LCL Grad News

Talk by Bill VanPatten

Please join us for a talk by

Bill VanPatten, Michigan State University

What If There Are No Rules?

Monday, November 9, 2015:1:30 to 2:30pm

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Konover Auditorium

The presentation will be followed by light refreshments

Please RSVP to

Summary by Professor VanPatten

In this presentation, I ask the question “What if there are no rules in the classic sense of ‘rules’?” What if language acquisition is not actually “rule learning” as typically conceived by teachers, students, and many researchers? As the reader might imagine, I will present at least one theory in which rules in the classic sense do not form underlying linguistic representation. I will argue that what people think they learn and what is actually learned are two different and mutually exclusive things. I will touch upon the consequences of this for both research and teaching.

Bill VanPatten is Professor of Spanish and Second Language Studies at Michigan State University where he is also affiliate faculty in Cognitive Science and is Director of Romance Language Instruction. Dr. VanPatten has published widely in the fields of second language acquisition and second language teaching, having received honors for his scholarship, leadership, and teaching/mentoring. He is currently co-editor of the international journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition (Cambridge University Press) and sits on other boards for journals and presses. For more information, please visit his website at

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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