Multiple factors in second language acquisition: The CASP model

Luna Filipovic, John A. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a new model of second language acquisition consisting of multiple interacting principles and inspired by work on complex adaptive systems. The model is referred to as CASP, short for complex adaptive system principles for second language acquisition. It is informed by a broad range of linguistic and psycholinguistic research and supported empirically by recent second language research studies based on a learner corpus. The novelty of our model lies in the definitions that we propose for a number of general and specific principles of learning, in the interactions that we demonstrate between them, in the predictions that we make and illustrate empirically, and in our integration of research findings from numerous areas of the language sciences. The result is a broadly based theory of SLA, which can potentially solve some of the traditional puzzles in this field, e.g., involving when transfer from an L1 does and does not occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-176
Number of pages32
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2013


  • cooperating and competing principles
  • complex adaptive systems
  • L1 transfer into L2
  • learning and processing
  • multifactor model of second language acquisition

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