Presentation on theme: "Age and acquisition Applied Linguistics Sara Pacheco UNIVERSIDAD CENTRAL DE VENEZUELA FACULTAD DE HUMANIDADES Y EDUCACI Ó N Comisi ó n de Estudios de Postgrado."— Presentation transcript:
Age and acquisition Applied Linguistics Sara Pacheco UNIVERSIDAD CENTRAL DE VENEZUELA FACULTAD DE HUMANIDADES Y EDUCACI Ó N Comisi ó n de Estudios de Postgrado Á rea de Ling üí stica Maestr í a en Ingl é s como Lengua Extranjera
Dispelling Myths Children repeat things over and over again. This is what we must also do. Language learning is imitation. You must be a mimic. First, we practice the separate sounds, then words, then sentences. Natural order = good for language learning. First listening then speaking = right order in language learning. First listening and speaking reading and writing. When small, we do not translate. Children do not use grammar so it is not necessary.
C1A1 C2A2 Types of comparison and contrast ChildAdult L1L1 L2L2 (C1 – C2) First and second language acquisition in children, holding age constant (C2 – A2) Second language acquisition in children and adults, holding second language constant (C1 – C2) First language acquisition in children and second language acquisition in adults.
Critical Period Hypothesis Neurobiological considerations Hemispheric considerations Biological timetables Right hemispheric participation Anthropological evidence The significance of accent Cognitive considerations Affective considerations Linguistics considerations Bilingualism Interference between L1 and L2 Order of acquisition The critical period hypothesis
Neurobiological considerations Hemispheric lateralization Lenneberg (1967) Lateralization begins at around 2 and is completed around puberty Geschwind (1970) Lateralization Is completed much earlier Krashen (1973) Lateralization Is completed at 5 years old Scovel (1984) Lateralization emerges at birth is evident at 5 is completed at around puberty
Neurobiological considerations Biological Timetables Scovel (1988) Sociobiological critical period mammals birds human beings? Socially bonding accent (1) To form an identity with their own community as they anticipate roles of parenting and leadership (2) To attract mates of “their own kind” in an instinctive drive to maintain their own specie. The acquisition of an authentic (nativelike) accent Not communicative fluency Not other “higher-order” processes
Right-Hemispheric Participation Neurobiological considerations There is a significant right hemispheric participation particularly in early stages of language learning Obler (1981) Genesee (1982) Scovel (1982) Singleton and Ryan (2004) supported did not support L2 learners, particularly adults, might benefit from more encouragement of right-brain activity in classroom context.
Anthropological evidence Neurobiological considerations Sorenson (1967) Tukano culture (South America) 12 languages 1 community => 1 language 1 person is exposed to 2 or 3 languages 1 person L1 is exposed to 2 or 3 languages L1 “The Language acquisition seen in adult language learners in the largely monolingual American middle class speech communities may have been inappropiately taken to be universal…” (Hill, 1970)
The significance of accent “foreign accent” Speech muscles gradually develop control complex sounds are sometimes not achieved until 5 Complete phonemic control before puberty “Most of the evidence indicates that persons beyond the age of puberty do not acquire what has come to be called authentic pronunciation”. (Brown, 2007) Of course… there are exceptions Neuromuscular plasticity Cerebral development Sociobiological programs Environment of sociocultural influences
The significance of accent We all know people who have less than perfect pronunciation but who also have excellent and fluent control of a second language, control that can even exceed that of many native speakers Arnold Schwarzenegger effect
Cognitive considerations Piaget (1972) Intellectual development of a child: Sensorimotor stage (birth to 2) Preoperational stage (ages 2 to 7) Operational stage (ages 7 to 16) Concrete operational stage (ages 7 to 11) Formal operational stage (ages 11 to 16) Pro CPH Singleton and Ryan (2004) Vague lack of empirical data Ausubel (1964) Grammar in adults is easier because of the relevance of connection in cognition Children do learn L2 without formal operation thought
Affective considerations Affective domains: Emphaty Self-esteem Extroversion Inhibition Imitation Anxiety Attitudes… Children egocentricity Adults inhibitions Self identity second identity Oneself-identity is inextricably bound up with one’s language Younger children are less afraid because they are less aware of forms Peer presure Adults tend to tolerate linguistics differences more than children so errors are easily excused
Linguistics considerations Biligualism Code-switching Interference between L1 and L2 Solid foundation of L1 Order of acquisition Creative construction process
Issues in first language acquisition revisited Competence and performance Comprenhension and production Nature or nurture? Universals Sistematicity and variability Language and Thought Imitation Practice and frequency Input Discourse
Some “age-and-acquisition-inspired” language teaching methods Total Physical Response The Natural Approach
Thanks Source: Douglas Brown, H. (2007) Principles of language learning and teaching. White Plains, NY: Longman. Chapter 3: Age & acquisition
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