Principles & Practice in Language Learning - Chapter 9: Cross-Linguistic Influence

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  • 1. Chapter 9 Cross-linguistic Influence (CLI) & Learner Language (pp. 248-283) By : Sudheep Ramasamy (GS 35817) Shyamini Sivanesan (GS 36229) Katpagam Murugan (GS 36323) Brown, D. H. (2007). Principles of language learning and teaching. (5th ed.). White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
  • 2. Preview  The contrastive analysis hypothesis ( CAH)  From the CAH to CLI (cross- linguistic influence)  Error analysis  Mistakes and errors  Errors in error analysis  Sources of errors  Stages of learner language development  Variability in learner language  Fossilization
  • 3. Background  Cross-linguistic influence, is an important factor to consider in the study of foreign language acquisition in general  In acquiring the language, the learner begins with a fully acquired linguistic system.
  • 4. CLI orTransfer?  CLI considers the interaction between existing linguistic system(s) during the process of acquiring another language, rather than assume that the L1 is the only potential source of transfer.
  • 5. CLI orTransfer?  CLI studies have shown that an existing second language, even if not acquired completely, can interfere in the performance of the L3.
  • 6. The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) (1)  Deeply rooted in the behavioristic and structuralist approaches, the CAH claimed that the principal barrier to L2 is the interference of L1 system with the 2nd system.
  • 7. The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) (2)  Clifford Prator (1967) captured the essence of the grammatical hierarchy (Stockwell, Bowen, and Martin, 1965) in six categories of difficulty –it was applicable to both grammatical and phonological features of language.
  • 8. Six categories of hierarchy of difficulty (1) (a native English speaker learning Spanish as L2)  Level 0- no difference or contrast is present between the two languages.The learner can simply transfer a sound, structure, or lexical item from the native language to the target language.  Level 1 –coalescence of two items in the native language become coalesced into essentially one item in the target language. Example: English 3rd p. possessives require gender distinction (his/her) and in Spanish they do not (su)
  • 9.  Level 2 Under differentiation –an item in the native language is absent in the target language.The learner must avoid that item. Example: (adjectives in Spanish require gender (alto/alta)  Level 3 Reinterpretation –an item that exists in the native language is given a new shape or distribution. Example: new phonemes require new distribution of speech articulators -/r/, etc. Six categories of hierarchy of difficulty (2) (a native English speaker learning Spanish as L2)
  • 10.  Level 4. Over differentiation –a new item entirely, bearing any similarity to the native language item, must be learned. Example: English speakers must learn the use of determiners in Spanish –man is mortal/El hombre es mortal.  Level 5. Split –one item in the native language becomes two or more in the target language requiring the learner to make a new distinction. English speakers must learn the distinction between (ser) and (estar) Six categories of hierarchy of difficulty (3) (a native English speaker learning Spanish as L2)
  • 11. From the CAH to CLI (1)  The process could not account for all linguistic problems or situations not even with the 6 categories. Lastly, the predictions of difficulty level could not be verified with reliability.  The attempt to predict difficulty by means of contrastive analysis was called the strong version of the CAH (Wardaugh, 1970) –a version that he believed unrealistic and impractible.
  • 12. From the CAH to CLI (2)  Wardaugh also recognized the weak version of the CAH – one in which the linguistic difficulties can be more profitably explained by teachers and linguists.  The so-called weak version of the CAH is what remains today under the label cross-linguistic influence (CLI)
  • 13. Some terminologies  Transfer: the L1 influence on theTarget Language (TL).  Interlanguage transfer (lexical or morphological): the interaction of a non-primary language with a third or subsequent one.  Crosslinguistic influence: all existing linguistic systems play an equally important role in the acquisition process of aTL.
  • 14. Transfer in SLA  only the primary language plays a role in the acquisition process of a foreign one.
  • 15. Why study CLI inTLA?  It motivates a more inclusive theory of transfer as it carefully considers all existing systems in the learner’s mind and  It imposes a re-evaluation of the already existing theories and the relevance of their claims.
  • 16. Why does transfer occur? Possible explanations: learning is facilitated if the learner is able to relate a new item or task to existing previous knowledge. learner will constantly seek to facilitate the language-learning task by making use of previously acquired linguistic knowledge
  • 17. Factors that determine CLI  What are the factors that trigger one language to be activated over another when it comes to learning a foreign language?
  • 18. Factors that determine CLI  Typology  The L2  Proficiency Level
  • 19. The Role ofTypology  Considered to be one of the most influential factors when it comes to transfer.  It is intuitive to assume that when it comes to CLI, speakers will borrow more from a language that is typologically closer to the target language.
  • 20. The role of the L2  learners tend to use the L2 (or languages other than the L1) as the source of cross- linguistic influence
  • 21. The L2 Factor: Example  Studies on non-Europeans who acquire their second European language support this idea: Hindi and Chinese speakers with knowledge of English who acquire German as their third language will transfer mainly from their L2 English onto their L3 (Chandrasekhar, 1978;Vogel, 1992).
  • 22. Proficiency Level  InTLA proficiency must be considered, not only in the target language, but also in the other non-native language(s) known by the speaker.
  • 23. Proficiency Level Logical assumption: high proficiency in a background language would make this language more likely to play a role in the acquisition of a new one. However, low proficiency in a background language is also a factor to be considered in CLI (De Angelis, 2005).
  • 24. Other Factors  Age: inTLA the main claim is that older children have a more accurate perception of linguistic distance that could influence the source language they use when transferring.  Recency: learners are more likely to borrow from a language that they actively use rather than from other languages that they know but do not often use.
  • 25. Questions:  How many categories of difficulties are there as per Clifford Prator (1967) in (Stockwell, Bowen, and Martin, 1965).  What are the three terminologies used in CLI?  What are the three factors that determine CLI?  Can the second language affect the acquisition of a third language?Yes or no?
  • 26. Mistakes & Errors… MISTAKES ERRORS Performance error that is either a random guess or a slip. Reveals a portion of the learner’s competence in the target language. Can be self corrected. Cannot be corrected. Ex: Hesitations; faux pas & slips of the tongue. Ex: Does Jane can sing? & Aaron mays come.
  • 27. Error Analysis (1)  Significant since it reveals how language is learned and acquired.  Looks at errors that are attributable to all possible sources.  Celce- Murcia & Hawkins (1985).
  • 28. Error Analysis (2)  Problems: - Placing too much attention on errors made & ignoring the proper, clear use of language. - Overemphasis on production data. - Failure in accounting for the strategy of avoidance. - Focus is merely on the specifics rather than viewing the language as a whole.
  • 29. Identifying & Describing Errors (1)  Learners linguistic system is on a constant roller- coaster ride since new information comes in and through it, existing structures either get overlapped or revised resulting in the instability of the learner’s system.  Corder’s (1979) model: Helps identify erroneous utterances in L2.  Focus: Overt errors (totally nonsensical/ ungrammatical) & covert errors (grammatically correct but, doesn’t jive with the context at hand).
  • 30. Identifying & Describing Errors (2)  Translation is used as an indicator of native language interference.  Global Errors: Hinders communication since no one can infer the meaning behind what’s been said.  Local Errors: Correction’s are not necessary since the hearer’s able to get the gist of what’s being said.
  • 31. Source of Errors…
  • 32. Stages of Learner Language Development (1)  4 stages: (I) RANDOM - Learners have a preconceived notion that there is some systematic order to things & make a wild guess as an experimental front. - Can lead to inconsistencies though (John cans sing vs. John can singing). (II)EMERGENT The learner is more consistent in learning the language rules. - Backsliding concept: - U - Shaped learning concept:
  • 33. Stages of Learner Language Development (2) (III) SYSTEMIC - The learner is able to manifest more consistency in producing the L2 since it resembles the target language’s system. (IV) STABILIZATION - The learner produces less errors & has mastered the system to the point of fluency. - - Learners can self correct their errors! A: Many fish are in the lake. These fish are serving in the restaurants near the lake. B: (Laughs) The fish are serving? A: (Laughs) Oh no, the fish are being served in the restaurants! (Taken from the book: p/g 268)
  • 34. Variability in Learner Language…  Tarone (1988) - focused her research on contextual variability - Suggested four categories of variation: 1. Linguistic Context 2. Psychological Processing Factors 3. Social Context 4. Language Function  Extent to which both linguistic and situational contexts may help to systematically describe what appear simply as unexplained variation.
  • 35. Fossilization…  Encountered in a learner’s language various erroneous features .  This phenomenon is most saliently manifested phonologically in ‘foreign accents’ in the speech of those who have learned a L2 after puberty (chapter 3).  The relatively permanent incorporation of incorrect linguistic forms into a person’s second language competence has been referred to as FOSSILIZATION.  It is a normal and natural stage for many learners and should not be viewed as some sort of terminal illness.
  • 36. ErrorTreatment…  Should errors be treated? How they should be treated?When?  Fossilization may be the result of too many green lights when there should have been some yellow or red lights.  Vigil and Oller (1976) provided feedback about these questions with the following model:
  • 37. Affective/Cognitive Feedback for ErrorTreatment…
  • 38. Feedback…  Affective: 1. (+ve) Keep talking; I’m listening 2. (neutral ) I’m not sure I want to continue this conversation. 3. (-ve)This conversation is over  Cognitive: 1. (+ve) I understand your message; it’s clear. 2. (neutral) I’m not sure if I correctly understand you or not. 3. (-ve)I don’t understand what you are saying; it’s not clear.
  • 39. 7 Basic Options & Possible Features:  Basic Options: 1. To treat or to ignore. 2. To treat immediately or delay. 3. To transfer treatment (other learners) or not. 4. To transfer to another individual, subgroup or the whole class. 5. To return , or not, to original error maker after treatment. 6. To allow other learners to initiate treatment. 7. To test for efficacy of the treatment.  Possible Features: 1. Fact or error indicated 2. Location indicated. 3. Opportunity for new attempt given. 4. Model provided. 5. Error type indicated. 6. Remedy indicated. 7. Improvement indicated. 8. Praise indicated.
  • 40. THANKYOU.