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The chapter ends with a discussion of what research findings suggest about the most effective ways to teach and learn a second language in the classroom. ng in the Language Classroom nguage Classroom Teaching and om Teaching and Learning in the and Learning in the Language ng in the Language. Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom, by Tricia soundofheaven.info - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
Adult second language. Is there any irrelevant information. Thus, the early childhood period may be normal and loving but devoid of language that the children can access. Learners will also need to develop a similar kind of competence for written texts.. Does the conclusion develop logically from what you have written?
Children at this stage of language development tend to mention events in the order of their occurrence. In this case, the towels disappeared before Randall attempted to dry his hands, so thatt what he said first.
He did not yet understand how a word like'before'or'because' changes the order of cause and effect. These examples of children's speech provide us with a window on rhe process of language learning. Imitation and practice alone cannot explain some of the forms created by the children.
They are not merely repetitions of sentences that they have heard from adults. Rather, children appear to pick out parrerns and gene nltze them to new contexts. They create new forms or new uses of words. Their new sentences are usually comprehensible and often correcr. Behaviourism seems to offer a reasonable way of understanding how children learn some of the regular and routine aspects of language, esp"ecially at the earliest stages. And although behav- iourism goes some way to explaining the sorrs of ovsncENERALrzATroN that children make, classical behaviourism is nor a satisfactory explanarion for the acquisition of the more complex grammar that children acquire.
These limitations led researchers to look for different explanarion; for language acquisition. The innatist perspectiae: It's all in your mind Noam Chomsky is one of the most influential figures in linguistics, and his ideas about how language is acquired and how it is stor. For example, every child willJe'arn to , ri- t and reasonable freedom ofmovement are provided.
The child does not have to be taught. Most children learn to ri-alk at about the same age, and walking is essentially the same in all normal human beings. For Chomsky, language acquisition is very similar. Chomsky argued that the behaviourist theory failed ro account for 'the logical problem of language acquisition'-the fact that children come to know more about the structure of their language than they could reasonably be expected to learn on the basis of the samplis of language they hear.
He concluded ihat childrent irindt are not blank slates to be filled by imitating language t[. These English sentences contain the refexive pronoun 'himself'. Both the pronoun and the noun it refers to the antecedent are printed in italics. An asterisk at the beginning of a sentence indicates that the sentence is ungrammatical. In a and b , it looks as if the reflexive pronoun must follow the noun it refers to. But c disproves this: Ifwe consider sentences such as: However, h shows that this rule won't work either: Usually the refexive must be in ir the same clause as the antecedent as in a and d , but not always, as in h.
And yet, most school age children would be able to correcdy interpret d the grammatical sentences and recognize the ungrammaticality of the et others. Researchers who study language acquisition from the innatist N perspective argue that such complex grammar could never be learned purely cl on the basis of imitating and practising sentences available in the input.
They hypothesize furthermore that the innate mechanism is used et exclusively for language acquisition. Children who are profoundly deaf will learn sign language if they are exposed to it in infancy, and their progress in the acquisition of that language system is similar to hearing childrent acquisition of spoken Ianguage. Even children with very limited cognitive abiliry develop quite complex language systems if they are brought up in environments in which people interact with them.
Children master the basic syntax and morph- oiogy of the language spoken to them in a variery of conditions-some x'hich would be expected to enhance language development for example, caring, attentive parents who focus on the child s language , and some which might be expected to inhibit it for example, abusive or re. Children achieve different levels ofvocabulary, creativiry social gtace, and so on, but virtually all achieve mastery of the structure of the language or languages spoken to them.
This is seen as support for the hypothesis that language is somehow separate from other aspects of cognitive developmenr and may depend on a specific module of the brain.
However, history has documented a few 'natural experiments' where children have been deprived of contact '". Two of the most famous cases are those ofVictor and Genie. In , a boywho became known as Victor was found wandering naked in rFre woods in France.
Although he succeeded to some extent in developing Victort sociabiliry memory, and judgement, there was little progress in his language abiliry. Victor responded only to sounds that had had meaning for him in the irest, such as the cracking of a nut, animal sounds, or the sound of rain. He said 'lait' only o,n-hen he saw a glass of milk.
He never used the word to ask for it. Because of the irrational demands of a disturbed father and the submission and fear of an abused mother, Genie had spent more than eleven years tied to a chair or a crib in a small, darkened room. Her father had forbidden his wife and son to speak to Genie and had himself only growled and barked at her. She was beaten when she made any kind of noise, and she had long since resorted to complete silence.
Genie was undeveloped physically, emotion- ally, and intellectually. She had no language. After she was discovered, Genie was cared for and educated with the participation of many teachers and therapists, including Susan Curtiss After a brief period in a rehabilitation centre, she lived in a foster home and attended special schools.
Genie made remarkable progress in becoming socialized and cognitively aware. She developed deep personal relationships and strong individual tastes and traits. Nevertheless, after five years of exposure to language, Genie's language was not like that of a rypical five-year old. There was a lTger than: She used [r"--"ticarrru irrconsisfentry and overused Foimulaic and routine speech. Although Victor and Genie appear to provide evidence in support of the CPH, it is difficult to argue that the hypothesis is confirmed on the basis of evidence from such unusual cases.
It is not possible to determine whether either of them suffered I from brain damage, developmental delays, or a specific language impairment,: However, a there are some children who come from ordinary homes, yet do not have t access to language at the usual time. This is the case for some profoundly deaf children who have hearing parents. Hearing parents may not reahze that their child cannor hear because the child uses other senses to interact in fi apparently normal way.
Thus, the early childhood period may be normal and loving but devoid of language that the children can access. These children's later experience in learning sign language has been the subject of some important research related to the critical period. Only per cent of the profoundly deaf are born to deaf parents, and only these children are likely to be exposed to ASL from birth. Like oral and written languages, ASL makes use of grammatical markers to indicate such things as time for example, past tense and number.
The researchers studied the abiliry to produce and comprehend grammatical markers in Native signers who were exposed to ASL from birth , Early learners who began using ASL between four and six years of age , and Late iearners who began learningASL after age twelve. They found no difference berween the groups in some aspects of their use of ASL. However, on tests focusing on grammatical markers, the Native group used the forms more consistently than the Early group who, in turn, used them more consistently than the Late group.
The researchers concluded that their study supports the hypothesis that there is a critical period for first language acquisition, whether that language is oral or gestural. We will return to a discussion of the CPH in Chapter 3 when we look at the age issue in second language acquisition.
The innatist perspective is thus partly based on evidence for a critical period. It is also seen as an explanation for 'the logical problem of language acqui- sition', that is, the question of how adult speakers come to know the complex structure of their first language on the basis of language that they actually hear. Learningfrom inside and out Cognitive and developmental psychologists argue that the innatists place too much emphasis on the 'final state' the coupETENCE of adult NATTvE snnernns and not enough on the developmental aspects of language acquisition.
In their view, language acquisition is but one example of the human child s remarkable abiliry to learn from experience, and they see no need to assume that there are specific brain structures devoted to language acquisition. They hypothesize that what children need to know is essentially available in the language they are exposed to as they hear it used in thousands of hours of interactions with the people and objects around them.
Developmental psychologists and psycholinguists have focused on the interplay between the innate learning abiliry of children and the environ- ment in which they develop. These researchers attribute considerably more importance to the environment than the innatists do even though they also recognize a powerful learning mechanism in the human brain. They see language acquisition as similar to and influenced by the acquisition of other kinds of skill and knowledge, rather than as something that is different from and largely independent of the child's experience and cognitive develop- ment.
Indeed, researchers such as Dan Slobin I have long emphasized the close relationship between chiidren's cognitive development and their acquisition of language.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, Piaget observed infants and children in their play and in their interaction with objects and people. He was able to t g[gpment of their cognitive understanding of such ti! For example, the use of certain terms suqb..
For Piaget, language was one of a number of symbol systems that are developed in childhood. He observed interactions among children and also berween children and adults in schools in the Soviet Union in the s and 1 s. The research -. One result of the crosscultural research is the description of the differences in childrearing patterns. Catherine Snow and others have studied the apparent effects on language acquisition of the ways in which adults talk to. In middle-class North American homes,: Furthermore, topics of conversation emphasize the child s: Adults often repeat the content of a child's utter- jrlce, but they expand or RECAST it into a grammatically correct senrence.
For example, when Peter says, 'Dump truck! They have:. In some societies, adults do not.: Martha Crago observed that in traditional Inuit society, children are expected to watch and listen to adults. They are not expected or encouraged to participate in conversations with adults until they are older and have more developed language skills.
Other researchers have observed that in some societies, young children interact primarily with older siblings who serve as their caregivers. Even within the United States, Shirley Brice Heath and others have documented substantial differences in the ways in which parents in different socioeconomic and ethnic groups interact with their children.
Thus, the patterns of parent-child interaction and child-directed speech that were first observed in middle-class North American families are far from universal.
Nevertheless, in every society, children are in situations in which they hear language that is meaningful to them in their environment. And they achieve full competence in the community language. Thus, it is difficult to judge the long-term effect of the modifications that some adults make in speech addressed to children.
Jacqueline Sachs and her colleagues 1 studied the language development of a child they called Jim. He was a hearing child of deaf parents, and his only contact with oral language was through television, which he watched frequently. The familywas unusual in that the parents did not use sign language with Jim. Thus, although in other respects he was well cared fot, Ji- did not begin his linguistic development in a normal environment in which a parent communicated with him in either oral or sign language.
A language assessment at three years and nine months indicated that he was well below age level in all aspects of language. Although he attempted to express ideas appropriate to his age, he used unusual, ungrammatical word order. By the age of four years and two months most of the unusual speech patterns had disappeared, replaced by structures more rypical of his age. Jim's younger brother Glenn did not display the same type of language delay.
Glenns linguistic environment was different in that he had his older brother as a conversational partner. Jim showed very rapid acquisition of the structures of English once he began to interact with an adult on a one-to-one basis.
The fact that he had failed to acquire language normally prior to this experience suggests that impersonal sources of language such as television or radio alone are not sufficient.
The response of the adult may also allow children ro find out when their own utterances are understood. Television, fot obvious reasons, does not provide such interaction. Even in childrent programmes, where simpler language is used and topics are relevant to vounger viewers, no immediate adjustment is made for the needs of an individual child.
Once children have acquired some language, however, television can be a source of language and cultural information.
Dut can arned ln terms ot learnlng ln general. The goal is to show that the computer program can 'learn' certain things if it is exposed to them enough.
The program can even generuIize beyond what it has actually been exposed to and make the same kinds of creative 'mistakes' that children make, such as putting a regular -edending on an irregular verb, for example, eated. They claim that when children hear a word or phrase in the context of a specific otpcu ; tnewordorPnraSeand'whatitrepresentS.
However, at a later point, the word may be generalized to other furry creatures as well, indicating that connections have been made to characteristics of the cat and not to an entiry that adults know as 'cat'. Then there is another learning process involved in 'pruning' the connections so that 'cat' applies only to felines-at least until more metaphorical meanings are learned later in life.
It is also a process of associating gI words and phrases with the other words and phrases that occur with them, or d words with grammatical morphemes that occur with them.
For example, AI children learning languages in which nouns have grammatical gender learn to in associate the appropriate article and adjective forms with nouns. Similarly, they 1a learn to associate pronouns with the verb forms that mark person and number. According to U connectionist theory, all this is possible because of the child's general abiliry to na develop associations between things that occur together.
Learning takes place gradually, as the number of links between rh language and meaning are built up. They argue that acquisition of language, ri while remarkable, is not the only remarkable feat accomplished by the child. In They compare it to other cognitive and perceptual learning, including -al learning to 'see'. A discussion of the various types of disabilities- including deafness, articulatory problems, dyslexia, erc. It is essential that parents and teachers be encouraged to seek professional advice if they feel that a child is not developing language normally, keeping in mind that the range for'normal' is wide indeed.
While most children produce recognizable first words by twelve monrhs, some may not speak before the age of three years. In very young children, one way to determine whether delayed language reflects a problem or simply an individual difference within the normal range is to determine whether the child responds to language and appears to understand even if he or she is not speaking.
For older children, delays in learning to read that seem out of keeping with a child's overall intellectual functioning may suggest that there is a specific problem in that domain. Some children seem to begin reading almost by magic, discovering the mysteries of print with little direct instruction. For most children, instruction that includes some systematic attention to sound-letter correspondences allos's them to unlock the treasure chest of reading.
Both groups fall with a normal range. For some children, however, reading presents such great challenges that they need expert help beyond what is available in a typical classroom. Langaage learning in early childhood 25 fu Jim Cummins , and others have pointed out, one particular group of children who have often been misdiagnosed as having language delays or disorders are children who arrive at their first day of school without an age-appropriate knowledge of the language of the school.
This includes immigrant children who speak another language at home, minoriry language children whose home language is different from the school language, and children who speak a different variety of the school language. Unfortunately, it often happens that these childrent knowledge ofa different language or language variety is interpreted as a lack ofknowledge oflanguage in general.
It is often the case that the school is not equipped to provide an adequate assessment of childrent ability to use their home language. Schools may not have programmes for second language learners that allow them to continue to use their home language. The development of bilingual or second language learning children is of enormous importance. Indeed, the majoriry of the world's children are exposed to more than one language, either in early childhood or from the time they enter school.
Researchers have recently made important progress in providing guidelines that can help educators distinguish between disabiliry and diversity Seymour and Pearson Childhood bilingualism E"tly childhood bilingualism is a realiry for millions of children throughout the world. Some children learn multiple languages from earliest childhood; others acquire additional languages when they go to school.
The acquisition and maintenance of more than one language can open doors to many personal, social, and economic opportunities. Children who learn more than one language from earliest childhood are referred to as 'simultaneous bilinguals', whereas those who learn another Ianguage later may be called 'seqtrential bilinguals'.
There is a considerable b"dy of research on children's abiliry to learn more than one language in their earliest years. They fear that the children will be confused or will not learn either language well. However, there is little suppoft for the myth that learning more than one language in early childhood is a problem for children Genesee, Crago, and Paradis Although some studies show minor early delays for simul- ulneous bilinguals, there is no evidence that learning two languages sub- stantially slows down their linguistic development or interferes with cognitive and academic development.
Indeed many simultaneous bilinguals achieve high levels of proficiency in both languages. Limitations that may be observed in the language of bilingual individuals are more likely to be related to the circumstances in which each language is learned than to any limitation in the human capacity to learn more than one language. For example, ifone language is heard much more often than the other or is more highlyvalued in the communiry that language may eventually be used better than, or in preference ro, the other.
There may be reason to be concerned, however, about situations where children are cut off from their family language when they are very young. Eventually they may srop speaking the family language altogether. It can have negative conse- quences for childrent self-esteem, and their relationships with family members are also likely to be affected by such early loss of the family language. In these cases, children seem to continue to be caught berween rwo languages: During the transition period, they may fall behind in their academic learning.
UnfortunarcIy, the 'solution educarors somedmes propose to parents is that they should stop speaking the family language at home and concentrate instead on speakirtg th. The evidence suggests that a better solution is to strive for enorrrvE BTLTNGU the maintenance of the home language while the second language is being learned.
This is especially true if t[. Using their own language in family settings is also away for parents to maintain their own self-esreem, especially as they may be struggling with the new language outside the home, ar work, or in the community. Maintaining the family language also creares opportunities for the children to continue both cognitive and affective development in a language they understand easily while they are still learning the second language. As Virginia Collier and others have shown, the process ofdeveloping a second language takes years.
But teachers, parents, and students need to know that the benefits ofadditive bilingualism will reward patience and effort. In Chapter 2, we will look at the theoretical perspectives that have been proposed to explain second language acquisition.
Sources and suggestions for further readirg Baker, C. Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 3rd edn. Multilingual Matters. Berko Gleason, J.
The Deuelopment of Language 6th edn. Allyn and Bacon and Longman Publishers. Cummins, J. Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossf re. Elman, J. Bares, M. Johnson, A.
Karmiloflsmirh, D. Rethinking fnnateness: A Connectionist Perspectiue on Dnelopment. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Genesee, F. Educating Second Language Children: Cambridge Universiry Press.
Ginsburg, H. Piaget' s Theory of Intellectual Deuelop- rnent: An Introductioz. Englewood cliffs, NJ: Eilers eds. Language and Literacy Danlopment in Bilingual children. Multiling,rJ M",r. Pinker, S. The Language Instincr. Piper, T. Language and Learning: The Home and SchoolYears 2nd edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Schieffelin, B.
Ochs eds. Cam bridge: Camb ridge University Press. V I Vygotsky and the Social Formation ofMind. Others emphasize the role of the environment, especially opportunities to interact with speakers who adapt their language and interaction patterns to meet learners' needs. Still others focus on learners' engagement with the broader social conrexr.
Contexts for language learning A second language learner is different from a. This is true in terms of both the learnert characteristics and the environments in which first and second language acquisition typically occur. Think about how the characteristics and learning conditions of the following learners may differ: Now askyourself the following questions about these different learners, and complete the chart in Thble 2.
I Do they already know at least one language? Are they able to engage in problem solving, deduction, and complex memory tasks? Can they define a word, say what sounds make up that word, or state a rule such as 'add an -sto form the plural'?
Does this know- ledge enable them to make good guesses about what a second language interlocutor is probably saying? Do they have plenry of time available for language learning, plenry of contact with proficient speakers of the language?
That is, do interlocutors adapt their speech so that learners can understand.. Using the chart inTable 2. Use the following notation: L e arn er c lt aracteris ti cs By definition, all second language learners, regardless of age, have already acquired at least one language.
This prior knowledge may be an advantage in the sense that they have an idea of how languages work. On the other hand, knowledge of other languages can lead learners to make incorrect guesses about how the second language works, and this may result in errors that first language learners would not make. Very young language learners begin the task of first language acquisition without the cognitive maturiry or metalinguistic awareness that older second language learners have. Although young second language learners have begun to develop these characteristics, they will still have far to go in these areas, as well as in the area of world knowledge, before they reach the levels already attained by adults and adolescenrs.
On the one hand, cognitive maturity and metalinguistic awareness allow older learners to solve problems and engage in discussions about language. Exp laining se cond language learnirug 3T First Second language language Youngchild Youngchild Adolescent Adult othome ployground clossroom on the job Learner characteristics Another language Cognitive maturity Metalinguistic awareness World knowledge Anxiety about speaking Learning conditions Freedom to be silent Ample time Corrective feedback grammar and pronunciation Corrective feedback meaning, word choice, politeness Modified input Photocopiable Oxford University Press Thble 2.
Their hypothesis is that successful language acquisition draws on different mental abilities, abilities that are specific to language learning.
This view is related to the idea that there is a critical period for language acquisition. It has been suggested that older learners draw on their problem solving and metalinguistic abilities precisely because they can no longer access the innate language acquisition abiliry they had as young children.
In addition ro possible cognitive differences, there are also attitudinal and cultural differences between children and adults. Most child learners are willing to rry ro use the language-even when their proficiency is quite limited. Nevertheless, even very young pre-school children differ in their willingness to speak a language they do not know well.
Some children happily chatter away in their new language; others prefer to listen and participate silently in social interaction with their peers. CI Young children in informal settings are usually exposed to the second inj language for many hours every day. Older learners, ispecially students in un language classrooms, are more likely to receive only limited exposure to the wc second language. Classroom learners not only spend less time in contact wr the language, they also tend to be. For example, classroom learners are often taught l"ng".
In many foreign language. As we saw in Chapter 1, parents tend to respond to their children's language in terms of its meaning rather than in terms of its grammarical a..
Similarly, in second language learning outside of clasirooms, errors that do not interfere with meaning are usually overlooked. Most people would feel theywere being impolite if they interrupted and corrected ro-. Nevertheless, interlocutors may react to an error if they cannot understand what the speaker is trying ro say.
Thus, errors of grammar and pronunciarion -"y roi b. In a situation where a second language speaker ro use inappropriate "pp. In this case too, especially bemeen adults, it is unlikely that the second language speaker would be told that something had gone wrong.
The only place where feedback on error is rypically pt. This adjusted speech rtyl. Of course, some people are much better at this than others. Some Canadian friends told us of an experience they had in China. They were visiting some historic temples and wanted to get more information about them than they could glean from their guidebook. They asked their guide some questions about the monuments.
Unfortunately, their limited Chinese and his non-existent English made it difficult for them to exchange information. The guide kept speaking louder and louder, but our friends understood very little. Finally, in frustration, the guide concluded that it would help if they could see the information-so he took a stick and began writing in the sand-in Chinese characters!
The emphasis in this chapter is on theories that have been proposed to explain the aspects of language acquisition that are common to all second language learners and contexts. Behaviourism fu we saw in Chapter 1, behaviourist theory explained learning in terms of imitation, pracrice, reinforcement or feedback on success , and habit formation. Much of the early research within behaviourist theory was done with laboratory animals, but the learning process was hypothesized to be the same for humans.
Second language applications: Mimicry and memorization Behaviourism had a powerful infuence on second and foreign language teaching, especially in North America, berween the s the t-gl1t. Classroom activities emphasized mimicry and memorizarion, and students learned dialogues and sentence patterns by heart.
Because language development was viewed as the formation of habits, it was assumed that a person learning a second language would start offwith the habits formed in the first languagl and that these habits would interfere with the new ones needed fo-r tf,.
According to the CAH, where th. However, researchers have found that learners do not make all the errors predicted by the CAH. Instead, many of their actual errors are ' not predictable on the basis of their first language. Adult second language. Also, many oirh. In Chapter 4,wewill see ample evidence that second language learners draw on what they already know.
However, we will also see thaithey are some- times reluctant to transfer certain first language parrerns, even when the. AIso, first language infuence may become more apparent as more is learned about the second language, leading learners to see similarities that ,h. By the Is, many researchers were convinced that behaviourism and the contrastive analysis hypothesis were inadequate explanations for second language acquisition. Some of these criticisms arose as a result of the growing infuence of innatist views of language acquisition.
The innatist perspective: Universal Grammar fu we saw in Chapter 1, the rejection of behaviourism as an explanation for first language acquisition was pardy triggered by Chomslcy's critique of it.
Cho of the principles of Universal Gramma its all children to acquire idl-period oithErr t. Others, for example Robert Bley-Vroman and Jacquelyn Schachter argue that, although4l-;is'rg'ood framework for understandin tlsnota anition for the acquisition of n CS ially by learners iod In their Ylew, ts uage acquisition has to be lained ; pefnaps one mo ries described below. Vivian Cook and others point out that, even though many learners fail to achievscomolete mastery of the of secon uisition.
That is, we need to find an r the evidence rs eventuallv know more a nablv have had to entirely on ths-input they are expo This suggests that knowledge of.
Some of the theorists who availabiliwT rst and second ulsltlon. Exp laining second knguage learning Researchers working within the UG framework also differ in their Ne hypotheses about how formal instruction or the availabiliry of feedback on SPC their learning will affect learners' knowledge of the second language.
Bonnie lear Schwartz , for example, concludes that such instruction and feedback pol change only the superficialappearance of language performance and do not pl" really affect the underlying systematic knowledge of the new language. Lydia -White and others who think that Th the nature of UG is altered by the acquisition of the first language suggesr acq that second language learners may sometimes need explicit information Th about what is not grammatical in the second language.
Otherwise, they may nec assume that some structures of the first language have equivalents in the thir second language when, in fact, they do not. E metnocls, they hope to gain galn insight msrght atti into what learners actually know about the language rath;r than ho- tf,ey ma happen to use it in a given situation. Second hnguage app lications: Kras h en's 'monitor model' One model of second language acquisition that was influenced by.
He first described this model in the early Is, at a: R First, in the acquisition-learning hypothesis, I rashen contrasrs these two IN terms. Exp laining s econd knguage learning 37 Next, according to the monitor hypothesis, the acquired system initiates a speaker's utterances and is responsible for spontaneous language use.
The learned system acts as an editor or'monitor', making minor changes and polishing what the acquired system has produced. The natural order hypothesis was based on the finding that, as in first language acquisition, second language acquisition unfolds in predictable sequences.
The language features that are easiest to state and thus to learn are not necessarily the first to be acquired. For example, the rule for adding an -.
The fact that some people who are exposed to large quantities of comprehensible input do not necessarily acquire a language successfully is accounted for by Krashens ffictiue flter hypothesis.
Linguist Lydia 'White questioned one of his hypotheses in a paper called Against Comprehensible Input'. Psychologist Barry Mclaughlint articl,e was one of the first to raise the question ofwhether the five hypotheses could be tested by empirical research. For example, distinguishing between 'acquired' and 'learned' knowledge can lead to circular definitions if itt acquired, it's fluent; if itt fuent, it's acquired and to a reliance on intuition rather than observable differences in behaviour.
In spite of lively criticism and debate, Krashent ideas were very influential during a period when second language teaching was in transition from approaches that emphasized learning rules or memo rizing dialogues to approaches that emphasized using language with a focus on meaning.
Classroom research has confirmed that students can make a great deal of progress through exposure to comprehensible input without direct instruction. Studies have also shown, however, that students may reach a point from which they fail to make further progress on some features of the second language unless they also have access to guided instruction see Chapter 6. Some insights from learning theories developed in psychology help to explain why this may be so.
Current psycholo gical theories: Some draw on neurobiology, seeking to relate observed behaviour as E directly as possible to brain activiry. In their view, general theories of learning can accounr for h, the gradual development of complex syntax and for learners' inability to l spontaneously use everything they know about a language at agiven time. As SE noted above, some linguists have also concluded that, while UG provides a le plausible explanation for first language acquisition, something else is required L] for second language acquisition since it so often falls short of full success.
Norman Segalowitz and others have suggested that learners have to pay attention at first to any aspect of the language that they are trying to understand or produce. However, there is a limit to how much information a learner canpay attention to.
Thus, learners at the earliest stages will use most oftheir resources to understand the main words in a message. In that situation, they may not notice the grammatical morphemes attached to some of the words, especially those that do not substantially affect meaning.
Gradually, through experience and practice, information that was new becomes easier to process, and learners become able to access it quickly and even automatically. This frees them to pay attention to other aspects of the language that, in turn, gradually become automatic. For proficient speakers, choosing words, pronouncing them, and stringing them together with the appropriate grammatical markers is essentially automatic.
Such automatic responses do not use up the kind of resources needed for processing new information. Thus, proficient language users can give their full attention to the overall meaning of a text or conversation, whereas learners use more of their attention on processing the meaning of individual words. This helps to explain why second language readers need more time to understand a text, even if they eventually do fully comprehend it Favreau and Segalowitz 19S3. The information processing model suggests that there is a limit to the amount of focused mental activitywe can engage in at one time.
Note that the 'practice' needed for the development of automaticity is not something mechanical, and it is not limited to the production of language. Exposure to, and comprehension of, a language feature may also be counted as practice. In information processing, practice involves cognitive effort on the part of the learner, but it need not necessarily be available for the learnert introspection. It can occur below the level of awareness.
Similar'information processing' approaches to second language acquisition have been explored by other researchers. Drawing on J. Andersont work, Robert DeKeyser , and others have investigated second language acquisition as 'skill learning'. Indeed, once skills become proceduralized and automatized, thinking about the declarative knowledge while trying to tu perform the skill actually disrupts the smooth performance of it.
In second con. For this reason, fluent speakers may not even sPec realize that they once possessed the declarative knowledge that set the i-p process in motion. They seem to be based on some qualitative change in the learnert lang knowledge.
Restructuring may account for what appear to be sudden bursts featr ofprogress, when learners suddenly seem to 'put it all togerher', even though situr they have not had any new instruction or apparently relevant exposure to th. It may also explain apparent backsliding, when aspect Ever ".
Thus, after months of saying 'I saw a pror film', the learner may say'I seed' or even 'I sawed'. Such errors. According to 'transfer appropriare processing', informa- tion is best retrieved in situations that are similar to those in which it was Nicl chur acquired Blaxton This is because when we learn something our toge memories also record something about the context in which it was learned and even about the way we learned it, for example, by reading or hearing it. Asn To date, most of the research on transfer appropriate processing has bien mecl done in laboratory experimenrs, for example, comparing the liarning of hearr word lists under different conditions.
However, the hypothesis seems to offer stud a plausible way of explaining a widely observed phenomenon in second and language learning: Exp laining s eco nd language learning 4T Connectionism As seen in the discussion of first language acquisition in Chapter 1, connectionists, unlike innatists, no need to hypothesize the existence of a see neurological module dedicated exclusively to language acquisition.
Like most cognitive psychologists, connectionists attribute greater importance to the role of the environment than to any specific innate knowledge in the learner, arguing that what is innate is simply the ability to learn, not any specifically linguistic principles. Connectionists also attribute less importance to the kind of declarative knowledge that characterizes some theories of skill learning.
As Nick Ellis explains, the emphasis is on the frequency with which learners encounter specific linguistic features in the input and the frequency with which features occur together.
Connectionists argue that learners gradually build up their knowledge of language through exposure to the thousands of instances of the linguistic features they eventually hear. After hearing language features in specific situational or linguistic contexts over and over again, learners develop a stronger and stronger network of 'connectionst between these elements.
Eventually, the presence of one situational or linguistic element will activate the other s in the learner's mind. For example, learners might get subject- verb agreement correct, not because they know a rule but because they have heard examples such as 'I say' and 'he says' so often that each subject pronoun activates the correct verb form. Evidence for the connecdonist view comes from the observation that much of the language we use in ordinary conversation is predictable, in some cases to the point of being formulaic.
As suggested by Nick Ellis , and others, language is at least partly learned in chunks larger than single words and not all sentences or phrases are put together one word at a time. These studies have so far dealt almost exclusivelywith the acquisition ofvocabulary and grammatical morphemes, that is, aspects of the language that even innatists will grant may be acquired largely through memorization and simple generalization.
How this model of cumulative learning can lead to knowledge of complex syntactic structures is an important area for continued research. It wol is also based on the hypothesis that language acquisition occurs without the moi necessity of a learnert focused attention or the need for any innate brain to t.
The competition model is proposed as Se, an explanation for both first and second language acquisition. Through exposure to thousands of examples of language associated with particular AN meanings, learners come to understand how to use the 'cues' with which a Ar language signals specific functions. For example, the relationship between lanl words in a sentence may be signalled by word order, grammarical markers, pen and the animacy of the nouns in the sentence.
Most languages make use of multiple cues, but they differ in the primacy of each. This becomes clear in a. That is, the rese rypical English sentence mentions the subject first, then the verb, then the thei object.
Two- and three-year old English speaking children use cues of con -t- animacy and their knowledge of the way things work in the world to 4 Kra interpret odd sentences. Thus, if they hear a string of words such as 'Box Ho. Furthermore, at this age, they may con attribute the SVO relationship to sentences in the passive voice. That is, lear 'The box was pushed by the boy' may be interpreted as 'The box pushed the boy.
An Itdian speaker, accustomed to more fexible -is order, focuses on the animacy ofthe two nouns and concludes that the word most reasonable interpretation is that the boy is looking at the toy. Tless- researchers have studied the ways in which s modifu their and tmi rners partlcrDate nYersailon or agreed with n that comprehensible input is necessary for language acquisition.
However, h. In the original formulation of the Interaction Hypothesis, Long ilferred that modified interaction is necessary for language acquisition, mmmarizing the relationship as follows: I Interactional modification makes input comprehensible. Some examples of these conyersational rnodifica- tc tlons are: These requesrs from the learner lead to further la modifications by the native speaker.
She was walking home from school. She got Pr th lost. SO Research has shown that conversational adjustments can aid compre- SO hension. Modification that takes place during interaction leads to beit. She observed that it is pc when learners must produce language that their interlocutor can understand to that they are most likely to see the limits of their second language ability and TI the need to find better ro express their meaning.
The demands of se producing comprehensible output, she hypothesized, push learners ahead reI in their development. In The noticing hypothesis In Richard Schmidt , proposed the 'noticing hypothesis', lar suggesting that nothing is learned unless it has been noticed. Noticing does PI. Drawing on psychological learning theories, Schmidt hypothesized that second language learnirs could not begin to acquire a language feature until they had become aware of it in the input.
Susan Gass also described a learning process that begins when learners notice something they hear or see in the second language that is different from what they expected or that fills a gap in their knowleJge of the Ianguage. The question of whether learners musr be aware that ihey are hoticing' something in the input is the object of considerable debate. According to information processing theories, anyrhing that uses up our mental 'processing space', even ifwe are not aware of it or attending to it 'on qurgose', can contribute to learning.
These questions about the importance of awareness and atrention have been the object of debate and research. Several researchers have found ways to track learners' attention as they engage in second language interaction or lctivity Alison Mackey, Susan Gass, and Kim McDonough have described techniques, for example, having learners see and hear themselves in videotaped interactions, to explore what they were thinking as they participated in conversations.
Ron Leow developed crossword puzzles that learners had to solve while speaking aloud. Meirill Swain and Sharon Lapkin recorded learners in pair work and kept track of the language features they mendoned. These reiearch designs. The extent to which learners' awareness of language f.
For example, as predicted by the competition model, when these English speakers heard sentences such as'La sigue el sefioi , they interpreted it as 'She subject pronoun follows the man'. The correcr interpretation is 'Her object pronoun follows the man' subject of the sentence.
In order to understand that, students need to learn that in Spanish, a pronoun object precedes the verb and that it is essential to pay Th attention to whether the pronoun is a subject or an object rather than to the Asw word order alone. See the discussion ofthe competirion model earlier in this men chapter. Not surprisingly, they tend to give prioriry to whic meaning. In Chapter 6 we othe will see how VanPatten developed instructional procedures rhar require inter learners to focus on the language itself in order to interprer rhe meaning.
They analysed large samples of their speech ZPL and described the details of developmental sequences in their ptodu. Ease of processing was found to depend to a tent on th-e positio In I ically urred at t d of a sentence on tl those that were tn t just t e.
All learners acquired the features in the same sequence, even though they progressed at different rares. They also found ond that some languase features did not seem to he affecterl h. One imforln, aspec of his empl theory is the integration of developmental sequences with firit language trnter influence..
Primary among these interactions are those between individuals. Unlike the psychological theories that view thinking and speaking as related but independent processes, sociocultural theory views speaking and thinking as tightly interwoven.
Speaking and writing mediate thinking, which means that people can gain control over their mental processes as a consequence of internalizing what others say to them and what they say to others. Learning is thought to occr. In some ways, this approach may appear to restate some of the hypotheses encountered elsewhere in this chapter. Vrilli"- Dunn andJames Lantolf addressed this question in a review article, arguing that it is not possible to compare the two concepts because they depend on very different ideas about how development occurs.
The ZPD is a metaphorical location or 'site' in which learners co-construct knowledge in collaboration with an interlocutor. Vygotskyan theory has also been compared to the interaction hypothesis because of the interlocutor's role in helping learners understand and be understood. These two perspectives differ primarily in the emphasis they place on the internal cognitive processes.
In the interaction hypothesis, the emphasis is on the individual cognitive processes in the mind of the learner. Interaction facilitates those cognitive processes by giving learners access to the input they need to activate internal processes. In Vygotskyan theory, greater importance is attached to the conversations themselves, with learning occurring through the social interaction.
Sociocultural theory holds that people gain control of and reorganize their cognitive processes during mediation as knowledge is internalized during social activity. Ianguage applications: Tiaditionally, the ZPD has been und. An example of this Int is in Communication task B in Chapter 5.
In that excerpt the learners are for struggling with French refexive verbs as they try to consrrucr a storyline soc from pictures. That example is taken from the work of Merrill Swain and cha Sharon Lapkin ,who have investigated sociocultural explanations for Bor second language learning in Canadian French immersion programmes.
In preparing to speak or write, they must pay more acti attention to how meaning is expressed through language than they do for the prel comprehension of language.
She advocated abili more opportunities for learners to engage in verbal production i. Nern Swain's early work on the outpur hypothesis was influenced by cont cognitive theory, but more recent work has been motivated by sociocultural carel theory. Using the term'collaborative dialogue', Swain and Lapkin and their [irg, colleagues have carried out a series of studies to determine how second coml language learners co-consffuct linguistic knowledge while engaging in Ling production tasks i.
It is language use mediating language learning. It is cognitive activity and it is social lnterr rity p. Other interactionist models assume that modified input and Resea interaction provide learners with the raw material for internal cognitive processes.
All of the theories discussed in this chapter and in Chapter I use metaphors to represent this invisible reality. Both linguists and psychologists draw some of their evidence from neurological research. At present, most of the research on specific brain activity during language processing must be based on indirect evidence. Advances in technology arcrapidly increasing oppoftunities to observe brain activity more directly. Such research will eventually contribute to reinter- pretations of research that, until now can examine only observable behaviour.
Their applic- abiliry to the natural learning of languages by humans was strongly challenged by psychologists and linguists alike, primarily because of the inadequacyofbehaviourist models to account for the complexityinvolved in language learning. Newer psychological theories have often involved computer simulations or controlled laboratory experiments where people learn specific sets of carefully chosen linguistic features, often in an invented language.
Many linguists argue that this does not entitle psychologists to generalize to the complexities of the linguistic knowledge that learners eventually have. Linguists working from an innatist perspective draw much of their evidence from studies of the complexities of proficient speakers'language knowledge and performance and from analysis of their own intuitions about language.
Critics of this view argue that it is not enough to knowwhat the final state of knowledge is and that more attention should be paid to the developmental steps leading up to this level of mastery.
This perspective, as well as the sociocultural perspective, provides insights into the ways in which learners can gain access to new knowledge about the language when they have support from an interlocutor. Some critics of the interactionist position argue that much ofwhat learners need to know is not available in the input, and so they put greater emphasis on innate principles of language that learners can draw on. Researchers and educators who are hoping for language acquisition theories Sat give them insight into language teaching practice are often frustrated by the lack of agreement among the 'experts'.
Research that Psyc' has theory development as its goal has important long-term significance for pp. Even if such to r agreemenr were reached, there would still be quesdons about how the theory T. K should be interpreted for language teaching practice. A growing body of applied research draws on a wide range of theoretical Pier orientations, sometimes explicitly stated, sometimes merely implied. This research may provide information that is more helpful in guiding teachers' reflections about pedagogy.
In Chapters 5 and 6, we will examine language Ritc acquisition research that has focused on learning in the classroom. Language and Language Learnirug. NewYork Harcourt. Can Cook, V Long eds. The Handbook of Second Language Ac quis itio n. Ellis, R. The Study of Second Language Acquisitioru. Oxford University Press. Gass, S. Input, Interaction, and the Second Language Learner. Krashen, S. Principles and Practice in Second LanguageAcquisition.
Lantolf, J. Sociocuhural Theory arud Second Language Learning. Kroll eds. Tutorials in Bilingualism: Exphiningsecond language learning 5l Rycholinguistic Perspectiues.
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates. Mclaughlin, B. Ritchie and I K. Bhatia eds. Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. New York: Academic Press. Sorry to trouble you. Student D It uprooted hundreds of trees. May I use your phone? Student C Hundreds of trees were uprooted by the hurricane All of these responses are grammatically acceptable Materials extract 2. Student B The trees were uprooted. B 1 Polite formulas Asking for permission is a type of request This extract of authentic conversation between native speakers shows three other aspects of competence in conversational use of language: Native speaker Oh.
They compensate for this either by changing their original intention or by searching for other means of expression. Second language learners will need to acquire useful language for strategies such as initiating.. Strategic competence consists of using communication strategies. I mean.. These strategies come into play when learners are unable to express what they want to say because they lack the resources to do so successfully.
For example Interpretation of the topic by a listener who came in at this point would be impossible. B Yes. B As far as I can gather.. A Records to show. Student Yes. Learners will also need to develop a similar kind of competence for written texts.. The population is ageing.. That is to say. They will need to understand the relationships between the propositions of adjoining sentences and to interpret these relationships through formal devices..
These various abilities needed to create coherent written texts or conversation We go for a fortnight to our summer stuga I mean overall. Student Every summer we go for a for. The above examples demonstrate a number of strategies.
Second language acquisition research suggests that the exposure of learn- ers to language provided at a point of need and in a meaningful context which they have created for them- selves in trying to express something is a good situation for acquisition Clearly the advantages of using achievement strategies or taking risks with the language is that they keep the conversation going and may encourage the listener to provide the necessary language A When will you be taking your driving test?
In the second instance.. The student ventures: There is little in current ELT materials. At the same time. Whereas strategic competence presupposes a lack of [accessible] knowledge. She is very sad She perseveres with what she is trying to say and finds ways of compensating for her insecure or inadequate knowledge of English. In summary. Strategy training is an issue which needs to be further addressed in ELT I think she.
Certainly teachers can help students early in a language programme by teaching them appropriate questions for requesting help.
It has. Accounts of others can be found in Faerch. They list three types of fluency: It is the ability to link units of speech together with facility and without strain or inappropriate slowness.
Haas- trup. I think she is at a funeral. Perhaps her son has died. The question arising is whether strategic competence can be trained. This implies activities in which students will determine the content of what they say in interaction with other students. B September 27th. This ability to respond coherently within the turns of the conversation.
Students I went to the theatre last night. These are items of prefabricated language. ELT has addressed the issue of how to develop fluency in various ways. More recently. The advantage of teaching lexical phrases is that. We use gambits in a meeting when we want to hold the floor. Teacher Yesterday. Remind me. Nattinger suggests that this kind of lexical learning plays a much stronger role in language learning than previously appreciated.
Teacher Visited. B The day after my birthday. A therefore has to listen. Coursebooks in the s often contained fluency drills. One level is that of the sentence. Are any sections repetitious and can they be missed out? The first would probably receive rather more careful revision than the second. The letter of complaint would follow formal conventions of layout and be in a serious disapprobatory style. A more flexible approach is required. They may. The particular purpose implies an organization for the writing and a style appropriate for the readers.
Some learners who appear to take very little time for thinking before starting to write nevertheless produce effective writing. Widdowson points to this tendency when he says: But good writers also work episodically to set goals which structure the next unit of writing. Any initial planning before writing is therefore subject to review at any point as the writer critically evaluates the emerging text and thinks of new ideas and new ways to or- ganize and express them.
The letter to friends would be in- formal. The amount of planning will vary. Revising Typically. Planning First. These factors can easily be appreciated if we compare writing a letter of complaint to an unknown person for the first time with a regular letter containing news to friends overseas. After writing part of the draft.
One expert writer. It is noteworthy that all of these questions are to do with meaning and organization. It is therefore not the amount of revision that is significant but its effect in making improvements. Studies by Perl andSommers showed that less ex- perienced writers were constantly concerned with grammar and correctness and this distracted them from thinking about clarity of ideas and organization. They concluded from the findings of two studies that expert writers revise in different ways from inexperienced writers.
Any classroom activities devised to encourage effective revision will need to help student writers in English to see how it relates to all aspects of writing. Flower and Hayes contributed to our understanding of planning when they suggested that it goes on at many levels and throughout the process of composing.
Faigley and Witte Seminal work was carried out in this area by Faigley and Witte During reflection. This will involve thinking about the purpose of the writing.
Many teachers now take the view that the best help they can give is to provide students with ideas for planning in the early stages and to let them take up those which they find individually useful and attractive. The primary aim of the process approach. Most writing undertaken in the real world has a particular readership in view: A popular unguided technique is brainstorming.
Such interaction has the value of providing student writers with an audience on whom to test out the selection of content. It could be argued that adult learners should already have developed effective writing strategies in their first language. In other words. This suggests a number of principles for the teacher to incorporate into the teaching of writing. In academic writing. A and 9. A is an example of a guided technique. In the general EFL classroom. Materials extract 9. It is knowledge of that readership which provides a context for the writing and which influences the selection of content and style.
Notice that these activities show how writing can be stim- ulated by students working interactively. B demonstrate the help that teachers can give as students think out a topic. Given that we know successful writers plan their writing in very different ways. Students are guided through a possible list of contents for a biography and select those they are prepared to talk about to a partner. Both 9. Good writers are sensitive to the audience of their writing.
A process approach tries to provide useful support for student writers. The issues that arise for teachers from insights into what makes a successful writer are whether we can teach strategies for planning. White and Arndt make a useful distinction between guided techniques in which prompts such as questions are used. The nature of the support will depend on the kind of learners.
The next step is note-making on the topics preparatory to writing the first draft. Gairns and Redman: First find a partner to work with on this project Materials extract They should listen and write brief notes Now tell your partner about the topics you have chosen Which words in the Ust mean important?
The map may look something like this when it is under way. Set a definite time limit one or two minutes. Branches can be drawn and added as students suggest new ideas or add ideas to already established aspects.
The reasoning behind mind maps is that we do not think in an ordered or linear way. This is an invaluable way in which to learn vocabulary. They should jot down all the things associated with Christmas that come into their minds.
As they listen to other students making suggestions and to your explanations and corrections. Let them jot down things in their first language if they do not know the English words.
They can then start sharing what they have jotted down. The topic used for demonstration below is the festival of Christmas. The end result is a map with a number of subtopics or aspects radiating from the central topic and with further points added to these. Where there are links Christmas food is.
B is an example of one such possible technique. This is just the begin- ning of the task for a writer. The students then exchange the letters and write replies. With less mature writers. In the task in Materials extract 9. C Whatever your purpose. The principle involved in these letter exchanges is that of task dependency as the success of the exchange depends on the clarity of the letters to their readers: The following questions.
The advantage of mind maps as a planning strategy. Who is your audience? As students work on writing tasks it is important that they ask themselves who they are writing for and keep that audience in mind as they write. Writing materials now seek ways of helping students to organize their ideas: The school can also provide an audi- ence with its population of English language learners. This can assist with advance plan- ning of the overall text.
If their discussion is in English. All of these techniques give initial support for what will eventually be a process undertaken indi- vidually. At this stage they can help each other plan and draft. The next step is to ask students to work in pairs to decide on a logical sequence of information for the description. C provides a useful checklist of questions for the student writer. This generates ideas through individual reflection: B students are taken through two further steps: Does the composition divide naturally into several parts?
A variety of procedures are now used to support revision. It has the particular advantage that it provides students with opportunities to notice any differences between the target model and their own production see Chapter 5 and thus to acquire language forms. This is especially the case if little work is done in class on revising as it gives students the impression that the teacher is primarily responsible for improving the quality of their written work.
Donahue Latulippe: Writing as a Personal Product. Notice that these questions focus on the overall content and organization. Do the paragraphs reflect those parts? Reformulation Allwright proceeds through the following stages: The task is guided to ensure that the content and or- ganization of their writing is similar overall. D is for individual use. A popular procedure is conferencing. Does each paragraph have an effective concluding sentence?
Reformulation is a useful procedure when students have produced a first draft and are moving on to look at more local possibilities for improvement. This ex- ample in Materials extract 9. As the class writes. A popular device at a slightly later stage is the use of a checklist. Keh reports positive student feedback on conferencing.
Does each paragraph have a topic sentence with a main idea? After you have decided your purpose. Through careful questioning.
Other types of checklist can be used when students exchange drafts for comment and can focus on a recent teaching point. Do you need to be more specific or concrete in your explana- tions? How would you answer them now? Did you include all the information you needed to discuss your topic as fully as you wanted?
Should you add anything to your discussion? Is there any irrelevant information. This task can be done in the first or second language. The advantage of refor- mulation is that it allows discussion of such aspects as how ideas are developed.
Ask yourself these questions: Is the main idea stated somewhere near the beginning of the paper? If not. D 1 First answer these questions about your audience: What interest do they have in this subject? What do they already know about this subject? What did you want to accomplish by writing this paper? To entertain your audience? To educate them? To inspire them to do something? To help them understand something new? To help them see something famil- iar from a new point of view?
To change their minds about something? In well-resourced institutions photocopying will be possible. No matter where the main idea appears in your draft or even if it is only implied. Should you delete any sec- tions of your discussion? Have you said anything your reader is likely to object to?
Did you answer those anticipated objections? Have you said anything your reader may not understand? Is each new idea explained sufficiently before you move on to the next one? Are the ideas clearly linked together? Do you lead your readers step by step to understand your ideas? Should you rearrange any sections of your paper? Does the conclusion develop logically from what you have written?
Do you think it gives the reader the feeling that you have said everything you intended to say about your subject? Academic Writing: Techniques and Tasks. Do you think it is clear to your audience?
My experience has been that. Figure 9. The one in Figure 9. A number of different marking strategies are available. It is also possible to indicate in the margin that there is an error of a particular kind somewhere on that line and ask students to locate and correct it.
The essential element in the techniques described above—conferencing. It will be the role of the teacher to provide the final feedback on the completed piece of work but.
These last two strategies require a coding system. Weir In England.