Second Language Learning SLL/SLA Brown, Lightbown&Spada, Littlewood, Krashen. December,2008
Theories of SLL
Theory = Model ?
“ Say what I say”
“ It’s all in your mind”
“ A little help from my friends”
Factors involved in L2Learning
The language one gets from listening or reading.
Whether the learner is encouraged to learn or not.
The age at which one starts to learn L2.
The time learner has to learn L2
The need or purpose of learning L2.
to survive in L2 speaking community.
to complete a task there
to continue education
What the learner has already acquired and learned before learning L2. A previous S/F language
Personal traits such social, outgoing,
The language the learner has been speaking from childhood.
The way the learner learns L2, by formal instruction or natural interaction.
The styles the learner adopts in learning L2.
Language development as habit formation;
A person learning an L2 starts with the habits formed in L1 (transfer)
These habits interfere with the new ones needed for the second language;
CAH (See wiki)
Competence vs. Performance
Universal Grammar (UG) in relation to second language development
Krashen’s “monitor model”
Competence vs. Performance
SLA ( second language acquisition) researchers from the UG perspective are more interested in the language competence (i.e., knowledge of complex syntax) of advanced learners rather than in the simple language of early stage learners.
Their investigations often involve comparing the judgments of grammaticality made by L2 and L1 learners, rather than observations of actual language performance (i.e., use of language ).
Fundamental differential hypothesis
The mental process of learning a second language is different than from learning a first language;
Adults cease to operate as children in respect to their processing of linguistic information;
Contrast between L1 acquisition and L2 learning.
Child L1 ‘Acquisition ’
Universal Grammar (+UG))
Parameters yet unset
Acquisition based on data input
Learning procedure (LAD)
L2 ‘Learning ’
L1 Knowledge (UG/L1 Principle)
Parameters already set
Knowledge of language
General problem solving skills
Scaffolding for new input
L1 Transfer of Parameters
Those areas of the L2 which differ from the L1 and that are more marked than in the L1 will be difficult to acquire.
The relative degree of difficulty of the areas of the L2 which are more marked than the in L1 will correspond to the relative degree of markedness.
Those areas of the L2 which are different from the L1 but are not more marked than the L1 will not be difficult to acquire.
Linguistic rules can be either part of
“ Core Grammar” (UG)
.- Follow general principles of language
.- Considered to be less complex
.- Specific to each language
.- Considered to be more complex
SL acquisition takes place by conversational interaction.
Michael Long's views are based on his observation of interactions between learners and native speakers
Learners do not need simplification of the linguistic forms but modified;
They need an opportunity to interact with other speakers, in ways which lead them to adapt what they are saying until the learner shows signs of understanding.
Modified interaction does not always involve linguistic simplification:
slower speech rate,
additional contextual cues.
efforts by the native speaker to ensure that the learner has understood ('The bus leaves at 6:30. Do you understand?')
efforts by the learner to get the native speaker to clarify something which has not been understood ('Could you repeat please?'). These requests from the learner lead to further modifications by the native speaker.
Self-repetition or paraphrase
the native speaker repeats his or her sentence either partially or in its entirety ('She got lost on her way home from school. She was walking home from school. She got lost.').
Vygotsky's Sociocultural theory.
All cognitive development, including language, is a result of social interactions between individuals;
SL learners advance to higher levels when they collaborate and interact with more knowledgeable speakers of the SL: teacher or advanced learner.
Zone of Proximal Development, the level of performance which a learner is capable of with support from interaction with a more advanced interlocutor.
Speech strategies used by more advanced speakers to create supportive conditions for SL learner to comprehend and produce language:
repetition, simplification, modelling (T/ F Talk)
There is no agreement on a “complete” theory of second language acquisition yet.
Each theoretical framework has a different focus and its limitations.
Behaviorism: emphasizing stimuli and responses, but ignoring the mental processes that are involved in learning.
Innatism: innate LAD, based on intuitions .
Interactionist position: modification of interaction promotes language acquisition and development.