when it does not get in the way of communication (e.g. prepared speech and writing). Very good optimal users may, in fact, achieve the illusion of native speaker competence in written performance. They "keep grammar in its place", using it to fill gaps in acquired competence when such monitoring does not get in the way of communication.
Attitude and Aptitude
Chapter 2 illustrates how the acquisition-learning hypothesis provides a parsimonious explanation for what had appeared (to me) to be a mysterious finding: both language aptitude, as measured by standard language aptitude tests, and language attitude (affective variable) are related to adult second language achievement, but are not related to each other.
This section explores two hypotheses that attempt to account for this problem. The first is that aptitude may be directly related to conscious learning (especially certain components as detailed in Chapter 2). As we shall see in Chapter 2, scores on aptitude tests show a clear relationship to performance on "monitored" test situation and when conscious learning has been stressed in the classroom.
Second language attitude refers to acquirers' orientations toward speakers of the target language, as well as personality factors. The second hypothesis is that such factors relate directly to acquisition and only indirectly to conscious learning. Briefly, the "right" attitudinal factors produce two effects: they encourage useful input for language acquisition and they allow the acquirer to be "open" to this input so it can be utilized for acquisition.
The pedagogical implications of these hypotheses will not surprise many experienced teachers: if the direct relationship between acquisition and attitudinal factors does exist, and if our major goal in language teaching is the development of communicative abilities, we must conclude that attitudinal factors and motivational factors are more important the aptitude. This is because conscious learning makes only a small contribution to communicative ability.
Chapter 2 also contains a discussion of the nature of child-adult differences, claiming that the Monitor, the conscious grammar, may