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1 A born actor ? 2 Age and Acquisition Instructor: Dr. Chinfen Chen.

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Presentation on theme: "1 A born actor ? 2 Age and Acquisition Instructor: Dr. Chinfen Chen."— Presentation transcript:

1

2 1 A born actor ?

3 2 Age and Acquisition Instructor: Dr. Chinfen Chen

4 3 Age and Acquisition L1 acquisition L1 learning L2 acquisition L2 learning Child A B C D Adult E F G H Logical comparison: A — C C — G Rare cases: B,E,F Implication: D,H

5 4 Age and Acquisition Linguistic Considerations Bilingualism: 1. Coordinate bilinguals: two meaning systems. One for the first language, one for the second language. 2. Compound bilinguals: one meaning system from which both languages operate. e.g. 法語: pain( 麵包) 英語: bread( 麵包) 3. Code switching: a change from one language to another one. e.g. I like to eat 臭豆腐. 4. Bilingual children are more facile at concept formation and have a greater mental flexibility. (see Reynolds 1991; Schinke-Llano 1989)

6 5 Age and Acquisition Linguistic Considerations  Interference Between First and Second Languages In a child’s case : Hansen-Bede(1975) examining a 3-year-old English-speaking child moving to Pakistan -Urdu The child’s acquisition did not appear to show L1 interference and, except for negation, showed similar strategies and rules for both L1and L2  similar linguistic structures: possession, gender, word order, verb forms, questions, except for negation.

7 6 Age and Acquisition Linguistic Considerations  Interference in Adults More cognitively secure, more solid foundation of L1 →more interference, however, may be more readily used to bridge gaps between L1and L2 by generalization The first language can be a facilitating factor, not just an interfering factor.  Order of Acquisition  The acquisition order of eleven English morphemes  L1 acquisition-Roger Brown(1973)  L2 learning- Dulay and Burt (1976)  Children learning a second language use a creative construction process, just as they do in their first language.

8 7 Age and Acquisition Linguistic Considerations Order of Acquisition Thomas Scovel(1999:1) Dispelling "The younger, the better“ myth --fueled by media hype and junk science --the only potential advantage : accent --on at least several planes –literacy, vocabulary, pragmatics, schematic knowledge, and even syntax – adults have been shown to be superior learners.

9 8 Age and Acquisition Issues in L1 Acquisition Revisited Issues in L1 Acquisition Revisited 1.competence and performance 2.comprehension and production 3.Nature or nurture 4.Universals 5.systematicity and variability

10 9 Age and Acquisition Issues in L1 Acquisition Revisited Issues in L1 Acquisition Revisited 6.Language and thought 7.imitation 8.Practice 9.Input 10.Discourse

11 10 Age and Acquisition Issues in L1 Acquisition Revisited

12 11 Age and Acquisition Children might have some secrets of success in language learning: -not monitoring themselves too much -not analyzing grammar -not being too worried about their egos - shedding inhibitions -not letting the native language interfere much

13 12 Age and Acquisition Questions for discussion: Do you think it is worthwhile to teach children a second/foreign language in the classroom? If so, how might approaches and methods differ between a class of children and a class of adults? Do you think you might have some advantages over children in learning a foreign language? Speculate on what those advantages might be.

14 13 Thank you for your listening!

15 14 Competence and Performance Competence: one’s underlying knowledge of the system of a language—its rules of grammar, its vocabulary… Performance: all the actual production (speaking, writing) or the comprehension (listening, reading) of linguistic events.

16 15 A child may understand a sentence with an embedded relative in it but not be able to produce one. W.R. Miller(1963) e.g., The ball that’s in the sandbox is red. Comprehension and Production

17 16 Nature or Nurture Nature: A child is born with an innate knowledge of a language. This innate property (the LAD or UG) is universal in all human beings. Nurture: the behavoristic notion that language is a set of habits that can be acquired by a process of conditioning.

18 17 Universals A claim that language is universally acquired in the same manner, and the deep structure of language at its deepest level may be common to all languages. The universal linguistic categories under investigation. word order morphological marking tone agreement reduced reference nouns and noun classes verbs and verb classes predication negation question formation

19 18 Systematicity and Variability One assumption of current research on child language is the systematicity of the process of acquisition. Eversince Berko’s(1958) In the midst of all this systematicity, there is an equally remarkable amount of variability in the process of learning! (perceiving regular and irregular verbs)

20 19 Language and Thought Piaget(1972)that language is dependent upon and springs from cognitive development. Vygotsky(1962,1978) claimed that social interaction, through language, is a prerequisite to cognitive development. Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development is the distance between a child’s actual cognitive capacity and the level of potential development.(1978)

21 20 Language and Thought Language helps to shape thinking and thinking helps to shape language. What happens to this interdependence when a second language is required? The second language teacher needs to be acutely aware of cultural thought patterns that may be as interfering as the linguistic patterns themselves.

22 21 Imitation While children are good deep-structure imitators (centering on meaning, not surface features), adults can fare much better in imitating surface structure (by rote mechanisms) if they are explicitly directed to do so. Sometimes the ability to center on surface distinctions is a distracting factor, at other times it is helpful. Implication: meaningful contexts for language learning are necessary; second language learners ought not to become too preoccupied with form lest they lose sight of the function and purpose of language. u

23 22 Practice Most cognitive psychologists agree that the frequency of stimuli and the number of times spent practicing a form are not highly important in learning an item. What is important is meaningfulness. Contextualized, appropriate, meaningful communication in the second language seems to be the best possible practice the L2 learner could engage in.

24 23 Input Input is as important to the second language learner as it is to the first language learner Input should foster meaningful communicative use of the language in appropriate contexts. Teacher input might do well to be as deliberate, but meaningful, in their communications with students as parental input is to the child.

25 24 Discourse As we search for better ways of teaching communicative competence to second language learners, research on the acquisition of discourse becomes more and more important. Issues: communicative competence, language functions, functional syllabuses, discourse analysis, pragmatics, styles and registers, nonverbal communication.

26 25 Age and Acquisition The critical period hypothesis Neurological considerations The significance of accent Cognitive considerations Affective considerations Linguistic considerations Issues in first language acquisition revisited


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