Epilogue - Whither CAF?

Alexis Housen, Folkert Kuiken, Ineke Vedder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


CAF is a research domain that has received increased attention in recent years and whose goals and scope are becoming increasingly clear (Housen & Kuiken 2009). However, the larger picture in this domain of research is often still obscured by the sheer broadness of its scope and its multiple objectives, and because relevant work has mainly appeared in isolated publications rather than in focused collected volumes. With these concerns in mind, the present volume has been compiled as a selection of new studies which collectively illustrate the converging and some- times diverging approaches that different disciplinary perspectives (linguistic, cognitive, pedagogic) bring to the study of complexity, accuracy and fluency as basic dimensions of L2 knowledge, use, development and learning.
The eleven contributions in this book address fundamental issues related to the definition of CAF as scientific constructs, the nature of their linguistic cor- relates and cognitive underpinnings, their connections and interdependency, the empirical operationalisation and measurement of CAF and the manifestation and development of CAF in L2 use and learning. Several of these issues were formulated as questions or challenges which were offered to the contributors to this volume as guidelines for reflection and as topics for discussion. Although all chapters, in their own way, address one or several of these challenges explicitly or implicitly, it is only natural, given the complexity and scope of these challenges, that at the end of this volume, clear and conclusive answers will often still be lacking and more new questions may have been raised than have actually been answered. Also misconceptions about the status and goals of CAF research, about its underlying assumptions and its relationship to other domains of research in applied linguistics and SLA (e.g. on L2 developmental patterns, transfer, instruction, implicit and explicit knowledge and learning) may still remain. It is to some of these pending issues and misconceptions that we turn in this epilogue.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDimensions of L2 Performance and Proficiency
Subtitle of host publicationComplexity, Accuracy and Fluency in SLA
EditorsAlex Housen, Folkert Kuiken, Ineke Vedder
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-90-272-1305-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameLanguage Learning & Language Teaching

Bibliographical note

Alex Housen, Folkert Kuiken, Ineke Vedder


  • second language acquisition
  • language proficiency
  • complexity
  • accuracy
  • fluency


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