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Chapter 10 Theories of Second Language Acquisition

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1 Chapter 10 Theories of Second Language Acquisition

2 Domains and Generalizations
Building of Theory of SLA Second language learning is a complex process. However, we must pursue the task of theory building. Lets consider some of the domains and generalization that describe the skeletal structure of theory. Domains and Generalizations A theory of SLA includes an understanding of what language is, what learning is and what teaching is Knowledge of children's learning of their first language. Important differences between adult and child learning, and between first and second language acquisition

3 Second language learning is a part of general principles of human learning and intelligence.
There is a 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 both the quantity and quality of second language learning. Learning a second culture is intertwined with learning a second language. The linguistic contrasts between the native and target language form one of difficulty in learning second language. But the creative process of forming an interlanguage system involves the learner in utilizing many facilitative sources and resources. Communicative competence is the goal of learners as they deal with function, discourse, register and nonverbal aspects of human interaction and linguistic negotiation.

4 Hypotheses and Claims Research findings on SLA ( Lightbown ) adult and adolescents can acquire a second language. The learner creates a systematic interlanguage that is characterized by the same systematic errors. There are sequences in acquisition so that certain structures have to be acquired before others. Practice does not make perfect. Knowing a language rule does not mean one will be able to use it in communicative interaction. Isolated explicit error correction is ineffective in changing behavior. Adult learners acquition stops –fossilizes- before the learner has achieved native like mastery of the target language

5 One cannot achieve native like command of a second language in one hour a day.
The learner’s task is enormous because language is complex. A Learner’s ability to understand language in a meaningful context exceeds his to comprehend decontextualized language. Ideas that may not be supported by research Lightbown and Spada Language are learned through imitation. Parents usually correct young children when they make errors.

6 People with high IQs are good language learners.
The earlier a second language is introduced in school, the greater of success in learning. Most of the mistakes that second language learners make are due to interference from their first language. Learners’ errors should be corrected in order to prevent the formation of bad habits.

7 SLA Models: An Innatist Model
Krashen’s Input Hypothesis 1. The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis Krashen claimed that adult 2nd lang. learners have two means for internalizing the target lang.: A- acquisition: a subconscious and intuitive process of constructing the system of a language. B- learning: a conscious process in which learners attend to form, figure out rules, and are aware of their own process.

8 Fluency is due to acquisition not learning
Fluency is due to acquisition not learning. Therefore, adults should do as much acquisition as possible to achieve communicative fluency. 2. The Monitor Hypothesis is a device for “watchdogging” one’s output, for editing and making alternations or corrections as they are consciously perceived. 3. The Natural Order Hypothesis claims that we acquire language rules in a predictable or natural order.

9 4. The Input Hypothesis claims that an important condition for language acquisition to occur is that the acquirer understands input language that contains structure a bit beyond his current level of competence. Thus, if an acquirer is at level i, the input he understands should contain i + 1. Accordingly, speech will emerge once the acquirer has built up enough comprehensible input (i + 1).

10 5.The Affective Filter Hypothesis claims that the best acquisition occurs in environments where anxiety is low and defensiveness absent, or in context where the affective filter is low. Criticism of Krashen’s hypothesis 1- Difficulty to differentiate between acquisition and learning. 2- Krashen’s claim that there is no overlap between acquisition and learning. 3-Krashen’s claim that success in 2nd lang. can be attributed to input alone.

11 * What is the difference between input and intake?
* What is the difference between High Input Generators and Low Input Generators?

12 1-Mclaughlin's Attention – Processing Model.
Cognitive models: 1-Mclaughlin's Attention – Processing Model. -McLaughlin’s theory juxtaposes processing mechanisms ( controlled and automatic ) and categories of attention to form four cells. -controlled processes are capacity limited and temporary and automatic processes are relatively permanent.

13 -McLaughlin syas => we can think of controlled processing as typical of anyone learning a brand new skill in which only a very few elements of the skill can be retained. -For example / When you first learn to play tennis, you can manage elements of, say, making contact between ball and racquet, getting the ball over the net, and hitting the ball into the green space on the other side of the net. Everything else about the game is complex for your capacity limited ability. -Automatic Process => refers to processing in a more accomplished skill, where the "hard drive“ of your brain can manage thousands of bits of information simultaneously. -The automatizing of this multiplicity of data is accomplished by a process of restructuring.

14 The components of a task are coordinated, integrated or reorganized into new units, allowing the old components to be replaced by more efficient procedure. Both processes can occur with either Focal or peripheral attention to the task at hand. -Both Focal and Peripheral attention to some task may be quiet conscious. For example, when you are driving a car, your focal attention may center on cars directly in front of you, but your peripheral attention to cars beside, or behind you, to potential hazards and to all the other thoughts running through your mind. All is very much within your conscious awareness

15 .How does McLaughlin’s model apply to practical aspects of learning a second language?
-Peripheral = > is given to language forms (grammatical, phonological, discourse rules and categories, lexical choices. ) -focal = > is given to meaning, function, purpose and person. Please see table 10.2, p.284

16 Explicit Implicit 1-The facts that a person knows about language. 2-The ability to articulate those facts. 3-Explicit processing signals one's knowledge about language. 1-It is information that is automatically and spontaneously used in language tasks. 2-Implicit processing enables a learner to perform language but not necessarily to cite rules governing the performance.

17 Unanalyzed knowledge =
Unanalyzed knowledge = Implicit Analyzed knowledge= Explicit 1-It is the general form in which we know most things without being aware of the structure of that knowledge. 2-learners have a little awareness of language rules. 1-The learner are overtly aware of the structure of analyzed knowledge. 2-Learner can verbalize complex rules governing language.

18 Non-automatic processing
1-Automaticty refers to the learner's relative access to the knowledge. 2-Knowledge that can be retrieved easily and quickly. Knowledge takes time and effort to retrieve.

19 Social Constructivist Models : -
Long's Interaction Hypothesis - Long posits that comprehensible input is the result of modified interaction which is defined as the various modifications that native speakers and other interlocutors create in order to render their input comprehensible to learners. For example, native speakers often slow down speech to second language learner, speaking more deliberately.

20 In long's view, interaction and input are two major players in the process of acquisition. Conversation and other interactive communication are the basis for the development of linguistic rules. Theories and models of SLA may be schematized in table 10.3, p.288.

21 From Theory to Practice
There is a relationship between theory and practice. The researchers spend their time hypothesizing, describing, measuring and concluding things about learners and learning. Practitioners are thought of as teachers who are out there in classrooms everyday stimulating, encouraging, observing and assessing real-live learners. .Some suggestions for joining the community of theory builders

22 1-Play both believing game and the doubting game
Most scholarly traditions are involved in what is called the ( doubting game ) of truth – seeking : trying to find something wrong with someone's claim or hypothesis. The importance of the (believing game): trying to find truths not errors.

23 2. Appreciate both the art and science of SLA
Nomothetic Hermeneutic Provides us with scientific methodology and prediction. Provides us with a means for interpretation and understanding.

24 3.Trust (to some extent ) your intuition.
Psychological research on cognitive styles has shown us that people tend to favor either an intuitive approach or an analytical approach to a problem. Analytical or " systematic " thinkers generally excel in problems that call for planning and organization as when one set of numbers must be worked out before another can be analyzed “.On the other hand, "intuitive" thinkers are likely to excel if the problem is elusive and difficult to define. There is evidence that good language teachers have developed good intuition.

25 How do you learn " intuition "
. 3- You must be a willing risk-taker. 2-There is no substitute for real experience. 1-You need to internalize theoretical foundations

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