Grammar origins1

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Grammar origins1

  1. 1. GRAMMAR ORIGINS
  2. 2. Grammar origins  Language and thought - Broca’s area is the part of the human brain associated with language. - Empiricist-Rationalist debate that influences grammar instruction
  3. 3. Grammar origins Relationship between language and thought  Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: though and language are determined by culture (linguistic determinism) strong and weak version  Piaget (1967) cognitive development in the infant occurs in defined stages and preceeds language
  4. 4. Grammar origins  Chomsky (1957) language is an innate human specific ability which is not dependent on other cognitive processes. Children are genetically equipped to acquire language in infancy.  “Universal grammar” minimum input for activation
  5. 5. Grammar Origins  Vygotsky (1934/1962) this view comes from interactionists and states that social interaction is of major importance in developing language capacity.
  6. 6. Language Teaching Approaches based on American Linguistics theories (40’s 50’s 60’s) Fries (1945) American structural linguistics which emphasized grammatical and phonological structure. Grammar should be the starting point of language learning = habit formation
  7. 7. Revolutionary changes in linguistic theory in the 60’s Generative linguistics (transformational) CHOMSKY (1957) rejected the behaviorist notion of habit formation.
  8. 8. Grammar origins  He introduced a rationalist framework: Language is represented as a speaker’s mental grammar, a set of abstract rules for generating grammatical sentences.  These rules generate the syntactic structure and lexical items for appropriate grammatical categories.
  9. 9. Grammar origins  The interest of generative linguists centered on rule-governed behavior and the grammatical structure of sentences, but did not include use of language.  Language learning approaches based on this theory viewed learning as rule acquisition and not as habit formation and emphasized grammatical rules.
  10. 10. Grammar origins  Hymes (1972) extended it and gave greater emphasis to the sociolinguistic and pragmatic factors governing effective use of language.  Communicative competence: emphasized using language for meaningful communication - Appropriate use of language
  11. 11. Grammar origins  Teaching approach: Halliday (1973) promoted fluency over accuracy.  Focus shifted from sentence level forms to discourse level forms
  12. 12. Cognitive Approach Cognitive Science, with work of cognitive psychologists and linguistics Chomsky (1957) Language learning and grammar instruction from the information processing perspective
  13. 13. Grammar origins  Study of cognition in language learning deals with ”mental representations and information processing” and seeks to develop “ functional neurobiological descriptions of the learning processes which, through exposure to representative experience, result in change, development and the emergence of knowledge” Ellis (1999)
  14. 14. Grammar origins  Cognitive approach becomes necessary when there are problems with purely communicative approaches.  Theories state that the best way of learning a language is by experiencing it meaningfully and not as an object of study.

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