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Presentation on theme: "Interlanguage."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interlanguage

2 What is ‘Interlanguage’ ?
In term ‘interlanguage’ was coined by the American linguist, Larry Slinker, in recognation of the fact that L2 learners construct a linguistic system that draws, in part, on the learner’s L1 but is also different from it and also from the target language. A learner’s interlanguage is, therefore, a unique linguistic system.

3 The concept of interlanguage involves the following premises about L2 acquisition:
The learner constructs a system of abstract linguistic rules which underlies comprehension and production of the L2. This system of rules is viewed as a ‘mental grammar’ and is reffered to as an ‘interlanguage’. The learner’s grammar is permeable. That is, grammar is open to influence from the outside . It is also influence from the inside. The learner’s grammar is transitional. Learners change their grammar from one time to another by adding rules, deleting rules, and restructuring the whole system. This is results in an interlanguage continuum. That is, learners construct a series of mental grammars or interlanguages as they gradually increase the complexity of their L2 knowledge.

4 The concept of interlanguage involves the following premises about L2 acquisition:
Some researchers have claimed that the systems learners construct contain variable rules. That is, they argue that learners are likely to have competing rules at any one stage of development. However, other researchers srgue that interlanguage systems are homogenous and that variability reflects the mistakes learners make when they try to use their knowledge to communicate. Learners employ various learning strategies to develop their interlanguages. The different kinds of errors learners produce reflect different learning strategies. The learner’s grammar is likely to fossilize. The prevalence of backsliding is typical of fossilized learners. Fossilization does not occur in L1 acquisition and thus is unique to L2 grammars.

5 What is ‘interlanguage’ ?
This concept of interlanguage offers a general account of how L2 acquisition takes place. It incorporates elements from mentalist theories of linguistic (i.g. the nation of a ‘language acquisition device’) and elements from cognitive psychology (i.g. ‘learning strategies’).

6 Second Language Acquisition

7 What is Second Language Acquisition?
In second language learning, language plays an institutional and social role in the community. It functions as a recognized means of communication among members who speak some other language as their native tongue. In foreign language learning, language plays no major role in the community and is primarily learned in the classroom. The distinction between second and foreign language learning is what is learned and how it is learned.

8 What is the Study of Second Language Acquisition?
It is the study of: how second languages are learned; how learners create a new language system with limited exposure to a second language; why most second language learners do not achieve the same degree of proficiency in a second language as they do in their native language; and why some learners appear to achieve native-like proficiency in more than one language.

9 How Do Learners Acquire a Second Language?
Learners acquire a second language by making use of existing knowledge of the native language, general learning strategies, or universal properties of language to internalize knowledge of the second language. These processes serve as a means by which the learner constructs an interlanguage (a transitional system reflecting the learner’s current L2 knowledge). Communication strategies are employed by the learner to make use of existing knowledge to cope with communication difficulties.

10 Natural Order of Strategies of Second Language Development
Chesterfield & Chesterfield (1985) identified a natural order of strategies in the development of a second language. 1) repetition (imitating a word or structure); 2) memorization (recalling songs, rhymes or sequences by rote); 3) formulaic expressions (words or phrases that function as units i.e. greetings); 4) verbal attention getters (language that initiates interaction); 5) answering in unison (responding with others); 6) talking to self (engaging in internal monologue); 7) elaboration (information beyond what is necessary); 8) anticipatory answers (completing another’s phrase or statement); 9) monitoring (self-correcting errors); 10) appeal for assistance (asking someone for help); 11) request for clarification (asking the speaker to explain or repeat); and 12) role-playing (interacting with another by taking on roles). Strategies

11 Competence Vs. Performance
According to Chomsky (1965), competence consists of mental representations of linguistic rules that constitute the speaker-hearer’s internal grammar. This internal grammar is implicit rather than explicit. It is evident in the intuitions, which the speaker-hearer has about the grammaticality of sentences. Performance consists of the use of this grammar in the comprehension and production of the language. Communicative competence is that aspect of the language user’s competence that enables them to convey and interpret messages and to negotiate meanings interpersonally within specific contexts. Language is a form of communication that occurs in social interaction. It is used for a purpose such as persuading, commanding, and establishing social relationships. No longer is the focus on specific knowledge of grammatical form. Instead, the competent speaker is recognized as one who knows when, where, and how to use language appropriately.

12 The Role of the Native Language in Second Language Acquisition
Transfer The role of native language in second language acquisition has come to be known as “language transfer.” It has been assumed that in a second language learning situation learners rely extensively on their native language. According to Lado (1957) individuals tend to transfer forms and meanings, the distribution of the forms and meanings of their native language and culture to the foreign language and culture. This transfer is productive when the learner attempts to speak the language. This transfer is receptive when the learner attempts to grasp and understand the language and culture as practiced by native speakers. Lado’s work and much of the work of that time (1950’s) was based on the need to produce pedagogically relevant materials. A contrastive analysis of the native language and the target language was conducted in order to determine similarities and differences in the languages.

13 Toward a Theory of First Language Transfer
An important distinction not always made in discussions of transfer is between transfer in L2 communication and transfer in L2 learning. Transfer in communication involves the use of the L1 either to receive incoming messages (reception) or to process output (production). Transfer in learning occurs when the learner uses the L1 in an attempt to develop hypotheses about L2 rules. There are several possibilities for transfer: 1) it is primarily a characteristic of communication 2) it is primarily a feature of learning 3) both communication and learning transfer are significant and interrelated aspects of L2 acquisition.

14 Language Transfer Language Transfer
Where the two languages were identical, learning could take place through positive transfer to the native-language pattern. Where the two languages were different, learning difficulty arose and errors occurred resulting from negative transfer. Chomsky (1959) set in motion a re-evaluation of many of the behaviorists claims. This re-evaluation included area such as: the dangers of extrapolating from laboratory studies of animal behavior to the language behavior of humans were pointed out; the terms stimulus and response were exposed as vacuous where language behavior was concerned; analogy could not account for the language user’s ability to generate totally novel utterances; and studies of children acquiring their L1 showed that parents rarely corrected their children’s linguistic errors, thus casting doubt on the importance of reinforcement in language learning. All this led to the reconsideration of the role of L1 in L2 learning.

15 Identification of Learner Errors
An error can be defined as a deviation from the norms of the target language although questions are raised as to which variety of the target language should serve as the norm. The general practice where classroom learners are concerned is to select the standard written dialect as a norm. The distinction between errors and mistakes is a concern in this type of research. Errors take place when the deviation arises as a result of lack of knowledge. Mistakes occur when learners fail to perform their competence. Overt errors are deviations in form i.e. I runned all the way. Covert errors occur in utterances that are superficially well-formed but which do not mean what the learner intended them to mean i.e. It was stopped. What does it refer to? Should the analysis of errors examine only deviations in correctness or also deviations in appropriateness? Correctness errors involve rules of language use i.e. learner invites a stranger by saying I want you to come to the cinema with me. The code was used correctly it was not used appropriately. There are three types of interpretation of errors: 1) normal- can assign a meaning to an utterance based on the rules of the target language; 2) authoritative-involves asking the learner to say what the utterance means in order to make an authoritative reconstruction; and 3) plausible-can be obtained by referring to the context in which the utterance was produced or by translating the sentence literally into the learner’s L1.

16 Learner Errors Error Analysis is used for examining errors as a way of investigating learning processes. Much of the early work on learner errors focused on the extent to which L2 acquisition was the result of L1 transfer or creative construction (construction of unique rules similar to those which children form in the course of acquiring the native language). The presence of errors that mirrored L1 structures was taken as evidence of transfer (interlingual), while those errors similar to those observed in L1 acquisition were indicative of creative construction (intralingual). The study of learner errors showed that although many errors were caused by transferring L1 habits, many more were not. It was found that learners went through stages of acquisition and the nature of errors varied according to their level of development. Error analysis could not show when learners resorted to avoidance and it ignored what learners could do correctly.

17 Error Analysis Error Analysis The conceptualization and significance of errors took on a different role with the publication of an article by Pit Corder (1967) entitled “The Significance of Learner Errors.” Errors are not just to be seen as something to be eradicated, but rather can be important in and of themselves. Errors provide evidence of a system (learners attempt to figure out some system). This evidence can provide information on the state of a learner’s knowledge of the L2. They are not to be viewed solely as a product of imperfect learning. The distinction of error and mistake is also important in EA. Mistakes are slips of the tongue. The speaker who makes a mistake is able to recognize it as a mistake and correct it if necessary.

18 Error Analysis (Continued)
An error is systematic. It is likely to occur repeatedly and is not recognized by the learner as an error. The learner has incorporated a particular erroneous from the perspective of the target language into his/her own system. The learner has created a systematic entity called an interlanguage. Errors are only errors with reference to some external norm such as the target language. For example, if a learner produces “No speak.” or “No understand.” and if we assume that these are consistent deviations and form a part of a learner’s system, then it is only possible to think of them as errors with regard to English, but not with regard to the learner’s system. Error analysis is a type of linguistic analysis that focuses on the errors learners make. The comparison made in EA is between the errors a learner makes producing the target language and the target language form itself. Research in EA was carried out within the context of the classroom. The goal was pedagogical remediation.


20 The distinction between acquisition and learning and the need for comprehensible input are the foundations of Krashen’s theory. Comprehensible input is the target language that the learner would not be able to produce but can still understand. It goes beyond the choice of words and involves presentation of context, explanation, rewording of unclear parts, the use of visual cues and meaning negotiation. The meaning successfully conveyed constitutes the learning experience.

21 LANGUAGE ACQUISITION LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Language acquisition refers to the natural assimilation of languages, by means of intuition and subconscious learning.

22 Language acquisition is the product of
real interactions between people in environments of the target language and culture, where the learner, as an active player, develops his communicative ability.

23 This is language acquisition.
Like the chameleon, which changes color to integrate its surroundings, any person will acquire the language of the social environment they belong. This is language acquisition.

24 LANGUAGE ACQUISITION A common example of second language acquisition are the adolescents and young adults that live abroad for a year in exchange programs, often attaining near native fluency, while knowing little about the language. They have a good pronunciation without a notion of phonology, don't know what the perfect tense is, modal or phrasal verbs are, but intuitively they recognize and know how to use all the structures.

25 LANGUAGE LEARNING LANGUAGE LEARNING Language learning refers to the analysis and study of the language as a system, primarily in its written form. The objective is to understand the structure of the language and produce knowledge about it.

26 LANGUAGE LEARNING It has been the traditional approach to the study of languages for centuries and is still today practiced in high schools worldwide.

27 This is language learning.
But in face of the complex- ity and irreg- ularity of the languages, it often leads to nowhere. This is language learning.

28 LANGUAGE LEARNING The many graduates in Brazil with arts degrees in English are classic examples of language learning. They are certified teachers with knowledge about the language and its literature but able to communicate in English only with poor pronunciation, limited vocabulary and lacking awareness of the target culture.

29 LEARNING ACQUISITION Artificial Natural Technical Personal
ACQUISITION vs. LEARNING LEARNING ACQUISITION Artificial Natural Technical Personal Priority on the written language Priority on the spoken language Theory (language analysis) Practice (language in use) Deductive teaching (rule-driven; top-down) Inductive coaching (rule-discovery; bottom-up) Preset syllabus Improvised activities Activities ABOUT the language Activities IN the language Focus on form Focus on communication Produces knowledge Produces an ability

To understand better how the concepts of acquisition and learning can affect language teaching, we need to look at the nature of language first.

In contrast to natural sciences, languages are complex, arbitrary, irregular speech systems, full of ambiguities, in constant random and uncontrollable evolution.

Even if some partial knowledge of the structure of the language is attained, it is not easily transformed into communicative ability.

What happens in fact is the opposite: the understanding of the functioning of a language with its irregularities is a result of being familiar with it.

Grammar, word choice and pronunciation will be employed appropriately if it “sounds” right.

35 exposure to accurate language.
ACQUISITION, LEARNING & THE NATURE OF LANGUAGE Accuracy is a result of exposure to accurate language.

36 If we want to “learn” about a language, we have to “acquire” it first.
ACQUISITION, LEARNING & THE NATURE OF LANGUAGE Conclusion: If we want to “learn” about a language, we have to “acquire” it first.

37 Fossilization Cease learning a language before they reach target language norms. This happens despite students receive L2 input and passage of time. More likely to happen among older L2 learners. Also depends on social identity and need to communicate

38 Issues with Fossilization
Should individuals be considered “fossilized” if… They retain a foreign accent despite being fluent in the language? The students don’t want to “sound native” Should “progress” be measured against native-speaker norms?

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