Week2:Theories of Second language acquisition

Report
Dr. Abdelrahim Hamid Mugaddam
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Second language acquisition is a complex
process
Complexity: separate but interelated factors
that are difficult to bring order and simplicity
to “Chaos” (Laresen-Freeman, 1997)
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List of factors to consider:
A general understanding of what language is,
what learning is, for what classroom
contexts, what teaching is.
Knowledge of first language acquisition =
essential insights into an understanding of
SLA
Differences between adult and child learning
first and second language acquisition MUST
be accounted for.
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Second language learning is APART od and
ADHRES to general principle of human
learning and intelligence
There is a tremendous variation across
learners in cognitive style and within a learner
in strategy choice.
Personality, the way people view themselves
and reveal themselves in communication will
affect language learning (quality & quantity)
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Linguistic contrast between the NATIVE and
TARGET language forms one level of difficulty in
learning a second language. But the creative
process of forming an INTERLANGUAGE involves
the learner in utilizing many facilitative sources
and resources .. Errors from which learners and
teachers can gain useful insights
Communicative competence is ultimate goal of
learners as they deal with FUNCTION, DISCOURSE,
REGISTER and NONVERBAL aspects of human
interaction & linguistic negotiation
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Adults and adolescent can “acquire” a second
language
Learner creates systematic interlanguage
characterized by the same systematic errors
There
are
predictable
sequences
in
acquisition
Practice does not make perfect
Learning language rules does not indicate the
ability to use the language communicatively
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Isolated explicit correction of errors is ineffective
in changing language behaviour
For most adult learners, acquisition stops–
“fossilizes” before reaching native mastery of a
target language
One cannot achieve native like (near-native-like)
command of a SL in one hour a day
Learner ability to understand language in a
meaningful contexts EXCEEDS his/her ability to
comprehend decontextualized language and to
produce language in comparable complexity and
accuracy
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3.
Lightbown & Spada (1993) outlined some
myths about SLA- what should not be
concluded
as
necessarily
a
correct
generalization.
Language are learned through imitation
Parents correct children when they make
errors
People with high IQ s are good language
learners
4. The earlier a second language is introduced
in school program the greater the possibility of
success in learning
5. Most of the mistakes made in SLL is due to
interference from mother tongue
6. learners’ errors should be corrected as soon
as they are made in order to prevent the
formation of bad habits.
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4.
Laresen-Freeman (1997) suggested several lessons
from Chaos theory to help design a theory of SLA
Beware
of
false
dichotomies.
Look
for
complementarity, inclusiveness, and interface.
Beware of linear , causal approaches to theorizing.
SLA is so complex with many interacting factors.. No
single cause for a SLA effect.
Beware of overgeneralization. Pay attention to
details
Beware of reductionist thinking.. Not take the little
part of the whole and extract it from the whole.
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5.
Micheal Long (1990)
Account for universals
Account for environmental factors
Account for variability in age, acquisition
rate, and proficiency level
Explain both cognitive and affective factors
Account for form-focused learning, not just
subconscious acquisition
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6. account for other variables besides
exposure and input.
7.account for cognitive/innate factors which
explain interlanguage systematicity
8. recognize that acquisition is not a steady
accumulation of generalizations
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Krashen (1977, 1982, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1997).
The acquisition learning Hypothesis..
Acquisition is a subconscious and intuitive
process of constructing the system of a
language.. Learning is the conscious process in
which learners attend to form, figure out rules
and are generally aware of their own process…
fluency in second language is due to what we
have acquired.
The monitor Hypothesis.. A device for
“watchdogging” one’s output for editing and
making alternation or correction.
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3. The natural order Hypothesis: we acquire
language rules in a predictable way
4. The Input Hypothesis (compressible input)
5. The Affective Filter Hypothesis: the best
acquisition occurs in an environment where
anxiety is low… where the “affective filter is
low”
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Mclaughlin’s attention processing Model: this
model juxtaposes processing mechanism
(controlled and automatic) and categories of
attention to for 4 cells;
Focal Cell A: performance based on formal
rule learning
Focal Cell B: Performance in a test situation
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Peripheral Cell C: performance based on
implicit or analogic learning
Peripheral
Cell
D:
communication situation
performance
in
Controlled:
New skill, capacity
limited
Automatic:
Well trained, practical,
skill capacity is
relatively unlimited
Focal interpersonal
situation
A .Grammatical
explanation
word definition
Copy a written model
First stages of
memorizing a
dialogue
Prefabricated patterns
Various discrete-point
practice
B. Keeping an eye out
for something
Advanced L2 learner
focuses on modals,
cause, information,
etc.
Monitoring oneself
while talking or
writing
Scanning
Editing, peer-editing
Peripheral
C. Simple greetings
Later stages of
memorizing a
dialogue
D. Open ended group
work
rapid reading,
skimming free writing,
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Explicit category:
a person knows about
language and the ability to articulate those facts
in some way… signals one’s knowledge about
language
Implicit Knowledge: is information that is
automatically and spontaneously used in
language tasks. Children implicitly learn the
phonological rules, syntactic, semantic and
pragmatic rules of language, but don’t have
access to an explanation explicitly of those rules.
implicit process enable learners to perform
language but not necessarily to cite rules
governing the performance.
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Long (1985, 1996): Interaction hypothesis:
comprehensible input is the result of
modified
interaction…
the
various
modifications that native speakers and other
interlocutors create in order to render their
input comprehensible to learners.
Slowing
down
speech,
comprehension
checks,

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