Interlanguage• Abstract linguistic rules developed by L2 learners• A language system which is neither the L1, nor the L2• A unique language system• Underlies comprehension and production of L2• The grammar system is permeable• The grammar system is transitional
InterlanguageTo understand the concept of interlanguage we need to consider two major learning theories:1. Behaviourist learning theory:(1950s & 1960s) • language learning involves habit formation habit = stimulus-response connection • emphasize on what can be directly observed • ignorance of what goes on in the `black box´ of the learner`s mind cannot adequately account for L2 Acquisition (L2A), because learning is not just a response to an external stimuli.
Interlanguage2. Mentalist theory of language learning: (1960s & 1970s)• major shift in thinking in psychology and linguistics• researchers switched their attention from the role of `nurture´ to that of `nature´ • `nurture´ how environmental factors shape learning • `nature´ how innate properties of the human mind shape learning• mentalist view of L1 Acquisition: • only human beings are capable of learning language • they are equipped with a faculty for this, referred to as Language Acquisition Device • it is the primary determinant of LA • input is needed, but only as a `trigger´ The concept of interlanguage draws directly on the mentalist theory with elements from cognitive psychology !
Interlanguage• Interlanguage continuum – series of interim systems learner construct in the process of acquiring an L2.• Various learning strategies involved – errors reflect different learning strategies• Fossilization may happen – unique to L2 grammars.
Interlanguage• Learning Strategies – Language transfer - the learner uses her own L1 as a resource. – Overgeneralization - the learner uses an L2 rule in situations in which a native speaker would not. - the phonetic level, - at the grammatical level, - at the lexical level - at the level of discourse,
Interlanguage• Learning Strategies – Simplification - both syntactic and semantic - the learner uses speech that resembles that of very young children or of pidgins.• Language Transfer – Negative transfer (interference) – Positive transfer – Avoidance – Overuse