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SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages.

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Presentation on theme: "SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages."— Presentation transcript:

1 SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages SLA --- AN Introductory Course Prof. Wen Weiping College of Foreign Languages

2 Lecture 8 Classroom instruction 1. Popular ideas about language learning: Facts & opinions 2. Five proposals for classroom teaching

3 1. Popular ideas about language learning: Facts & opinions 1) Languages are learned mainly through imitation difficult to find support for the argument --- learners produce many novel sentences --- learners do not simply internalize a great list of imitated and memorized sentences --- imitation does play some role in language learning ( selectively imitate )

4 --- the same case with second language learning produce novel sentences benefit from imitation pronunciation & intonation 2) Parents usually correct young children when they make grammatical errors --- considerable variation in the extent based partly on the childrens age based partly on parents own sociolinguistic background

5 3) People with high IQs are good language learners intelligence measured by IQ predictor for success in leaning about language in natural language learning settings/classrooms interactive language use BICS a wide variety of intellectual abilities

6 4) The most important factor in second language acquisition success is motivation general view: those who want to learn tend to do better --- guard against too strong an interpretation of this view highly motivated learners encounter great difficulties in improving their mastery of the language --- teachers have no influence over a learners intrinsic motivation for learning a second language the principal way to influence learners motivation make the classroom a supportive environment

7 5) The earlier a second language is introduced in school programs, the greater the likelihood of success in learning depend on the objectives of the language program --- native-like performance in SL desirable to begin as early as possible disadvantage: subtractive bilingualism lasting negative consequences --- basic communicative skill for all students more efficient to begin later

8 Attention all school programs should be based on realistic estimates of how long it takes to learn a second language drip-feed approach frustration

9 6) Most of the mistakes which second language learners make are due to interference from their first language --- L1 transfer: one source of errors ( interlingual errors ) --- overgeneralization of target-language rules ( intralingual errors ) --- CAH: similarities facilitate learning differences impede learning research findings: different aspects will not necessarily be acquired later or with more difficulty than similar aspects

10 7) Teachers should present grammatical rules one at a time, and learners should practise examples of each one before going on to another --- language learning is not simply linear in its development learners are incorporating new information about the language into their own system of rules language development is not just adding rule after rule, but integrating new rules into existing system of rules

11 --- defects of some structure-based approaches false assumption: second language development is linear isolated presentation and practice of structure fail to see how different language features compare and contrast in normal language use

12 --- as a rule, focus on meaning rather than form significance: children cannot depend on consistent corrective feedback in order to learn the basic structure of their language. children appear to be able to acquire the adult form of the language with little or no explicit feedback --- the case for SL learners: more complex without corrective feedback and guidance, SL learners may persist in using certain ungrammatical forms for years

13 8) Teachers should teach simple language structures before complex ones learners follow a natural route --- neither necessary nor desirable to restrict learners exposure to certain linguistic structures --- SL learners benefit from modified input teachers appear to increase the complexity of their language intuitively as the learners proficiency increases

14 9) Learners errors should be corrected as soon as they are made in order to prevent the formation of bad habits errors are a natural part of language learning --- reveal the patterns of learners developing interlanguage systems overgeneralization inappropriate L1 transfer --- when correcting global errors, dont expect learners to adopt the correct form or structure immediately or consistently correction for errors based on developmental pattern useful only when the learner is ready for it

15 10) Teachers should use materials that expose students only to language structures which they have already been taught availability of comprehensible input negative consequences: --- a loss of motivation if students are not sufficiently challenged --- restricting students to step-by-step exposure to the language extends their dependency Notice the fact: learners who successfully acquire English outside classrooms exposure to a variety of forms and structures not mastered

16 11) When learners are allowed to interact freely ( e.g., in group or pair activities ), they learn each others mistakes Group work--- a valuable addition to the variety of activities encouraging & promoting SLA surprising findings: --- learners make less errors when talking to peers --- learners cannot help each other with error correction when with peers

17 12) Students learn what they are taught two cases --- students dont learn everything they are taught natural route/sequence --- students dont only learn what they are taught they learn much more than they are taught internal learning mechanism internalizing rules

18 2. Five proposals for classroom teaching 2. Five proposals for classroom teaching 1) Get it right from the beginning 2) Say what you mean and mean what you say 3) Just listen … and read 4) Teach what is teachable 5) Get it right in the end

19 1) Get it right from the beginning grammar translation & audiolingual approaches accuracy fluency features: Errors are frequently corrected Input is structurally graded, simplified and sequenced Learning is often limited to only a few hours a week The teacher is often the only native or proficient speaker Students experience a limited range of language discourse types Students often feel great pressure to speak or write the SL and to do so correctly from the very beginning Teachers often use the learners native language to give instructions

20 Example 1 ( A group of 15-year-old students involved in an exercise based on the simple present of English verbs ) S1 And uh, in the afternoon, uh, I come home and uh, uh, I uh, washing my dog. T I wash. S1 My dog. T Every day you wash your dog? S1 No. S2 Il na pas de chien! ( = He doesnt have a dog! ) S1 Non, mais on peut le dire! ( = No, but we can say we do! )

21 Example 2 ( A group of 12-year-old learners of English as a foreign language ) T Repeat after me. Is there any butter in the refrigerator? Class Is there any butter in the refrigerator? T Theres very little, Mom. Class Theres very little, Mom. T Are there any tomatoes in the refrigerator? Class Are there any tomatoes in the refrigerator? T There are very few, Mom. Class There are very few, Mom.

22 Limitations --- high CALP, low BICS --- monitor overusers --- high affective filter, more inhibited --- less/low risk-taking, unwillingness to communicate ( Cf, WTC )

23 2) Say what you mean and mean what you say theoretical basis: the interactionist view emphasis: the necessity for learners to have access to meaningful and comprehensible input conversational interactions negotiation of meaning conversational modifications clarification confirmation repetition fluency accuracy

24 ( In examples 3, 4, and 5, a group of 12-year-old students are discussing with their teacher a questionnaire about their pets) Example 3 S The fish is difficult to wash? T Fish is difficult to wash? S Yes. T Fish… Oh, not so difficult. Fish are difficult to wash?!? Whats your uh… ( question ) ? S Do you have an animal? Yes, I do. Do you ever feed it? Yes, r- T Do you know what feed means? S Ah, no. Its uh… T To give food to it.

25 Example 4 T How often do you walk your dog? S Never. T Why? S Because I dont have a dog. Example 5 S And what is feed ? T Feed? To feed the dog? S Yes, but when I dont have a… T If you dont have a dog, you skip the question.

26 Communicative approach Features: --- limited amount of error correction; meaning is emphasized --- input is simplified and made comrehensible --- a variety of discourse types, use of real-life materials --- little pressure to perform at high levels of accuracy

27 3) Just listen … and read assumption: it is not necessary to drill and memorize language forms in order to learn them emphasis: comprehensible input through listening and/or reading activities comprehension-based

28 Example 7 It is the English period at a primary school in a French-speaking area of New Brunswick, Canada. Students ( aged 9-10 ) enter the classroom, which looks very much like a miniature language lab, with individual work spaces arranged around the perimeter of the room. They go to the shelves containing books and audio- cassettes and select the material which they wish to read and listen to during the next 30 minutes. For some of the time the teacher is walking around the classroom, checking that the machines are running smoothly. She does not interact with the students concerning what they are doing. Some of the students are listening with closed eyes; others read actively, pronouncing the words silently. The classroom is almost silent except for the sound of tapes being inserted or removed or chairs scraping as students go to the shelves to select new tapes and books.

29 Comments on comprehension-based instruction: --- beneficial in the development of basic comprehension and communicative performance in the early stages --- not sufficient to get learners to continue developing their SL abilities to advanced levels

30 4) Teach what is teachable theoretical basis: teachability hypothesis some linguistic structures develop along a particular developmental path developmental features teachable only in a given sequence variational features teachable at various points in learner language deveopment

31 Example 8 ( A group of students engaged in famous person interview ) S1 Is your mother play piano? T Is your mother play piano? ? OK. Well, can you say Is your mother play piano? or Is your mother a piano player? ? S1 Is your mother a piano player? S2 No.

32 Example 9 ( Interviewing each other about house preferences ) S1 Is your favorite house a split-level? S2 Yes. T Youre saying is two times dear. Is your favorite house a split-level? S1 A split-level. T OK. Example 10 ( Hide and seek game ) S Where the teacher books are? T Where are the teachers books? S Where are the tea--the teacher books?

33 5) Get it right in the end Assumption: learners will do better if they have access to some form-focused instruction --- similarity to the positions 2 & 3: uphold the view that many language features will be acquired naturally if learners have adequate exposure to the language and a motivation to learn --- similarity to position 4: uphold the view that some things cannot be taught if the teaching fails to take the students readiness into account

34 --- difference from position 4: emphasize the idea: some aspects of language must be taught and may need to be taught quite explicitly. Guidance are expected to be especially desirable

35 Example 11 ( A group of students are engaged in an activity where scrambled sentences are reordered to form sensible ones. The following sentence has been placed on the board: Sometimes my mother makes good cakes. ) T Another place to put our adverb? S1 After makes? T After makes. S2 Before good? T My mother makes sometimes good cakes. S3 No. T No, we cant do that. It sounds yucky. S Yucky! T Disgusting. Horrible. Right? S Horrible!

36 --- difference from position 1: emphasize the idea: it is appropriate for learners to engage in meaningful language use from the very beginning --- difference from positions 2 & 3: not assumed that comprehensible input and meaningful interaction will be enough to bring learners to high levels of accuracy & fluency

37 Claims of teachability view: --- some features of the language can be taught successfully at various points in the learners development, other features develop according to the learners internal schedule --- although learners may be able to produce more advanced forms on tests or in very restricted pedagogical exercises, instruction cannot change the natural developmental course

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