The Role of the Linguistic Environment in SLA (Long, 1996; Swain, 2005, Ortega, 2009)
Yall remember Wes• Awareness of the linguistic environment is key to acquisition. "I’m never learning, I only just listen then, then talk.” (Schmidt, p. 168)• Grammar acquisition cannot happen unless one makes a conscious effort.• Schmidt’s research with Wes enabled him to conclude that noticing is the fifth ingredient for successful SLA along with attitude, input, interaction, and output.
The 5 Ingredients Attitude • Schumann’s acculturation model • In light of Wes’ study, Schumann’s modified this model to include noticing.Input• Krashen’s Comprehensible Input Hypothesis – grammar learning will naturally occur when learners are exposed to content that is personally relevant and understandable.• Evidence of the gap between comprehension and acquisition calls for more research on this in the future.
The 5 IngredientsInteraction • The best comprehensible input comes in the form of interaction (Long, 1996). o Interlocutors can negotiate for meaning, modifying their interaction for comprehension. clariﬁcation requests conﬁrmation checks comprehension checks o Long believes interactionally modiﬁed input tailor-made for the learner is the most effective. o Studies have shown that interaction leads to better comprehension and incorporation of input from interlocutors (Loschky, 1994, Gass, 1994)
The 5 Ingredients Output • Comprehensible Output Hypothesis - ‘producing the target language may be the trigger that forces the learner to pay attention to the means of expression’ (Swain, 1985) o Study of English L1 children French L2 immersion school Like Wes, oral discourse competence was strong but grammatical & sociolinguistic competence was weak due to lack of chances to speak and write in L2 • Learning may be increased by handling complex language beyond current ability o Pushed Output Hypothesis - "O+1"
The 5 Ingredients Noticing • Learners need to notice that there is something new in the linguistic environment. • Learning directly relates to noticing: the more learners notice, the more they learn (Schmidt, 2001)o Internally driven – learners may notice the gap betweenwhat they are able to express and what they want to express intheir L2.o Externally driven – learners may notice the gap betweentheir language and that of their interlocutors, or through explicitinstruction from a teacher.
The output Hypothesis: Theory and Research Swain (2005)• Output as product or Output as process• The Output hypothesis claims that the act of producing language (speaking or writing) constitutes, under certain circumstances, part of the process of second language learning.
The Output Hypothesis: Theory and Research Swain (2005)• Context in which the Output Hypothesis was formulated:1. Information-processing theory (input-output)• i + 1; comprehensible input .(Krashen, 1982, 1985)• Certain discourse moves such as clarification and comprehension checks served to make input more comprehensible. (Long, 1983, 1985)• We acquire language in only one way: when we understand messages in that language, when we receive comprehensible input. (Krashen, 1984)2. French immersion programs in Canada• Pushed output; comprehensible output; negotiating meaning.
The output Hypothesis: Theory and Research Swain (2005)Three Functions of Output1. The Noticing/Triggering Function• Learners may notice that they do not know how to say (or write) precisely the meaning they wish to convey.• Output triggered deeper and more elaborate processing of the form, which led learners to establish a more durable memory trace. (Izumi, 2002, p.570)
The output Hypothesis: Theory and Research Swain (2005)Three Functions of Output2. The Hypothesis Testing function• Output may sometimes be, from the learner’s perspective, a “trial run” reflecting their hypothesis of how to say (or write) their intent.• Students were more likely to modify their output, and do so successfully, when they were pushed to do so. (Loewen, 2002)
The output Hypothesis: Theory and Research Swain (2005)Three Functions of Output3. The Metalinguistic (Reflective) Function• Using language to reflect on language produced by others or the self. Mediates second language learning.• An individual’s physical and cognitive behavior is initially regulated by others.• Solo mental function Students work togetherMediate problemdialogue Collaborative solution
Output modiﬁcationOutput modiﬁcation• Brenden (1997) study on Dutch L2 speakers showed that learners modiﬁed their output in response to negotiation from their interlocutors, and that negotiation facilitates more productive output• Shehadeh (1999) found that output modiﬁcation occurs more frequently in self-initiated repair than other-initiated repair.• Izumi (2003) argues that learners can modify their output only in meaningful, not mechanical language use.• Much more research still needs to be done on the effects of output on acquisition.
Possible Roles for the Environment• Positive evidence• Negative evidence• Direct or Indirect• Explicit or Implicit
Negotiation for Meaning• The contribution of the learning environment depends on the learner paying attention and their ability to comprehend available input• How do NSs try to make their meaning clear?
Foreigner Talk and Positive Evidence• How do we make input comprehensible?• What is FT vs. “Foreigner register”?• Mostly grammatical, slower and clearer• Usually simpler in the written form and sometimes more elaborate orally
Devices in the Negotiation Process• Repetitions• Confirmations• Reformulations• Comprehension checks• Confirmation checks• Clarification
Does FT Work?• “input must be comprehensible for acquisition to occur, and there is some evidence that global linguistic and conversational adjustments to NNSs improve comprehensibility”
Is Comprehensible Input Enough?KrashenVs. SchmidtFocus on form?
Input and Cognitive Processing• Attention, awareness and noticing• “Input enhancement”• Focus on form and meaning in context
Negative Evidence in L1 Acquisition• Does it exist?• Is it in usable form?• Is it used?• Is it necessary?• The French Example
Negative Evidence in L2 Acquisition I. -Scope of research-Is negative feedback effective?-What does the research indicate?-How is it provided?
Negative Evidence in L2 Acquisition III.Effectiveness Revisited -Importance of context -Communicative-based lessons vs. content-based lessons-Discourse and pedagogical context
The Limits of the Linguistic Environment• Conversational tasks may exhibit lower levels of negotiation than information gap tasks, but encourage more personal engagement and risk-taking.• Learners may feign understanding to save face and avoid lengthy negotiations• Attitudinal and affective factors can hinder negotiation• Communication style varies with individuals• Native-speaker prejudice towards L2 learners can treat all utterances as problematic• L2 learners may feel that native speakers have a responsibility to understand their interlanguage
Pedagogical Implications • Teachers should be aware not simply of what’s out there in the linguistic environment, but how learners process that data and live and experience that environment.