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First language acquisition
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First language acquisition


My oral presentation for my Master's in English as a second language

My oral presentation for my Master's in English as a second language

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  • 1. FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITIONApplied LinguisticsIsabel Matos
  • 2. THEORIES OF FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Behavioral approaches  Publicly observable responses  Reinforcement & punishment Nativist approach Universal grammar Language acquisition is innate  LAD (language acquisition device)  Ability to distinguish speech sounds  Ability to organize linguistic data into classes  Knowledge that only certain system is possible  Constant evaluation of the linguistic system
  • 3. FUNCTIONAL APPROACH  Language: dealing with the world  Social context functions purposes Pragmatics Cognition Social interaction What children know about the Language is used for world determines what they interactive communication learn about the code.
  • 4. ISSUES IN FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Competence: ability to do something Performance: manifestation of competence Comprehension & production(listening , reading)(speaking, writing) Nature or Nurture?  Problems with the nativist approach  Genetic transmission?  What are the behaviors given by nature ? And by teaching?
  • 5.  Universals: language is universally acquired in the same manner and the deepest structure is the same in all languages. Word order Negation  Principles: are universal Question Formation Agreement  Parameters : vary across languages
  • 6.  Systematicity and Variability  The acquisition process is systematic but it is not clear where the limit of its stages is (variability) Language and thought Piaget: Language depends on cognitionBehaviorist: cognition Each language imposes on Jerome Bruner:is too mentalistic to be Its speaker a particular Language influencesstudied worldview cognition Benjamin Whorf & Edward Sapir: Linguistics relativity
  • 7.  Imitation  Surface-structure imitation  Repeating exactly the same but no understanding  Deep-structure imitation  My teacher holded the baby rabbits…  Did you say that the teacher held the baby rabbits?  Yes, she holded the baby rabbits… Practice and frequency  Children’s practice and frequency of meaningful occurrence seem to be key factors in first language acquisition. Input  Parental input is selective. Grammatical
  • 8.  Discourse  Children acquired language through interaction rather than exposure.Context.  Can you go to the movies tonight?  I’m busy. How do they detect pragmatics? FLA & language teaching Weak theory  François Gouin & Maximilian Berlitz Budget problems / public schools Series Method / Direct Method Difficult to use Naturalistic
  • 9. “The second time around on something is always easier. In the case of language, this is not necessarily true.” Douglas Brown