Evidence from neurolinguistic methodologies: Can it actually inform linguistic/language acquisition theories and translate to evidence-based applications?

Leah Roberts, Jorge González Alonso, Christos Pliatsikas, Jason Rothman.
Second Language Research

This special issue is a testament to the recent burgeoning interest by theoretical linguists, language acquisitionists and teaching practitioners in the neuroscience of language. It offers a highly valuable, state-of-the-art overview of the neurophysiological methods that are currently being applied to questions in the field of second language (L2) acquisition, teaching and processing. Research in the area of neurolinguistics has developed dramatically in the past 20 years, providing a wealth of exciting findings, many of which are discussed in the articles in this issue of the journal. The goal of this commentary is twofold. The first is to critically assess the current state of neurolinguistic data from the point of view of language acquisition and processing – informed by the articles that comprise this special issue and the literature as a whole – pondering how the neuroscience of language/processing might inform us with respect to linguistic and language acquisition theories. The second goal is to offer some links from implications of exploring the first goal towards informing language teachers and the creation of linguistically and neurolinguistically-informed evidence-based pedagogies for non-native language teaching.