Susan Gass

SUSAN GASS

My name is Susan Gass and I’m at Michigan State University.

What we mean by development is that there is a sequence of um stages, for example, that one goes through quite naturally. And it’s a process that’s quite difficult to uh—to interrupt. So if, for example, you think of learning—of—of somebody learning questions in English, it’s quite complex, you have a word. What? Where? When? You have to figure out what those mean. You have to figure out where to put them, that they go in the beginning of the sentence. You have to figure that there’s this little word ‘do’ that you have to put in there sometimes and that you have—that has to have—it has to tell you whether something is singular, plural. So what do you do? What does she do? Or past tense. What did they do? So it’s a—you have to invert sometimes the subject and the verb. Um, and then there are other ways of forming it with other words like ‘how’ and uh ‘are’ and the verb ‘to be. So you’d have “How are you” and that’s—there’s no ‘do.’ So it’s a fairly complex process. And what we find with second language learners is that there—they have their own internal syllabus, if you will. And they—regardless of their native language—and languages form questions in all sorts of different ways. Um, some have it—have a question word that they might use that they put at the beginning or the end. A language like Spanish in the written form has a little upside down question mark that will say, “This is a question that’s following.” So there’s different ways of—of forming questions. But learners seem to follow a natural development path. They might start with just saying a word. Uh, “Where? What?” Um, or even a phrase that’s maybe learned as a chunk. “What’s your name?” Where they may not even understand what’s there. Uh, so that might be a first stage. Then they might have intonation, um they might say, “Oh, cats are where?” And they—they won’t have—move the ver—the word to the front. And what we seem to find is that there’s a natural progression, a natural development that learners follow. And what teachers—teachers are always exasper—exasper—um, uh (interruption) Um, exasperating. (interruption) Teach—teachers are—oh, are we ready? Um, teachers always find themselves exas—oh, my gosh, I’ve got to change the word because it’s not coming out. (interruption) Um, teachers always find themselves quite frustrated because they—they can’t—they may teach something, it may be beyond what a learner is reader for and then the learner makes errors and they just don’t understand what’s going on. Teachers also find themselves quite frustrated when they um—a learner seems to be doing something right and maybe this will go on for a while and then they’ve got it wrong again. And they think, “What’s going on?” And it—it’s frustrating for everyone. But sometimes what’s really happening here is that the learner—it may look as if the learner has a correct form, but they really don’t have the correct system. And let me give an example of that. Um, oh, there was a little girl about five or six, a Japanese speaker and her name was Ogusue and she was learning English and she just—she came over to the United States and she was doing great. She has uh forms like um, “Do you like this? Do you want this? Do you, do you, do you?” And now ‘do you’ is fairly complex. But then a month or two later she starts saying things like, “What do you do it froggie?” Where she’s—it looks like she doesn’t know Cush and formation at all. And what really when you look at what’s happening a little bit more closely, you see that it isn’t that she went from right to wrong, but that ‘do you’ that she was using at the beginning was never a question mark or with ‘do’ and ‘you,’ it was a question word. And Japanese has one question word that they put at the end. So she was probably trying to figure out what is the question word? So any time she had a question she’d do ‘do you.’ Um, even if it’s uh—when she’d say something like, “What do you do this froggie?” And so the ‘do you’ was nothing more than saying, “Here is a question.” It didn’t agree, it wasn’t—what does this froggie do? Which is what that meant. So sometimes when you—when the system—it looks like it’s right and then as more complexity comes into the system, as they learn more, then things begin to look like they—they’ve regressed and they may not have regressed at all. It’s just that they’re adding another layer of complexity. Well, that’s what we mean by development. That’s what we mean by having an internal syllabus, that things are going to progress the way that a learner—it—it—and to some sort of a natural way. And sometimes there’s little way that that particular part can be um interrupted.

Um, I think that we—what we have to do is understand what—what errors mean and that it doesn’t need to cause frustration or anger or we don’t have to see learners as lazy. That what we have to say learners—errors as is really a way of a learner figuring out this puzzle. Um, not that we have to accept them. I don’t think we do. Um, we have to try to deal with them. “OK, no it’s not right. This is how it should be.” Um, and that’s perfectly fine. But I think that it’s our own way of dealing with them of a—of acceptance, if you will, that this is a natural process. It’s going to happen. You cannot learn without making mistakes. You cannot learn how to ride a bike without falling off a few times.

Variation is actually a difficult concept because sometimes what looks like variation that we think is not um systematic, it—it really is systematic but it differs from what we do in our native language. So um one example that I can think of is um, there was a study done a while ago where a learner used the verb ‘to be’ and didn’t use the verb ‘to be’ for very um meaning—very meaningful ways. So ‘to be’ would be used for some—as some sort of descriptive device. Uh, “The wind was blowing.” But to describe an event you—they would use the verb ‘to be.’ So that looks like there may be some—that they’re working something out. And that’s exactly what learners try to do that may look like variation where—where two forms are varying. Um, they’re trying to figure it out. They’ve got this whole system that they—they don’t know what it is. Sometimes they might try something that—but—and it’s not exactly the way we do it in English. And sometimes you have as a stage, you’ll have maybe a free variation where things look pretty random but then they start associating um, you know, one form with one meaning. Then they might have multiple forms with—with a single meaning and vice versa until they finally get the facts figured out.

Um, when language—when learners are—are trying to learn a language, you have to think that they’ve got this incredible amount of language data that they have to figure out what the system is, what the patterns are. They’re different from their own native language. And what they’re doing is creating some sort of regularities in their mind and figuring out what that is. Um, and to us it may look like its—its chaos or as somebody has said, “Word Salad,” but it really isn’t. They’re putting words together and phrases together in—in systematic ways. Um, and it’s our job as people who study second language acquisition to figure out what the system is that unlies the way they’re putting words together in sentences. Is that OK?

Variability um can be caused by a number of things. One of them can just be what the learners are being asked to do or even who they’re talking to. So—and we all have that in our native language. As um—when I’m talking to you, I may talk in a way that I don’t talk when I’m at home with my husband. Uh, when I’m home with my feet up on the—on the table and I may be a little bit um less formal. So we all have some variation. The variation can be in all—in—in different forms. It can have to do with pronunciation. So in a more formal situation, we might articulate things a little bit uh differently. And learners are no different in this regard. Um, stop. (interruption) Um, and learners it’s the same kind of situation. They have um—they—they vary according to whom they’re talking to. They might try out new forms in a—in a less formal situation with friends. They—learners are trying out things all the time. They don’t know exactly—there are many times they don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong and they’ve got these things they’ve heard and they—they’re trying them out. So you might get variation with—according to the person they’re talking to. According to the task they’re being asked to do. So if you ask a learner to read a word list, you’re looking at let’s say pronunciation, you may get what—uh, pronunciation that’s quite exact. You ask them to carry on a conversation with someone and you might get ca—pronunciation that’s not quite the same. So there can be um—and—and again, similarly who they’re—who they’re talking to.

Language universals are constraints on language in a sense. That is, there are certain properties that are common in all languages. To take a very simple example, um all languages—all languages have nouns, all languages have verbs. So when uh a learner comes into a second language-learning situation, we anticipate that they’re going to come in with some information about language in general. Um, to take a little bit more of a complex example, if you think about the—how learners might learn a relative clause. Now a relative clause is a way of modifying a noun. So if I—if there is a group of men and I want to point one out, I might say, “There’s the man who is…”—oh, the man that I’m thinking about is wearing a—uh, stop. Let’s not a relative clause. (interruption) That’s the man—that’s the man who’s wearing a—a—a (interruption) Yeah. OK. So you might think of relative clauses and—and a sentence like—something like um that—that—“That man who was wearing a red sweater is my friend’s husband.” Now if you—there are many ways of forming relative clauses. There are many kinds of relative clauses certainly in English and in other languages. So in the example that I gave, that’s the man who—or my friend’s husband—that’s the man who was wearing—oh, I forgot what the example was. Sorry. (interruption) What did I say? Do you know? (interruption) “The man who is wearing the red sweater… (interruption) OK. If you think of a sentence such as the one I gave, “The man who was wearing a red sweater,” you can think that that ‘who’ which refers to man is the subject of the relative clause. And we call that a subject relative clause. Or “That’s the man that my friend loves.” Um, and the man there is the object of the relative clause—is the object of ‘loves.’ So we different—already two different kinds. We have what are called subject relatives and we have direct object relative clauses. Now what you find in the world languages is that subject relatives tend to be more common, more frequent, easier then direct object relatives and—and then there’s an entire hierarchy. So then the question is “What can we expect of second language learners?” If it’s really a universal that applies across all languages, we would expect learners to learn subject relatives more quickly, um and—and probably faster than direct object relative clauses and other kinds. And in fact, that’s what—what happens. So it’s a way of using what we know about universals to predict what’s likely to—to happen.

So, um when we’re talking about universals, there’s obviously going to be some implications of that and—and what is it um that the learner can do and maybe how can we capitalize on this information. So, for example, um with the relative clause example that I—I gave, the—we can—we will expect that learners will—you wouldn’t need to spend equal time, for example, as a teacher on subject relative clauses direct object because one is going to be much easier than the other. Or there has been research showing—because there is in um—a hierarchy if you will of relative clause types, one can think, well, maybe the hierarchy—if—if one relative clause type—OK, let me just—let me go a little bit further and I hope this doesn’t become to complicated. Um, (interruption) OK. With the relative clause type, there is an implicational hierarchy such that if a—if a language, any language, Swahili or whatever, has as part of its uh possibilities um a direct object relative clause, we know that it has a subject relative clause that they can do that—they could have subject relative clauses too. So that means the presence of one kind implies the presence of another. Now if we think about that, what we can do with this in the classroom and there has been research on this, if something—if one—if the—if knowledge of one thing applies the knowledge of another, maybe we don’t have to teach everything. Maybe we can teach one thing and if that implies knowledge of the other, it will sort of come right—come along with it. And in fact with relative clauses that does happen. Is that OK?

Um, well transfer is—it’s a phenomenon that’s been around forever and ever and ever. And basically in its simplest form and the way people use to conceive of it is that what language learning was all about was transferring form and meaning from the native language to the second language or to the target language as it’s called. Um, and it was really a mechanistic kind of event. You just went in and you took all these forms and you put them into the next language. Maybe you learned the correct phonology and the—and the meaning of the vocabulary, but it—everything—we’re pretty automatic. Well, we’ve come beyond that and an example that I can think of—actually a couple of examples, one in the area of—of grammar. If you think of French and English and how we form sentences with pronouns, in English we say, “I see them.” You have a subject, a verb, and a—uh, and a direct object. In French, for example, we don’t. We say, “I them see.” (speaks French) (speaks Italian) (interruption) And other languages are the same way. Well, if transfer were really an automatic kind of process, we would expect English learners to um—to say, “I see them,” to put the pronoun at the end and French learners to put the pro—to say in English, “I them see.” Well, interestingly enough that doesn’t happen. English speakers do say um (speak French) for example, “I see her.” Um, but French learners of English never see “I them see.” That just doesn’t happen. So people have started looking a little bit more and realizing that this is not an automatic process. Learners are thinking about what is likely to work and what is not. Certainly French learners of—of English see nothing in English of what they’ve learned um, where we do have many pronouns that go before. It just doesn’t hap—we don’t have that word order at all. But English learners learning French can see that, well yes, this order, subject, verb, object, does exist in French. It exists with nouns. So you don’t say, “I the boy see,” you say, “I see the boy.” And so there is some connection that they can—that and English speaker can make. Oh, yes, you can do subject, verb, object. Well, I’ll just do that. But they haven’t realized that there’s a noun/pronoun distinction. Well, of course I don’t need to say that learners are thinking this. But it is—I mean, they’re not thinking of this at night. Oh, I guess they’re not making all these connections. But they—these are—are um not conscious connections that they are making. Another example can be seen in—with the—with the lexicon or anything um. We have certain perceptions of our own language, which we probably feel are unique to our language. So if you take an idiom such as, “Kick the bucket,” it would be highly unlikely if you were learning Japanese and you wanted to use slang expression for, “to die,” that you would transfer that into “Kick the bucket.” Somehow we realize that these idioms are unique to our own language. So it’s not just automatic. Um, there was some interesting research done a while ago with vocabulary, particularly the word ‘break’ which has many, many, many, many meanings. And this was research that was done with Dutch learners of—of—Dutch learners of English. They were asked how they would translate the meanings of um—sorry. (interruption) Um, and Dutch learners of English were asked how they would trans—trans—if they would—how they would use um all of these meanings in English. (interruption) Um, and the Dutch learners of English were asked how they would translate certain Dutch sentences. Sentences ranging from um “The man broke the pencil,” very concrete meaning of ‘to break’ versus meanings such as, “The waves broke on the rocks” or “The boy’s voice broke when he was 13.” And they differentiated. Um, they could use—they would say break. They would—the word in Dutch is ‘breaken.’ They would say—they would translate break for the—“He broke the pen,” but not so much for “The boy—his voice broke um when he was 13” or “The waves broke on—on the rocks.” So they’re discriminating and they’re making decisions about what they think might be more—almost universal in a sense. That the meaning of breaking uh pencil is probably something that every language can do with the equivalent of the word ‘break.’ But break—“The waves break on the rocks,” maybe not. And so transfer whereas we use to think it was a automatic all the time kind of phenomenon, we now realize that learners are participating in a sense, um and I’m saying this very metaphorically, but they are participating in a decision as to what might be successful and what might not. And they don’t always have it right because low and behold we can say, “The waves broke on the rock” in English. But learners think that that’s more unique to their native language, Dutch in this case.

A teacher has an interesting role in this because sometimes you just want to say, “Transfer it.” So I think that a teacher has to be uh tuned—and this is not always possible certainly in an ESL context it’s not because in an ESL context or and EF—well no, an ESL context, you have a—a many—um, just a second. Let me stop. You’re not even dealing with ESL are you? (interruption) Um, so a teacher has—has a—does have a role to play and sometimes can just say, “Well yes, you can do this in English and it’s just like Dutch” or whatever their native language is. And maybe when you’re dealing with languages that are very close that will work a lot more, the odds are probably great then it will. But certainly in an ESL context it’s—it’s somewhat more difficult because you have uh a variety of—of language backgrounds and the teacher rarely knows any or all or them. Certainly not all of them, so it becomes more—more difficult and then you don’t know how much to tell the—tell the child or the student to—to rely on their native language.

Um, input in very simple terms refers to the language that the learner hears or reads or um really serves in some senses data that—that the—that the learner is uh—I don’t like that. Um, I didn’t like the way the sent—the sentence began because I couldn’t finish it. (interruption) Right, and it wasn’t coming out. Um, input in very simple terms refers to the language that the learner’s exposed to. And that could come through reading or uh—or listening in any way um, and participating in conversation which they would uh—that would—I don’t like that end. Just—can you stop it after I said input refers to what they listen to or read or something like that and that’s it? (interruption) Um, interaction refers to um the conversations—generally conversations that a learner engages in with someone else, either another um learner or with a native speaker. And what is important about this is that very often with people who are not proficient in a second language, they find themselves what’s called negotiating. Negotiating form, negotiating meaning. What that refers to is really carrying on a conversation not that’s moving forward in terms of content or topic, but about language per say. Um, so they might not understand something. I have some—an example that I remember from some of my data. These were two learners in a classroom and they were describing something. And one of them said to the other that something was “In him knee.” And the other says, “In him knee?” And they went on, and on, and on, and really negotiated for uh probably a minute or so about the form. Should it be “In his knee,” uh “On him knee,” “On his knee”? So they didn’t know—one of them wasn’t sure about the form of the—of the uh modifier his, him. Um, the other one wasn’t sure about what the preposition was. But they negotiated their way through that until they came to the correct form. They ended up both saying, “On his knee.” So that’s what me—meant by um negotiation and interaction. Now the question is so what. Why is this important to study? Well it—it looks like what happens with second language learners is that these negotiation episodes, if you will, focus their attention on some sort of a problem. Both of these learners knew they didn’t have it quite right. Um, and certainly—possibly even more so when there’s a native speaker in—involved but um they realized that there’s a problem. Um, they—they—a learner—or let’s say a native speaker—somebody might say—I have one example I recall describing um a picture and a learner says um, “I have three bird.” And the native speaker says, “What? You—I—You have three what?” Let me start that again because I didn’t do that right. Um, the—the—in an example that I have a native speaker and a non-native speaker—what—the non-native speaker is describing something to the native speaker and says, “I have three bird.” And the native speaker says, “Three what?” Um, and the—drawing attention to the fact that there is a problem. Now we don’t know what the problem—or the learner may or may not know what the problem is. Um, the learner might think that it’s a pronunciation problem. The learner could think that it’s—the bird isn’t the right word. Or maybe the learner can figure out that you need a plural marker on bird and it really should be three birds. So what this negotiation does is can draw—it can draw learners attention to where there’s a problem. As I said, it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem, but it does let the learner know. And they may or may not make a change or they may or may not make a change immediately. That learner may go home and think, “Why did she say three what—three what?” and ponder it. And then, “Oh, yes. Three birds.” So the function of um negotiation with four learners really ends up being and—it’s an attention drawing device. Is that OK?

What we’re trying to find out with second language research is what’s inside the black box. What is going on in somebody’s head as they are trying to figure out what this system is? Um, they have to make sense of it. It’s just—if you go—go into a country where you don’t know the language, all you can hear is gibberish, a stream of sounds. And you have to figure out what those sounds, not only what they mean, but even where they’re divided into words, so the learner surrounded by input. And you have to—your first task is to try to at least make some sense of—of what’s going on. And one of the first things they do or one of the most important things you do is you have to draw your attention or your attention has to be drawn or you have—you as a learner has to recognize—notice certain features. So you may notice certain regularities. You may hear certain words “I do you” all the time and you have to figure out what that is. So one of the first things that we—um that a learner does is that they have to notice uh certain parts of language and we might call that input that they notice. Apperceived input. That is they—they—it’s—it’s input that they have not noticed and are ready to do something with. Um, they have to also—they have to understand that input and we might want to call that comprehended input when they have understood it. Um, and that might mean they have to—if it’s a lexical item—understand what it means. They might have to understand the syntax of a—of a sentence. There are all sorts of things that one needs to uh comprehend. So we can call that comprehended input once they have um figured out some part of—of what it’s all about. Then they have to take that in, in a sense, so—because everything that they’re exposed to does not—is not intake. It’s just they’re exposed to it. And they have to—as they’re figuring out what it is, that’s part of intake is they’re taking it in to their system, making some sense of it. “Ah yes. This ‘s’ means that it’s a—a verb” or “This ‘s’ means that it’s a noun” and they have to figure out um—I don’t like that so much. Um, let me start—start again with that. (interruption) Right. So learners need to bring something into their system bas—basically, which is intake. And they um—the—and for example, they hear ‘walk’ and they have—hear ‘walks.’ Well, they have to figure out what that is. And that’s all part of what it is that they’re doing. And as the—as they’re—as they figure it out then they have—they—it becomes intake. And intake is basically that language that they’re working on and trying to figure it—figure out.

Well, there’s a lot. We do not know, for example, what learners come into the learning situation with. Um, where do they start? Do they start with their native language? Do they start with a set of um universals? What—and the big question is, “What is the possibility of learning a second language? In some sense, what is—what is the human capacity for learning a second language? Um, how do we even define what that means? What we know in general terms is that people don’t learn second languages very—certainly not very easily. We need to know why. Um, we—they don’t learn second languages to completion in a sense and we need to know why. Why is it that so very few do learn second language really well? Um, why is it that some people can be almost indistinguishable? But why is it—from native speakers in a language—but why is it also that most people don’t, that it’s uh very difficult tasks? So those are some of the questions that we’re going to have to figure out. And then, of course, how do we take what we know from second language research and in any reasonable way shape our—our classrooms? What can—what can we learn? And I think that’s an area that we just need a lot more research on.

Well, I think—as I—as I said early—or maybe I shouldn’t say that cause maybe it won’t be earlier. Um, (interruption) OK. Um, what was I going to say? One of the things that’s important for teachers to understand is that this is a long arborous process. And I know that I’ve seen people so many times, I mean they go abroad three months, four months and they think they’re going to learn the language. Well, it is slow. It is difficult. Um, we need—for classroom learning, what we’re trying to do as teachers, is organize that learning to make it manageable. Um, but I think of some of the things that we can know or that are beneficial is really an understanding of this difficulty, and understanding that errors are going to be made. What looks like back sliding, that is slipping back to older forms is going to happen? It’s going to happen um frequently and it’s—it’s not negative. We can certainly learn um how to shape our classrooms and we—we’ve done a lot with communicative language teaching. But what is it that’s going to promote the kinds of exchanges that can focus our attention or focus—excuse me, learners attention on parts that they don’t—don’t know. And one of the things that we also need to recognize is as learners are negotiating their way through um, different forms, that’s going to become more meaningful for them very often then a teacher standing up and saying, “This is how you say it.” Get them to—to do it maybe when they do—they’ve made a mistake, and then come in with a correction.

Um, certainly when one is learning the vocabulary of a new language, there are many ways that one can think of um—of—of knowing what a word means. But this isn’t the ca—restricted to learning a second language. If you think about how we learn words in our own language and I don’t know about you but my vocabulary is not—I don’t know every word. But the—one of the first things that happens is a recognition that we need to know something. So we might hear a word. And I think about my own example in learning words in English. I seem to hear it and then I think, “Oh, maybe I should know that word.” And you think, “How did I live all these years without hearing that?” And then you hear it everywhere. And there’s various things that—that can happen. Um, first all—first is the recognition that there’s something to learn. Second of all, you’re going to have to figure out more or less what the word means. Um, the context it’s—it’s used in. And learners and native speakers learning new vocabulary have a variety of ways of—of doing this. You can go to a dictionary. You can ask somebody. You can wait till you hear it again. That’s sometimes a little bit less useful because, you know, it might be a week, two weeks. Um, so you might have some recognition of the kind of context in which it occurs. Um, and then you might uh start narrowing down what the range of—of uses is of—of a word. The—another way of knowing a word is to use it. And people are very often cautious in this. When um, native speakers learn new words, or at least I’ll speak for myself, I don’t want to in a formal setting try a word that I’m not sure what it means. You might try that with friends, family, you know, and—and see if you—if they laugh at you, if you have some sort of reaction. And—and learners um might do the same things where they would—they would try it and because—you know, they might wait for a reaction for someone to see it they’ve got it right, to see if they’re—the person they’re talking to gives them uh “What? What did you say?” That kind of a reaction or if maybe they’re on target. So one can know—understand the word. One can know how to use a word. One can use—can—has to know what context it’s important to know the word in. Um, one can—has to know the formality or informality of the word. Uh, you know, certain words, swear words have—are maybe appropriate in one context but not in another. So they—they need to know all sorts of uses and it usually comes uh gradually.

One of the things that I find quite interesting and there’s a lot of emphasis on this these days is error correction and feedback. And that’s all part of the negotiation um paradigm in a sense where we’re talking about making learners aware of a problem and so I’m interested in the role of attention, the role of feedback, the what do—when we give feedback to learners, what is it they’re getting out of it? So when we say—when a learner says, “I have three bird,” and the teacher says, “You have three what?” And we’re thinking, “Oh, yes. Great.” We’ve told the—we—we’re bringing the plural ending to the learners attention and the learners sitting there thinking, “Did I pronounce bird right?” We don’t know if there’s a—a mismatch or not in the feedback that we give, the sort of—you might want to call error correction that we give and what the learner is perceiving. And I have done research on this and it’s not a one-to-one match. So that’s one thing that interests me. Then another part of this with—with attention is the role—the differential role that attention might have in different parts of the grammar so can you draw learners attention to vocabulary more easily then you can to—you can bring their attention to um pronunciation or um syntax. So there may be different ways that—that attention can be—can be drawn. How can we best do that? And it isn’t only teachers that—learners have their own internal way of—of focusing attention on things too and we as teachers might think that oh, we’re drawing attention to one thing and learners are—they’re off some place else drawing their—their attention is being drawn elsewhere. So um the role of attention and—and feedback is uh—is of interest to me these days.

Um, it’s interesting. When I got into the field which I would say was about 1975 or ’76, I had been studying linguistics and then I started looking at—I think I took a course in contrastive analysis it was called. And I was fascinated by second language data. But at that time, in the 70’s—forget my glasses. Just a second. But at that time in the 70’s, there was not a course called second language acquisition. Um, there was people—the field was really developing as a field. There were—the—the journal language learning was the only journal around um but that dealt with the articles on language teaching. Uh, the journal studies in second language acquisition came about in 1978, I guess, ’79. And that too in the beginning had a lot of articles on language teaching. So the field wasn’t a field. It was people interested in it. And it’s changed so dramatically. It really developed into people getting PhD’s in the area, having journals in the area. And so now we have a body of knowledge. We have people studying second language acquisition from all sorts of different perspectives and we have a—a serious body of knowledge whereas we didn’t, we were formulating it in the 70’s, figuring out what are the questions that need to be asked. I think those are clearer than today’s research. (interruption) Well, there’s always answers—we don’t have answers always uh, but I think at the beginning, I’m not even sure—we had some broad questions, but they have uh refined—they’ve become—no, that’s not right. They’ve refined themselves? We have refined the questions over the years. And certainly we have answers. Certainly we know that transfer is not what we thought it was back in the—in the 70’s. Um, actually back in the—in the early 70’s transfer was something that people didn’t want to think existed because if you—if transfers existed, it was associated with a behaviorist paradigm. And we were long past a behaviorist paradigm. So transfer is a good example of something that was um—was in favor, then was—was out of favor and then became a serious object of study, as was input because input too was associated with a behaviorist model. Though, if you have um, uh—uh imitation as a major factor, well then you had to know what the input was that—that a child or an adult was—was imitating. But um as that picture—and so people didn’t study input. They didn’t study transfer because there was an association with behaviorism. But then both of those became objects of inquiry that turned out to be quite useful.