Interlanguage is a transition system made up by the learner through their second language acquisition (learning) process. It is the language produced by a non-native speaker, which is bound to suffer from the interference of their first language, until the learner has reached his peak in L2.
To Stephen Krashen, L2 can be:
» acquired - unconsciously;
» learned - consciously;
However, all learned knowledge will not be part of the acquired knowledge. In other words, a consecutive bilingual will never have the same linguistic competence (in L2) of an early consecutive bilingual or a native speaker.
Richard Schmidt defines consciousness as:
Deliberate decision to learn L2.
» incidental learning:
Knowledge through exposure to some input.
Larry Selinker (1972): “A second language is not an imperfect copy of the target language, but a linguistic system that is governed by rules in its own right.”
• Rod Ellis (1990):
• “Interlanguage is a linguistic system.”
• “Interlanguage consists of implicit linguistic knowledge.”
• “Interlanguage is permeable.”
• “Interlanguage is variable.”
• “Interlanguage is the product of forces that interact among themselves: input, transfer, learning mechanisms.”
• “Interlanguage may fossilize.”