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Second Language Acquisition Theories

Second Language Acquisition Theories



There are many theories in terms of second language acquisition. However, I have chosen only three.

There are many theories in terms of second language acquisition. However, I have chosen only three.



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    Second Language Acquisition Theories Second Language Acquisition Theories Presentation Transcript

    • SecondLanguageAcquisition
    • Second Language Acquisition• It is not just the learning of a subsequent language to that learnt in childhood but also the study of the processes involved and of those who are learning it.
    • The Main Theories in SLA• Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH)• Error Analysis (EA) and Inter-language (IL)• Monitor Model Hypothesis
    • Contrastive AnalysisHypothesis (CAH)Gass and Selinker
    • Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH)• Gass and Selinker (1994)• It is a way of comparing languages in order to determine potential errors for the ultimate purpose of isolating what needs to be learned and what does not need to be learned in a second language learning situation.
    • Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH)• It focuses on the differences and similarities between the L1 and the Second Language (L2).• This means that the similarities and differences between L1 and L2 play a crucial role in learners’ production.
    • Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH)• Saville-Troike (2006) also points out that there will be a transfer of elements acquired in the L1 to the target L2.
    • Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH)• This transfer is considered positive if the same structure exists in both languages and the transfer results in the correct production of language in the L2.• However, it can also be negative if a language structure from the L1 does not exist in the L2 but the structure is transferred leading to the production of incorrect language.
    • • Mitchell and Myles (1998: 30) say that the predictions of CAH, that all the errors made in learning the L2 are due to interface from L1, were shown to be unfounded. They claim that many studies and research explain convincingly that the majority of errors could not be attributed to the L1. In other words, CAH might not predict learning difficulties, and was only useful in the retrospective explanation of errors. This point considerably weakened its appeal. However, the heightened interest in this area did lead to the origin of Error Analysis.
    • Error Analysis (EA)Inter-language (IL)Mitchell and MylesSaville and Troike
    • Error Analysis (EA)• Mitchell and Myles (2004) consider this approach to be influenced by behaviorism through the use of fundamental distinctions between the learners’ first and second languages to predict errors, adding that EA showed that CA was not able to predict most errors.
    • Error Analysis (EA)• Troike (2006) observes that EA distinguishes between systematic errors, which are due to a lack of L2 knowledge and mistakes, which are made when the knowledge has been processed.
    • Error Analysis (EA)• Some shortcomings of EA1. Some people do not make errors because of L1 interface.2. Focusing only on errors does not provide information regarding what the learner has acquired.3. Learners may not produce errors because they avoid difficult structures.For example, Arab students avoid using models auxiliaries since they have difficulties in understanding their role in each sentence. They may use I want…, I need …., instead of could I have, I would like ……..?
    • Inter-language (IL)• Saville-Troike (2006) states that the term IL was introduced by Selinker in 1972, “to refer to the intermediate states (or interim grammars) of a learner’s language as it moves toward the target L2″.
    • Inter-language (IL)• Ellis (1997) hypothesizes that the nature of variability changes during the process of L2 development in the stages [found in the succeeding slide].
    • Inter-language (IL)1. One form for multi-functions e.g., I live in Manchester, last year I live in London, next year I live in Amman.2. Some forms have been acquired e.g. I live in Manchester, last year I lived in London, next year I lived in Amman.3. The various forms start to be used systematically. Here the student may write the forms correctly but still use the incorrect forms when speaking.4. The student uses the forms correctly and consistently.
    • The Monitor Model Theory1. Acquisition-Learning Theory2. Monitor Hypothesis3. Natural Order Hypothesis4. Input Hypothesis5. Affective Filter HypothesisStephen Krashen
    • Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis• Acquisition is a sub-conscious process, as in the case of a child learning its own language or an adult picking up a second language simply by living and working in a foreign country.• Learning is the conscious process of developing a foreign language through language lessons and a focus on the grammatical features of that language.
    • Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis• According to Krashen learned language cannot be turned into acquisition. It is pointless spending a lot of time learning grammar rules, since this will not help us become better users of the language in authentic situations. At most, the knowledge we gain about the language will help us in direct tests of that knowledge or in situations when we have time to self-correct, as in the editing of a piece of writing.
    • Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis• Gass and Selinker (1994) criticize this hypothesis. They claim that it does not show evidence of the distinction between acquisition and learning as two separate systems.• However, Krashen said that many can produce language fluently without having been taught any rules and there are many that know the rules but are unable to apply them whilst speaking (Lightbown and Spader, 1999).
    • Natural Order Hypothesis• Language is acquired in a predictable order by all learners. This order does not depend on the apparent simplicity or complexity of the grammatical features involved. The natural order of acquisition cannot be influenced by direct teaching of features that the learner is not yet ready to acquire.
    • Natural Order Hypothesis• It is claimed that the natural order of acquisition is very similar for a native-English child learning its own language and for an adult learning English as a foreign language.• For example, the ’-ing’ form (present continuous) will be acquired early on and almost certainly before the ’-s’ inflection in the third person present simple (she likes, he eats, etc.)
    • Natural Order Hypothesis• As Krashen points out, much of the frustration experienced by teachers and their students in grammar lessons results from the attempt to inculcate a grammatical form which the learner is not yet ready to acquire.
    • Monitor Hypothesis• We are able to use what we have learned (in Krashens sense) about the rules of a language in monitoring (or self- correcting) our language output.• Conscious editor or monitor works.• Clearly, this is possible in the correction of written work. It is much more difficult when engaging in regular talk.
    • Monitor Hypothesis• Krashen states that it is often difficult to use the monitor correctly since the rules of a language can be extremely complex.• Two examples from English are the rules about the articles (a/the) and the future "tense".• Even assuming the learner has a good knowledge of the rule in question, it is difficult to focus on grammar while simultaneously attempting to convey meaning (and possibly feeling).• Most normal conversation simply does not provide enough time to do so.
    • Monitor Hypothesis• There are variations in use of the monitor that affect the language that learners produce.• Acquired language skills can lead to improved fluency but overuse of the monitor can lead to a reduction in fluency (Krashen, 1988).• Moreover, Krashen (1988) believes that there is individual variation among language learners with regard to ‘monitor’ use.
    • Monitor Hypothesis• He claims that the learners who use the ‘monitor’ all the time are ‘over-users’, often producing stilted language, whereas ‘under-users’ will often speak quickly but with a lot of errors.• Learners who use the monitor appropriately are considered ‘optimal- users’.
    • Monitor Hypothesis• These find a good balance between speed and accuracy, continuing to refer to want they have learnt but acknowledging the importance of communication.• He emphasizes that lack of self- confidence is the major cause for the over-use of the ‘monitor’.
    • Input Hypothesis• We acquire language in one way only: when we are exposed to input (written or spoken language) that is comprehensible to us.• Comprehensible input is the necessary but also sufficient condition for language acquisition to take place. It requires no effort on the part of the learner.
    • Input Hypothesis• Krashen now refers to this as the Comprehension Hypothesis.• It states that learners acquire language when they are exposed to input at i+1, where i is the current state or stage of language proficiency.• Learners use their existing acquired linguistic competence together with their general world knowledge to make sense of the messages they receive in language just beyond where they currently are (the +1).
    • Input Hypothesis• Given comprehensible input at i+1, acquisition will take place effortlessly and involuntarily.• This theory has clear implications for language teachers; namely, that their language instruction should be full of rich input (both spoken and written language) that is roughly tuned at the appropriate level for the learners in the class.
    • Affective Filter Hypothesis• Comprehensible input will not result in language acquisition if that input is filtered out before it can reach the brains language processing faculties. The filtering may occur because of anxiety, poor self-esteem or low motivation.
    • Affective Filter Hypothesis• Learners with a low affective filter will not only be efficient language acquirers of the comprehensible input they receive. They are also more likely to interact with others, unembarrassed by making mistakes for example, and thus increase the amount of that input.
    • Affective Filter Hypothesis• He claims that learners who are highly motivated, self-confident and less anxious are better equipped for success in SLA.• Low motivation, low self-esteem, and high anxiety contribute to raise the affective filter which prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition.
    • Affective Filter Hypothesis• In other words, if the filter is high, the input will not pass through and subsequently there will be no acquisition.• On the other hand, if the filter is low and the input is understood, the input will take place and acquisition will have taken place.
    • Affective Filter Hypothesis• Gass and Selinker (1994) criticize the Filter Hypothesis because it does not explain how it works? Or how the input filter works?• However, others see that it as something that can be seen and applied in the classroom and that it can explain why some students learn and produce better language than others (Lightbown and Spader, 1999).
    • References• Altarriba, J. & Soltano, E. G. (1996). Repetition Blindness and Bilingual Memory: Token Individuation for Translation Equivalents. Memory and Cognition• Buck, M., Lambert, W. E. & Tucker, G. R. (1976). Cognitive and Attitudinal Consequences of Bilingual Schooling: The Saint Lambert Project Through Grade Six. International Journal of Psycholinguistics• Carroll, J. B. (1981). Twenty-Five Years of Research on Foreign Language Aptitude. Individual Differences and Universals in Language Learning Aptitude. Rowley, MA: Newbury House• Dörnyei, Z. (1990). Conceptualizing Motivation in Foreign Language Learning. Language Learning• Duskova, L. (1969). On Sources of Errors in Foreign Language Learning. International Review of Applied Linguistics
    • • Ellis, R. (1997). Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press• Ellis, N. C. & Beaton, A. (1993). Factors Affecting the Learning of Foreign Language Vocabulary: Imagery Keyword and Phonological Short-Term Memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology• Gass, S.M. and Selinker, L. (1994). Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course. Hillsdale, NJ/ London: Lawrence Erlbaum• Harley, T. A. (2008). The Psychology of Language: From Data to Theory (3rded).UK: Ashford Colour Press Ltd• Kersten, A. W. & Earles, J, L. (2001). Less Really is More for Adults Learning a Miniature Artificial Language. Journal of Memory and Language
    • • Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and Practices in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon• Krashen, S. D. (1988). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. HemelHempstead: Prentice Hall• McLaughlin, B. & Heredia, R. (1996). Information- Processing Approaches to Research on Second Language Acquisition and Use. London: Academic Press• Mitchell, R. and Myles, F. (1998). Second Language Learning Theories London: Edward Arnold• Mitchell, R. and Myles, F. (2004). Second Language Learning Theories (2nded).London: Edward Arnold
    • • Newmar, L. (1966). How Not to Interfere with Language Learning. Cognitive Science• Papagno, C., Valentine, T. & Baddeley, A. (1991). Phonological Short-Term Memory and Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning. Journal of Memory and Language• Saville-Troike, M. (2006). Introducing Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press• Sharpe, K. (1992). Communication, Culture, Context, Confidence: The Four Cs of Primary Modern Language Teaching. Language Learning Journal• Robinson, P. (2001). Individual Differences, Cognitive Abilities and Aptitude Complexes. Second Language Research• White, L. (2003). Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press