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Natural or Artificial: Is the Route of L2 Development Teachable James. P. Lantolf, Penn State University Zhang Xian, Rice University.

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Presentation on theme: "Natural or Artificial: Is the Route of L2 Development Teachable James. P. Lantolf, Penn State University Zhang Xian, Rice University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Natural or Artificial: Is the Route of L2 Development Teachable James. P. Lantolf, Penn State University Zhang Xian, Rice University

2 Outline of Presentation  Background  Statement of Problem  Theoretical Framework  Design  Results  Discussion

3 Second Language Acquisition  Cognitive SLA  Cognitive-interactionist: understand the interaction of learner-internal and leaner-external variables  Purpose: find universal patterns of L2 learning so that L2 can be explained as a general phenomenon (Ortega, 2009)  Piagetian developmental psychology

4  Progressivism a consequence of solution to Cartesian Dualism (mind & world are different substance and world is subordinate to mind)  Basic Tenet: to educate children effectively it is vital to attend to children’s nature, and particularly to their modes of learning and stages of development, and to accommodate educational practice to what we can discover about these.  Herbert Spencer--The daily activities of the classroom are subject to the same laws that shaped the stars above and the earth below  Change is from simple to complex Roots of Cognitive SLA: Progressivism I

5  Spencer’s Argument  In everyday life children learn effortlessly: educators should observe this process and find ways to replicate it in “sensible teaching”  Education must conform to natural process of mental evolution  Learning was a property of the mind, and the mind is a biological organ on the model of the body: “the mind like the body has a predetermined course of evolution” and as it grows it needs food – aliment of the mind is knowledge Roots of Cognitive SLA: Progressivism II

6  Dewey: replicate in school natural learning observed in children’s play in households, streets, and fields.  Paradigm form of human learning evident in the way children effortlessly learn language and other knowledge of the world in informal settings  Therefore—assume that learning in school must conform to this early effortless learning. John Dewey Proponent of Progressivism

7 Jean Piaget: Proponent of Progressivism  Piaget Basic learning comprised of “what the child learns by himself, what no one can teach him and what he must discover alone”  Researchers: Describe underlying psychological process of cognitive development  Stages determine what knowledge the developing individual can understand  Educational prescriptions and programs that cohere with such theories are called “developmentally appropriate”  Teachers: effective only if they understand the nature of developmental processes and recognize that teaching must be “subordinate to spontaneous psychological development”

8 Model of Brain/Culture Relationship in General Psychology and SLA Nature (Brain/Mind) Culture Thought

9 Ratner (2012). Macro-Cultural Psychology: A Political Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press  Culture  Not new factor/variable to be correlated with psychology  Not psychology as conventionally construed and then add culture as conventionally construed  Reconceptualize psychology as a cultural phenomenon, a cultural specimen, a part of human civilization.

10 Vygotsky’s Cultural Psychology  Culture creates special forms of behavior  It modifies the activity of mental functions  It constructs new superstructures in the developing system of human behavior

11 Social Origin of Cognition  Every higher mental function was external because it was social before it became an internal, strictly mental function, it was formerly a social relation of two people. The means of acting on oneself is initially a means of acting on others or a means of action of others on the individual.

12  Vygotsky: natural and cultural component to psychological development  Separate natural and cultural was a mistake  Fundamental nature of human development shaped by culture in conjunction with biological endowment. Vygotsky

13 Modeling Vygotsky’s Theory of Cultural Development Nature Body-Brain Nature Body-Brain Society (Culture) Society (Culture) Human Psyche (higher functions) Transforming Force (signification) Thinking-Acting

14 Developmental Education  Education: grounded in explicit mediation is ‘artificial development’ of the individual  Influences processes of development  restructures all functions of behavior in a most essential manner (Vygotsky 1997)  Obuchenie (teaching-learning) leads [not follows] development  Key: Scientific (systematically organized) concepts

15  Systemic Theoretical Instruction (STI)  Concept-based Instruction (CBI)  systematically explaining the concept   materializing the concept   verbalizing the concept   communicative activities   internalization Gal’perin’s STI

16  Systemic Theoretical Instruction (STI)   materialize the concept  Schema for Complete Orienting Basis of Action (SCOBA )  Material Activity   verbalizing the concept  Communicative Thinking I-You  Dialogic Thinking I-Me Instruction: Gal’perin’s STI Communicative Activities Internalization

17 Systemic Theoretical Instruction  Over eight hundred studies showed that STI is highly effective in promoting learning: Physics (Obukhova, 1968) Math (Minskaya, 1966) History (Semenyuk, 1970) … Syntax (e.g. Karpova, 1977) Lexical & grammatical aspect (e.g. Negueruela, 2003)

18 Processability Theory  Processability Theory (PT, Pienemann, 1998) is a theory of second language development.  At any stage of development, L2 learners can produce and comprehend only those second language linguistic forms that the current state of the language processor can handle (Pienemann, 2007, p.137).

19  L2 learners follow a relatively rigid path when acquiring certain grammatical structures: some grammatical structures are not “learnable” or “processable” until the previous steps along the learning path have been acquired. (Pienemann, 1998) PT: Universal Sequencing

20  PT received robust support:  English (Pienemann, 1998; Sakai, 2008; Spinner, 2011)  Japanese (Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2002; Kawaguchi, 2000, 2005)  Swedish (Glahn et al., 2001; Hakansson & Norrby, 2010)  Italian (Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2002)  German (Baten, 2011)  Arabic (Mansouri, 2005)  Chinese (Gao, 2005; Wang, 2011; Zhang, 2001, 2007) 14. Supporting evidence

21 Pienemann’s (1987) Avowel of Piaget  The approach we have taken in the Predictive Framework of SLA and in the Teachability Hypothesis was inspired by our admiration for Jean Piaget’s work on cognitive development. We adopted one concept in particular form Piaget’s word, namely the implicational nature of processing prerequisites for the operations possible at the different stages of acquisition (Piaget, 1950).

22 The testing ground PiagetVygotsky Describe psychological process Development Predetermined Sequential Progressive Teaching is subordinate to development Create psychological process Development Not predetermined Complex Non-linear Teaching promotes [artificial] development

23  Learners follow internal processing procedure  Governed by processing constraints from Simple to Complex  Example: Move constituents from end to beginning of utterance simpler than moving constituents from internal to external position or from external to internal position  Adverbs in English:  I bought a book yesterday > Yesterday a bought a book  He left the room quietly > He quietly left the room  Language Features Subject to Processing Constraints  Questions in English  Negation in German  Topicalization Word Order in Chinese  Language Features NOT Subject to Processing Constraints  Plural Marking in English  Case Marking in German Overview of Processability Theory

24 Processable Criterion  Three to five sentences with the target structure produced in spontaneous speech production task (Pienemann, 1998)

25 Teachability Hypothesis: Corollary to PT  1. Predetermined Stages Cannot be Skipped under Instruction  2. Effective Instruction at X + 1  X + 2 not effective  But see studies by Bonilla (2012) and Farley & McCollam (2004)  3. Instruction even at X + 1 does not guarantee progress through the processing hierarchy

26 16. Some Previous Research on TH  Felix (1981): one of first studies to claim confirmation of TH  Tarone & Liu (1995): claimed counterevidence to PT in different contexts  Spada & Lightbown (1999): evidence that instruction need not be at next level in processing sequence for learners to develop. But they do not skip levels [NB: two learners appeared to violate this claim, however]. Also, learners considered ready to develop to next level failed to do so—this is not a claim of TH.  Mackey (1999): learners deemed ready to develop did not & learners not deemed ready to develop (more than one level below instructional stage) did development  Farley & McCollam (2004): using Van Patten’s IP approach also found that learners not deemed ready to developed did so and some deemed ready did not  Bonilla (2012): stages could not be skipped but instruction need not be at X+1. It could be aimed at X+2 and still be effective in promoting development.

27  Topicalization Hypothesis in Chinese  Stage 2 (SVO): S(X)(X)VO: TOP = SUBJ: TOP subj V(O) e.g. Jim ate an apple. TOP=SUBJ V OBJ  Stage 3 (Adv+ SVO): TOP = ADJ: TOP adj SV(O) e.g. Yesterday Jim ate an apple. TOP=ADV SUBJ V OBJ  Stage 4 (OSV ): TOP = OBJ: TOP obj SV e.g. An apple, Jim ate. TOP=OBJ SUBJ V (Gao, 2005; Wang, 2011; Zhang, 2001, 2007)

28 Structure T1T2T3T4T5T6T7T8T9 4 Top=objOSV top=adj.adj. SVO top=subj.SVO Y. Zhang (2007)

29 Purpose of X. Zhang (2014) study  Evaluate the claim of the Teachability Hypothesis  Explore the relationship between development and instruction  Evaluate two developmental theories: Piagetian theory & Vygotskian theory

30 Research Question & Method  Can instruction alter the developmental trajectory pre-defined by Processability Theory?  Method: Teach Stage 4 sentence structure to Stage 2 learners using principles of Developmental Education as realized in STI

31 Participants  Six beginning L2 Chinese learners with English as L1

32 Assessment Instruments  Grammaticality judgment task (Time Constrained)  Elicited imitation task  Q&A  Cartoon description  Letter Number Sequencing  Working Memory Letter Number Sequencing  Flanker Task  Cognitive Control Flanker Task Spontaneous Speech Production (SSP)

33 Instructional Procedure Pretest Q: SVO only ? {Stage 1} Day 1 Instruction 1 [OSV] {Stage 4} Day 2 Post-test 1 Q: OSV without ADJ+SVO ? Day 9 Instruction 2 [Adj.+SVO, OSV] {Stages 3&4} Day 9 Post-test 2 Q: OSV and ADJ+SVO ? Day 16 Instruction 3 [Adj.+SVO, OSV] Day 16 Delayed post-test Q: OSV and ADJ+SVO ? Day 37

34 He ate rice 他 吃了 饭 饭 In Chinese, if we want to emphasize what has been eaten, you can also do this:

35 He ate rice 他 在家 饭 at 2 2点 2点 at home 吃了 In Chinese, we can put almost everything (except the verb) at the beginning of a sentence. We can put time at top We can put place at top

36 29. Materialization of Grammar in Support of WM  Top Subject adv(time) adv(place) verb object Manipulate Silent Way Rods

37 Communicative activities  Making up sentences  Gap filling  Q&A  Translation  Cartoon Description  Free talk

38 T1: Pretest (Day 1) T2:Post test 1 (Day 9) T3:Post test 2 (Day 16) T4:Delayed post-test (Day 37 ) Results

39 GrammarStructurePre-test (T1) post-test 1 (T2) post-test 2 (T3) delayed post-test (T4) Elicited imitation 4 Top=objOSV top=adj.ADJ +SVO top=subj.SVO Q&A 4 Top=objOSV top=adj.ADJ +SVO top=subj.SVO Cartoon Descrip. 4 Top=objOSV top=adj.ADJ +SVO top=subj.SVO SUM 4 Top=objOSV top=adj.ADJ +SVO top=subj.SVO

40 Topic Hypoth Structure Pre-test (T1) post-test 1 (T2) post-test 2 (T3) delayed post- test (T4) 4 Top=objOSV top=adj. ADJ SVO top=subj.SVO ++++ Structure T1T2T3T4T5T6T7T8T9 4 Top=objOSV top=adj. ADJ+ SO top=subj.SVO Our results Previous studies

41 Results  Participants were able to process and produce Stage 4 topicalization without Stage 3 topicalization  The Teachability Hypothesis

42 Discussion  Is L2 development universal and predetermined?  No.  What is the role of teaching?  Properly organized Instruction shapes L2 development in a fundamental way.  While many studies support the prediction of PT/TH, why does this study challenge the prediction of TH ?

43 Mediation  The appropriate type of mediation that satisfies learners’ need (WM, cognitive control).  High quality instruction can provide appropriate mediational tools  Practice

44 Declarative/Procedural Memory  Paradis (2009)  Procedural Memory begins to decline at approximately age 7  Declarative Memory strengthens as we age (up to about middle age)  PM is responsible for L1 grammar acquisition  DM is responsible for L1 lexical acquisition  Disagreement between Paradis and Ullman  Collocational Knowledge of Lexis  No neural connection between PM and DM  L2 classroom learning governed by DM  Accelerated Access  More research needed on this hypothesis

45 References  Lantolf, J. P. & Poehner, M. E. (2014). Sociocultural theory and the pedagogical imperative in L2 Education: Vygotskian Praxis and the Research/Practice Divide. New York: Routledge.  Zhang, X. & J. P. Lantolf (forthcoming). Natural or artificial: Is the route of second language development teachable? Language Learning.

46 The End  Thank you  Comments are welcome


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