This paper critically reviews those studies which have approached the phenomenon of second language acquisition of tense and aspect from a discourse perspective, in hopes of diagnosing the current state of the field and helping to take further steps in the future. First, early discourse-oriented research in the 1980s is reviewed, followed by the assessment of concept-oriented research in Europe. Further developments of discourse-oriented research in the 1990s are discussed in detail, with special reference to Bardovi-Harlig and Andersen’s studies. Examination of non-narrative discourse as well as more varied narratives is suggested for future research in order to discover the role of discourse type in second language tense-aspect distribution and analyze more varied tense-aspect use by the learners.
Ⅱ. Early Discourse-Oriented Research in the 1980s
Ⅲ. Concept-Oriented Research in Europe
Ⅳ. Further Developments of Discourse-Oriented Research in the 1990s
Ⅴ. Concluding Remarks