learners’ processing strategies. PI helps learners to intake “better input” by directing their attention to targeted forms during input processing and to assign grammatical and semantic roles. Although previous findings reveal that PI is an effective pedagogy in L2 learning, in this chapter we explore whether similar benefits would hold for third language (L3) learning. Through considerations related to the complimentary and competitive nature of first languages (L1s) and L2s, along with insight from cognitive bilingualism, we advocate for future studies to test the hypotheses discussed in this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationL3 Syntactic Transfer
Subtitle of host publicationModels, New Developments and Implications
EditorsTanja Angelovska, Angela Hahn
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-9027265609
ISBN (Print)978-9027243768
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameBilingual Processing and Acquisition
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing


  • cognitive bilingualism
  • L3 learning
  • input processing
  • processing instruction


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