Noticing in Second Language Acquisition


  • Zhixuan Zhang


Second Language Acquisition (SLA); Attention; Awareness; Noticing; The Noticing Hypothesis.


In recent decades, the term "Noticing" has been a controversial research topic in the field of cognitive psychology and second language acquisition. Since Schmidt (1990) put forward the noticing hypothesis, many researchers have tried to verify the important role of awareness in second language acquisition (SLA) through various experimental designs. By reviewing the development of the Noticing Hypothesis, and theoretical constructs that underlie the role of noticing, this paper aims to justify the role of noticing as one crucial level of consciousness in enhancing second language learning.


Allport, D. (1979). Conscious and unconscious cognition: a computational metaphor for the mechanism of attention and integration. In L. Nilsson (Ed.), Perspectives on Learning and Memory, 61-66

Atkinson, R. and R. Shiffrin. (1968). Human memory: a proposed system and its control processes. In K. Spense (Ed.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 2, 89-195.

Baruss, I. (1987). Metanalysis of definitions of consciousness. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 6, 321-329.

Battista, J. (1978). The science of consciousness. In K. Pope and J. Singer (Eds.), The Stream of Consciousness, 55–87.

Bowers, K. (1984). On being unconsciously influenced and informed. In K. Bowers and D. Meichenbaum (Eds.), The Unconscious Reconsidered.

Brysbaert, M., Ameel, E., & Storms, G. (2014). Semantic memory and bilingualism: A review of the literature and a new hypothesis. Foundations of bilingual memory.

Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Doi, T. (2014). Reconsidering the Noticing Hypothesis. Accents Asia, 6(2), 14-24.

Dulay, H., & Burt, M. (1973). Should we teach children syntax? Language Learning, 23, 245-58.

Ellis, N. C. (2003). Constructions, chunking, and connectionism: the emergence of second language structures. In Doughty, C., & Long, M. (Eds.), The Handbook of second language acquisition, 63-103.

Fobs, S., & Ellis, R. (1991). Communicating about grammar: A task-based approach. TESOL Quarterly, 25,87-112.

Gass, S. (1988). Integrating Research Areas: a Framework for Second Language Studies Applied Linguistics, 9(2), 198 -217.

Gass, S. M. & Torres, A. (2005). An Investigation of the Ordering Effect of Input and Interaction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 1-131.

Godfroid, A., F. Boers and A. Housen, (2013). An Eye for Words. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35(3), 483-517.

Grabe, W. (2009). Reading In a Second Language: Moving from Theory to Practice, New York: Cambridge University Press, 11-131.

Hanaoka, O. (2007). Output, noticing, and learning: An investigation into the role of spontaneous attention to form in a four-stage writing task. Language Teaching Research, 4(11), 459-479.

Iwanaka, T. & Takatsuka, S. (2007). Influences of attention and noticing on second language acquisition. Okayama University, 221-30.

Izumi, S. (2002). Output, input enhancement, and the noticing hypothesis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, 541-577.

Izumi, S. (2003). Comprehension and production process in second language learning: In search of the psycholinguistic rationale of the output hypothesis. Applied Linguistics, (2), 168-196.

James, W. (1890). The Principles of Psychology. New York: Holt.

Lado, R. (1964). Language teaching: a scientific approach. New York: McGraw Hill.

Leow, R. P. (1997). Attention, Awareness, and Foreign Language Behavior. Language Learning, 473.

Leow, R. P. (1997). Attention, awareness, and foreign language behavior. Language Learning, 467-505.

Long, M. H. (1988). Instructed interlanguage development. In L. M. Beebe (Ed.), Issues in second language acquisition: Multiple perspectives, 115-141.

Lunzer, E. (1979). The development of consciousness. In G. Underwood and R. Stevens (Eds.).

Natsoulas, T. (1987). The six basic concepts of consciousness and William James's stream of thought. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 6, 289-319.

Oakley, D. (1985b). Animal awareness, consciousness, and self-image. In Oakley (Ed.), Brain and Mind.

O'Keefe, J. (1985). Is consciousness the gateway to the hippocampal cognitive map? In D. Oakley (Ed.), A speculative essay on the neural basis of mind.

Pan, L. (2022). A Study on Using Noticing Hypothesis to Improve Learners’ Language Input in Language Learning. Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 1(6)

Peter Robinson, (1995). Review Article Attention, Memory, and the “Noticing” Hypothesis. Language Learning, 45(2), 283-331.

Robinson, P. (1995a). Task complexity and second language narrative discourse. Language Learning, 45,99-140.

Robinson, P. (1995b). Implicit and explicit memory for second language vocabulary. Language Learning, 45-99.

Rooney, D., & Boud, D. (2019). Toward a Pedagogy for Professional Noticing: Learning through Observation. Vocations and Learning, 12(3), 441-457.

Rutherford, W. E. (1987). Second language grammar: Learning and teaching. London: Longman.

Schmidt, R. & Frota, S. (1986). Developing basic conversational ability in a second language: A case–study of an adult learner. In R. Day (Ed.), Talking to Learn. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House.

Schmidt, R. (1990). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 11, 129-158.

Schmidt, R. (1993). Awareness and second language acquisition. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 13, 206-226.

Schmidt, R. (1994). Deconstruction Consciousness in Search of Useful Definition for Applied Linguistics. Aila Review, 11, 11-26.

Schmidt, R. (1995). Attention and awareness in foreign language learning and teaching (Tech. Rep. No. 9). Honolulu: University of Hawaii at Manoa, Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center.

Schmidt, R., & Frota, S. (1986). Developing basic conversational ability in a second language: A case study of an adult learner of Portuguese. In R. R. Day (Ed.), Talking to learn: Conversation in second language acquisition, 237-326.

Schmidt, R. A. (2001). Attention, Cognition and Second Language Instruction. In P. Robinson (Ed.), New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001, 3-32.

Schmidt, R. A. (1995). Consciousness and foreign language learning: A tutorial on the role of attention and awareness in learning, Attention and awareness in foreign language learning, 1-63.

Sharwood Smith, M. (1991). Speaking to many minds: On the relevance of different types of language information for the L2 learner. Second Language Research, 7, 118-132.

Sharwood Smith, M. (1993). Input enhancement in instructed SLA. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 15, 165-179.

Skehan. P. (1989). Individual differences in second language learning. London: Edward Arnold.

Skinner, B. F. (1957). Linguistics across cultures: applied linguistics for language teachers. Canadian Journal of Linguistics, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Tomlin, R. S. & Villa, V. (1994,). Attention in Cognitive Science and Second Language Acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16.

Tomlin, R., &Villa, V. (1994). Attention in cognitive science and SLA. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16, 185-204.

Truscott, J. (1998). Noticing in second language acquisition: a critical review. Second Language Research, 14(2), 103-135.

Tulving, E. (1985). How many memory systems are there? American Psychologist 40, 385-98.

Ünlü, A. (2015). How Alert should I be to Learn a Language? The Noticing Hypothesis and its Implications for Language Teaching. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences.

YE Qing. (2013). Noticing in second language acquisition: a critical review of “noticing hypothesis” and its empirical studies. School of Humanities, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 15(1), 119-123.

Zhang, X., Liu, C., Nepal, S., Yang, C., Dou, W., & Chen, J. (2014). A hybrid approach for scalable sub-tree anonymization over big data using MapReduce on cloud. Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 80(5), 1008-1020.




How to Cite

Zhang, Z. (2022). Noticing in Second Language Acquisition. BCP Education & Psychology, 7, 184–190. Retrieved from