Topics:1- Definition2- What exactly does the L2 Learning come from?3- A basic disagreement among different linguistic perspectives.4- How does the learner acquire L2 knowledge.5- Approaching Near- Native competence6- Implications for L2 Learning and Teaching
Definition:A second language (L2) is any language learnedafter the first language or mother tongue (L1).
What exactly does the L2 Learning come from?1- A system of knowledge about a second language which goeswill beyond what could possibly have been taught .2- Patterns of recurrent elements that comprise components ofL2 specific knowledge: Vocabulary lexicon, morphology wordstructure, phonology sound System, syntax grammar, anddiscourse (ways to connect sentences and organize information.3- How to encode particular concepts in the L2 includinggrammatical notions of time, number of referents, and thesemantic role of elements.
4- Pragmatic competence, or knowledge of how to interpretand convey meaning in contexts of social interaction.5- Means for using the L2 in communicative activities: Listening Speaking, Reading, Writing.6- How to select among multiple language systems, and how toswitch between languages in particular social contexts and forParticular purposes.7- Communicative competence: all of the above plus social andcultural knowledge required for appropriate use and interpretationof L2 forms.
A basic disagreement among different linguisticperspectives :1- an abstract system of underlying rules or principle.2- a system of linguistic patterns and structures. Or3- a mean of structuring information and a system ofcommunication.
How does the learner acquire L2 knowledge:1- Innate capacity: The natural ability of people to acquirelanguage.2- Application of prior knowledge, the initial state of L2 includesknowledge of L1 ( and language in general) and the processes ofSLA includes interpretation of the new language in terms of thatknowledge.3- Processing of language input: Input is one of the mostimportant elements in the process of second languageacquisition (SLA).As Gass (1997) points out, second language (L2) learning simplycannot take place without input of some sort.
4- Interaction: Social perspectives generally hold that SLABenefits from the active engagement of learners in interaction,Or participation in communicative events.5- Restructuring of the L2 knowledge system6- Mapping of relationships or associations between linguisticfunction and forms.7- Automatization: Mean standard deviation decreases morethan mean RT.
Why are some learners more successful than others:1- Social context :Social context is the indirect and direct influence individualsare in constant communication and within Involvement of bymeans as role player or participants2- Social experience: quantity and quality of L2 input andinteraction are determined by social experience, and both havesignificant influence on ultimate success in L2 Learning.3- Relationship of L1 and L2: We can say all languages arelearnable, but not all L2s are equally easy for speakers ofparticular L1s to acquire.
4- Age: commonly believed that children are more successfulL2 learners than adults.5- Aptitude: Learners differ in capacity to discriminate andprocess auditory input, to identify patterns and makegeneralizations, and to store linguistic elements in memory.6- Motivation: Motivation largely determines the level ofeffort which learners expend at various stage in their L2development and it is often a key to ultimate level ofproficiency.7- Instruction: Quality of instruction clearly makesA difference in formal context of L2 learning.
Approaching Near- Native competence-The most likely level of linguistic production to retain someidentifiably "foreign" feature is pronunciation, especially if L2learning began after the age of twelve or so.- learners will have to select ,from a more limited lexicalrepertoire than do native speakers of the same educational level,will not use words with the same probability of occurrencein the same phrasal units (e.g. collocations), and will notrecognize connotations and allusions which require culturalinformation and experience.
- older L2 students who do approach "near-native" competencealmost surely have benefitted from extensive and varied input,feedback which includes some correction and focus ongrammatical form, and very high levels of motivation.
- At the same time, we must recognize that many intelligenthard-working, highly-motivated students will not approach thislevel of competence.- It is important for language teachers, in particular, to acceptthe fact that "native-1ike" production is neither intended nordesired by many learners whose goals for L2 use do not includeidentification with native speakers of the language normembership in its native speech communities.
Implications for L2 Learning and Teaching:- Consider the goals that individuals and groups have for learning anadditional language.-Set priorities for learning/teaching that are compatible with those goals.-Approach learning/teaching tasks with an appreciation of the multipledimensions that are involved: linguistic, psychological, and social.- Understand the potential strengths and limitations of particularlearners and contexts for learning, and make use of them in adaptinglearning/teaching procedures.- Be cautious in subscribing to any instructional approach which is narrowlyfocused or dogmatic. There is no one "best" way to learn or teach a secondlanguage.-Recognize achievement in incremental progress.
Thank youAnd be patient, Learning a language takes time.