Bill VanPatten

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Bill VanPatten is a former Professor of Spanish and Second Language Acquisition at Michigan State University. He specializes in second language acquisition, which he investigates on both theoretical and practical levels, using techniques from psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, and cognitive psychology. VanPatten is the author of the textbook Destinos, which is designed for use with Spanish courses.

He worked with the theory of input processing in second language acquisition, which aims to offer an explanation on how L2 learners process input. This term was first used by professor Bill VanPatten. Since he grew up in a multilingual home environment he strongly believes in the huge benefits being able to speak, read and write. VanPatten considered that most people have looked language as something static, therefore there is a rule to learn it by practicing and then when it is enough relevant it is on your head.

However, VanPatten considers that in learning language, first, you have to process language by hearing and reading in order to get enough data to build up over time the linguistic system. To exemplify this theory, VanPatten mentions that you just have to give people a couple of chunks of language and make them do something with them so that they have to process language somehow, thus to see how language grows in the brain.


  • Dust Storm: Stories from Lubbock[2]
  • From Input To Output: A Teacher's Guide to Second Language Acquisition
  • Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen (with James F. Lee)
  • Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction (with Jessica Williams)
  • Key Terms in Second Language Acquisition (with Alessandro G. Benati)
  • Studies in Second Language Acquisition (with Susan Gass)[3]
  • Research in Second Language Processing and Parsing" (with Jill Jegerski)[4]


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