Language acquisition


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  • Language acquisition

    1. 1. English Language Learners
    2. 2. English Language Facts There are over 600, 000 words in the English language  The average educated person knows 20,000  The average person has deep knowledge of about 6,000  Most native speakers of English do not know a second language  Most native speakers of English live in countries where it’s the dominant language 
    3. 3. English Language Facts Over 750 million people speak English  English is either the official language or dominant language of 87 countries or territories  English is actually not one language but is a combination of German, French, and Latin  Most native speakers of English are literate 
    4. 4. American English Facts Although the dominant language, English is not the official language of the United States  Unlike London in Great Britain, the U.S. does not have a city which serves as a standard  The U.S is the world’s largest producer of films and videos  CNN news reaches over 150 countries and territories 
    5. 5. American English Facts There are 9 recognized American dialects: Eastern New England, New York City, Middle Atlantic, Western Pennsylvania, Upper South, South, Inland North, North West, and South West  There are 6 different types of dialects: regional, occupational, sexual, educational, age, and social  There are major differences between American and British English 
    6. 6. Why Learn English? 80% of the world’s information stored in computers is in English  English is the international language of science, communication,  aviation, and diplomacy  The United States is the world’s largest economy  An Asian/American partnership will dominate the 21st century 
    7. 7. A Brief History of the English Language English was originally just a dialect of German called Old English  In the 11th century, German/ English married French to form the Middle English Language  William Shakespeare single-handedly created the modern English language  The widespread use of English is due to the dominance of great Britain in the 19th century and the U.S. in the 20th 
    8. 8. Understanding Language Acquisition There are four abilities related to language: Two are related to oral language: the abilities to speak and to listen (to comprehend spoken language). The other two are related to written language: the abilities to read and to write.
    9. 9. Understanding Language Acquisition Two of these abilities are passive in that information is received and processed: listening and reading. The other two are active and require an act of creation: speaking and writing. The ability to comprehend spoken language will come before the ability to speak it.
    10. 10. Understanding Language Acquisition As children, we could understand what was being said to us long before we had the ability to express our thoughts. In school, we were reading fluently long before we could write expressively. Mastering reading will always come before mastering writing.
    11. 11. Understanding Language Acquisition Writing is the most difficult and is the last to be mastered. Oral language and written language are two completely different skills that activate two completely separate parts of the brain.
    12. 12. Understanding Language Acquisition Learning Learning to speak occurs naturally. to read and write requires formal schooling.
    13. 13. Understanding Language Acquisition Differences Between Spoken and Written Language Our species is over 100,000 years old We have been speaking for most of that time Written language only appeared a little over 5,000 years ago. For most of human history writing did not even exist. There are several thousand recognized languages in the world
    14. 14. Understanding Language Acquisition For almost every human being on the planet, our first experience with language is through the spoken word  Many can read in a foreign language but cannot speak that language.  Oral language is developed independently of written language.  Spoken language is the primary way we learn language. 
    15. 15. Understanding Language Acquisition For almost every human being on the planet, our first experience with language is through the spoken word  As human beings, we all share the same ideas, or pictures in our heads.  We all understand the concept of a tree, or a bird, or a child  Spoken words are just sound symbols for the pictures in our heads. 
    16. 16. Understanding Language Acquisition As children we learn to connect specific sounds to certain things that we see or feel. There is a very strong sensual component to language. Sound symbols (words) are connected to something we experience
    17. 17. Understanding Language Acquisition These sensual experiences create images in our brains.  When a sound symbol or word occurs often enough in connection with that experience, eventually the sound itself will evoke the images with out the object itself being present. 
    18. 18. Understanding Language Acquisition Later in life We We start formal schooling learn that written symbols can be used as representations for the sounds
    19. 19. Understanding Language Acquisition In life our first experience with language comes orally. We hear our parents speak and observe how certain actions or objects have a correlation with that sound.  That’s how we first learn language, not by memorizing or translating. Nobody has ever learned a language by first studying its grammar! 
    20. 20. Understanding Language Acquisition Learning language is a process that requires certain steps in a preferred order.  Oral Comprehension  Reading Skills  Writing  Grammar
    21. 21. Connecting Written Symbols to Spoken Symbols Spoken words are just symbols for ideas: images that the brain creates as it interprets stimuli. Written words are just symbols for spoken words. Everyone must agree on the symbols or there is a failure to communicate. This is the reason why speakers of two different languages cannot communicate.
    22. 22. Connecting Written Symbols to Spoken Symbols What is a Baum ? It’s a large plant with bark, leaves, and branches growing out of the ground. It’s a tree !
    23. 23. Connecting Written Symbols to Spoken Symbols The written symbol represents the sound symbol that represents the image in our heads or the magic won’t work
    24. 24. Connecting Written Symbols to Spoken Symbols When two speakers do share symbols, something magical and amazing truly does happen. William Shakespeare dead for 450 years can talk to me today. His mind can touch my mind by traveling centuries through the magic of symbols that we call words. You can share your deepest most intimate thoughts through the power of words.
    25. 25. Connecting Written Symbols to Spoken Symbols When writing was first invented, people believed that scribes actually had magical powers.
    26. 26. Comprehending Language The ability to decode the communication: we must know the basic rules and vocabulary. We must be familiar with permissible sentence structures, parts of speech, the functions and mechanics of speech and text, grammars rules etc. The ability to decode a language is probably the reason most foreign language classes spend so
    27. 27. Comprehending Language The flaw in this reasoning is in thinking that written language and oral language are connected when in fact they are not. Formal grammar, as taught in most foreign language classes, is a product of writing and must be taught instructionally. Natural grammar, as learned in speech, is acquired intuitively requiring no official schooling
    28. 28. Comprehending Language You cannot teach natural grammar by practicing formal grammar. What works for writing does not necessarily work for speech.
    29. 29. Comprehending Language The natural order of language acquisition is listening comprehension, speech, reading, and finally writing. Natural grammar acquisition should come before formal grammar. When we say decoding skills are necessary to comprehending language, a distinction must be made between natural and formal, oral and written decoding skills.
    30. 30. Comprehending Language It is essential to know the most basic vocabulary, the tier one words.
    31. 31. Comprehending Language In order to become fluent in a language, a student of any language must master a significant amount of tier two vocabulary words. •They are encountered frequently across a wide range of activities. •These words represent mature language use, and a deep, rich understanding of these words is necessary for fluency.
    32. 32. Comprehending Language . Your instruction should emphasize these words. Examples of tier two words would be: facilitate, analyze, or absurd.
    33. 33. Comprehending Language A third level of vocabulary is called tier three. These words, however, are specialized words rarely encountered unless one is engaged in a specific subject, profession, or activity. Examples of tier three vocabulary would be scientific or medical terms. Photosynthesis Amphetamine Alpha + methyl + phen + ethyl + amine
    34. 34. Comprehending Language Once a language learner had the ability to decipher a language, he could handle most language situations he encountered. Research shows that the ability to decipher a language is only half the battle, and unfortunately most English courses concentrate 80% of their instruction in this area with moderate attention paid to the other area required for comprehensive understanding: that is background information on the subject being discussed.
    35. 35. Comprehending Language Without background knowledge of the subject matter, comprehension is impossible. Most speakers or writers assume that their audience has basic knowledge of the subject material.
    36. 36. Comprehending Language Knowledge of the culture is essential in comprehending any second language. Language is culture: Culture is language. To help English language students better understand and comprehend, they must have background knowledge in the thing that Americans talk about.
    37. 37. Vocabulary is #1 There are over 600,000 words and some estimates go as high as a million. English has three times more words than the next closest language: which is Chinese. English has so many words is that it’s really a combination of three complete languages: German, French, and Latin. At its heart, English is really one of these languages: German. 80% of the words that come out of a native speaker’s mouth everyday are German.
    38. 38. Vocabulary is #1 Why not teach Grammar? •English grammar is based on Latin grammar. •Trying to fit a German language into a Latin structure is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
    39. 39. Vocabulary is #1 English has at least three different ways to say the exact same thing. United States has historically been an immigrant friendly country, you find that many other cultures and languages have had their words adopted and assimilated by English.
    40. 40. Vocabulary is #1 •All anyone really needs to function quite adequately in any language is to have deep knowledge of about 10,000 words. •Vocabulary plays a major role in the communication of understanding. language proficiency is directly related to vocabulary knowledge. •The top 5% wealthiest people in American society are usually the top 5% that know the most words.
    41. 41. Vocabulary is #1 Learning spoken language comes naturally Written language must be taught. There is a natural progression to language learning: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and finally writing. What worked as children also works as an adult. The fact is oral language is still the best way to increase our vocabularies.
    42. 42. Vocabulary is #1 If we cannot pronounce a work, our brains will have a hard time retaining it. An accurate pronunciation of a word supports vocabulary acquisition. If you can’t pronounce it, you won’t use it. If we know a word well enough to pronounce it, we will also use it when we write.
    43. 43. Vocabulary is #1 It does not work the other way around. •If we come across a word that we don’t know, we may look up the word in a dictionary. • We may now understand how the word is used in writing, but if we do not take the time to pronounce the word, to sound it out, then the next time we come across the same word, chances are we will have to look it up again because we will have forgotten the meaning.
    44. 44. Vocabulary is #1 •Learning a word’s meaning from a dictionary is not the same as knowing a word. No one has ever learned how to use a word by studying dictionary definitions.
    45. 45. Which Vocabulary Words are the Best? Basic words repeated in speech and found in everyday conversation do not require an active effort, but some other words require conscious targeted effort to be learned and assimilated. Basic words that occur quite frequently in everyday conversation are called tier one words. After a basic vocabulary has been established, it’s important to choose words worthy of instruction to add to the student’s personal lexicon.
    46. 46. Which Vocabulary Words are the Best? New vocabulary should be made up of words that students don’t know well but that have a high likelihood of being encountered in the future. The best choice for instruction is a collection of tier two type words.
    47. 47. Which Vocabulary Words are the Best? Tier two vocabulary words are more sophisticated words that occur frequently in a large number of situations. They are the domain of mature language users and signal fluency in the English language.
    48. 48. Which Vocabulary Words are the Best? Tier three words are specialized words, often related to scientific or medical terms, and are descended from Latin and Greek. These words are rarely encountered outside their specialty areas and therefore can be ignored by English language teachers.
    49. 49. Which Vocabulary Words are the Best? Tier two words are the most useful and they give a more accurate description than the more general tier one words. How can we know whether a word is tier one, two, or even tier three vocabulary? Words of Germanic origin tend to be the most basic words that are reinforced in speech.
    50. 50. Which Vocabulary Words are the Best? Tier two words are either French or Latin or perhaps a word borrowed from another language. They are found frequently in both speech and in writing and can be used in a variety of settings. They provide an accuracy of description that simply goes beyond the capabilities of basic words. They can be used in a variety of situations and in a variety of contexts..
    51. 51. Which Vocabulary Words are the Best? Tier three words are rarely used outside of their own specific domain.
    52. 52. Knowing a Word Level 1: You have no knowledge of this word Level 2: You’ve seen the word before and can identify it as a noun, verb, etc but can’t really define it. Level 3: You may have a general sense of the word or know whether it’s positive or negative but don’t have a deep understanding of it.
    53. 53. Knowing a Word Level 4: You can give a definition of the word and can recognize its meaning in a sentence but would never use it. Level 5: You understand both literal and figurative meanings of the word, and it’s part of your working vocabulary.
    54. 54. Knowing a Word 1 General knowledge: You can define the word 2 Applicable knowledge: You recognize when the word’s used correctly 3 Breath of knowledge: You know multiple meanings of a word
    55. 55. Knowing a Word 4 Precise knowledge: You understand subtle differences between this and similar words 5 Available knowledge: You feel confident using the word in speech and writing. You know what situations to use the word correctly.
    56. 56. How to Learn English Vocabulary Translating and memorizing words simply do not work! We recommend two proven strategies: •using visualization •prior knowledge.
    57. 57. How to Learn English Vocabulary Create a mental picture in your head of the action or object that the word describes. What we are doing is associating a mental picture with that word. Remember, this is exactly what you did as a child to learn your first language.
    58. 58. How to Learn English Vocabulary Don’t forget that all words, written or oral, are merely symbols for ideas. Common meaning transports a picture in one person’s head into the mind of another. Although visualization works for both spoken and written symbols, there is a natural process that language development takes. Vocabulary acquisition works best if you first learn the word orally.
    59. 59. How to Learn English Vocabulary The next strategy we recommend is the use of prior knowledge. Students learn and remember best when new information can be connected to old information. Research shows that prior knowledge is a major factor in language comprehension. It is human nature to try to fit new knowledge with something we already know.
    60. 60. How to Learn English Vocabulary Code Switching: mentally translating what is said or written in English into their native language The mind makes a distinction between the two languages, and time is wasted in the translation. It’s better to integrate the new language, in this case English, into the old language, relying on prior knowledge.
    61. 61. How to Learn English Vocabulary Which is easier, adding a new word in one’s native tongue or learning a completely new language?
    62. 62. How to Teach English Vocabulary The first step in teaching new vocabulary word is introducing the word to the class. •Pronounce the word •Have them practice saying it •Introduce a student friendly definition •Relate new words with past experience (prior knowledge) •Emphasize relationships among words Connect it to a mental picture not a written word
    63. 63. How to Teach English Vocabulary The next step is to ask students for other words associated with the new word. Association does not mean a definition: It means making connections. The more associations we have with a word, the better we know it.
    64. 64. How to Teach English Vocabulary For example, here are some word associations: beach- sand, waves, ocean breeze, bathing suits, sun aviation- planes, landing strips, airports, wings calamity- tsunami, car accident, earthquake, famine, stock market crash
    65. 65. How to Teach English Vocabulary The last step towards assimilating new words is by using the word in context. In other words, creating real life situations or sentences in which the word is used. A tsunami is a calamity that cost many people their lives. Losing his fortune was a calamity he could not recover from. A nuclear meltdown is calamity that will affect the environment for decades.
    66. 66. How to Teach English Vocabulary •A few other tips that will help a classroom teacher maximize his student’s word power are: •Limit new words to seven a day. Any more than that and the student will be overwhelmed. •When explaining a word’s meaning, start with its most typical use. Do not give all of a word’s meanings. Too many meanings can be overwhelming. Integrate additional meanings as a student’s understanding of a word grows.
    67. 67. How to Teach English Vocabulary •People learning a second language can assimilate words efficiently if the vocabulary presented have contrasts: in other words, if they are not part of a group. For example, a collection of vocabulary words such as: chair, student, building, car, and zebra will be integrated more quickly than lion, tiger, panther, and cheetah.
    68. 68. How to Teach English Vocabulary •Segmenting difficult words into smaller chunks makes them easier to learn. •Knowing a lot of words in your native tongue makes it easier to learn a second language. •The more words you know, the more money you will make in your lifetime. This is a true fact that will help motivate children to learn words.
    69. 69. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension Language learning combines ideas, images, and symbols: not memorizing definitions, rules, and grammatical terms. A conversation requires two or more people. Vocabulary learning works best when words are presented for group discussion.
    70. 70. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension Interacting orally with peers effectively plants new words in growing minds. There is much research that supports the idea that children simply learn better in groups. Oral interaction builds knowledge and helps students think creatively, and as we have seen, creative thinking is essential in building oral comprehension because we are learning concepts
    71. 71. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension Oral language must dominate in the classroom, so written language is kept to a minimum. Written language is only used in support of oral language.
    72. 72. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension We teach oral vocabulary by using associations, connecting words to familiar real world images or to a student’s own past experiences, thereby building relationships between a word and our mental images of it. There are several ways a teacher can do this.
    73. 73. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension Show the class pictures with no written explanation and opening up the images to class discussion. •These pictures should be of familiar everyday scenes or be about subjects that interest the students. •The idea is to get them to connect English with common and well-known themes.
    74. 74. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension •Ask students for words or phrases to describe the picture. •After completing their description, quickly give them the English equivalent. •Have them pronounce the word or phrase several times, as they examine the picture. •Have the students should keep a journal of new vocabulary.
    75. 75. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension A second strategy for orally assimilating English vocabulary is by storytelling. •Reading stories aloud without the written text to fall back on creates images in the student’s mind • Research shows that being read to increases verbal comprehension.
    76. 76. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension •Encourage students to interrupt and ask questions when they hear something they do not comprehend. • Asking questions eliminates misunderstandings and expands a child’s background knowledge.
    77. 77. Classroom Strategies for Improving Oral Comprehension Have students take turns reading the story to the class or have them retell it in their own words. Having students summarize what they have heard is a powerful tool for improving oral abilities. Reading and acting out plays make much more sense than having students read from a grammar book. Group discussion and interactions such as those described above instill a deep and broad understanding of the subject being considered.
    78. 78. Segmenting Information Researchers have known for quite some time that breaking large segments of information into smaller pieces makes it easier for the human brain to digest that information. The official word used for this concept is chunking. The research deals with assimilating data in general, but the principle can easily be applied to language learning specifically. Some researchers believe that knowledge of chunking can advance ESL students to native-like proficiency.
    79. 79. Segmenting Information ESL student who wants to communicate in English must become familiar with these everyday American expressions. Idioms are good examples of these types of expressions. They are figures of speech that convey meaning by creating an image.
    80. 80. Segmenting Information Knowing the meanings of the individual words will not help the ESL student. Some examples would be: Flying off the handle (become angry) Barking up the wrong tree (make an incorrect assumption)
    81. 81. Segmenting Information Most sentences contain two or more word strings that can stand by themselves as units of thought. Ways of segmenting a sentence into smaller more easily understood parts would be: •prepositional phrases •subject-verb •verb-direct object •verb-adverb •adjective-noun
    82. 82. Segmenting Information Examples of segmenting possible sentence elements into smaller more easily understood units could be:  Prepositional phrases- with the soldiers, out of the bushes, across the night sky  Verb-adverb combinations- glanced outside, awoke too early, slept soundly  Adjective-nouns- numerous little legs, heavy rain clouds, a steep rocky cliff:  Verb- direct object- struck a tree, deposit money,
    83. 83. Segmenting Information As heavy rain clouds drifted across the night sky, Jack glanced outside while lightning illuminated the room.
    84. 84. Segmenting Information By breaking language into smaller more manageable parts, a sentence like the one above can be easily mastered and spoken with complete fluency. Difficult vocabulary words can also be segmented and made more easily understood. Consider the following multi-syllable words: synonymous, hibernate, and compromise. sy non y nous hi ber nate com pro mise By breaking complex words into smaller units, students will not be so intimidated ( in tim i dat ed ).
    85. 85. Segmenting Information By becoming familiar with the prefixes, suffixes, and roots that English has acquired from these languages, students can figure out a word’s meaning from the context in which it’s used..
    86. 86. Segmenting Information Take the word graph: a Greek root word that means “ to write”. By combining it with some prefixes and suffixes, we can figure out what a word means even if we have never seen it before. Homo is a prefix that means “the same”. If we combine it with graph, we have homograph: words that are “spelled (written) the same”. Phone means “sound”; homophones are words that “sound the same”.
    87. 87. Segmenting Information Tele is a prefix that means “distance”, so telegraph is a way to “send writing long distances”. Cal is a prefix that means “beautiful”; hence, calligraphy is defined as “beautiful writing”. Scope means “to see”: telescope therefore means to “see great distances”. Micro means “small”: microscope means to “see small things”.
    88. 88. Using Figures of Speech in Language Learning Figurative language however desires to express a meaning far deeper and wider than the sum of the words themselves. Figurative language creates mental images, and as we have discovered, connecting mental pictures to sound symbols is the key to increasing oral comprehension. Understanding idioms is essential for proficiency in a language.
    89. 89. Using Figures of Speech in Language Learning Other types of figurative language are metaphors and similes. These two types make comparisons between unlike things. By creating mental pictures, common metaphors and similes convey a large amount of information with a limited amount of words. Language teachers can use figures of speech to enhance language learning by creating deeper understandings.
    90. 90. Using Figures of Speech in Language Learning The following are examples of metaphors and similes: He eats like a pig. (simile) Sue has an angelic (angel-like) face. Jack has a giant problem. Jack’s behaving like an ogre. (simile) Sue is so angry that she’s ready to explode. Sue’s heart is as cold as a witch. (simile) Jack’s an extremely bright student.
    91. 91. English Sand Traps In the game of golf, a sand trap is a place where golfers get stuck. Therefore, English sand traps are a place where ESL students get stuck.
    92. 92. English Sand Traps Nothing causes more confusion for English language learners ( and native speakers too) than homographs and homophones. Examples are: the adjective close (meaning nearby) and the verb close (meaning to shut) the noun bow (a weapon that shoots arrows) and the verb bow (to bend)
    93. 93. English Sand Traps Homophones are words that sound the say but are spelled differently. Some common examples would be to/too/two. To is a preposition that shows direction, as in Jack walked to the store. Too is an adverb that means also. Sue walked there too. Two is the spelling for the number 2, as in: The
    94. 94. English Sand Traps English has many words that have similar denotative (dictionary) meanings but different connotative meanings. A connotative meaning is an emotional feeling that could be positive or negative that is part of the word. Examples of these words are: thin / scrawny chubby / fat curious / nosey.
    95. 95. English Sand Traps SLANG Young people, in order to separate themselves form their parents, invent new words or give old words new meaning. BLING PHAT(FAT) BAD WICKED Jack is the baddest basketball player in the neighborhood means he is the best. Those are wicked shoes that Sue is wearing means that you like Sue’s shoes.
    96. 96. Recommended Resources Websites: Books: NTC’s Dictionary of Everyday English Expressions- this book is the best for learning American English and enhancing oral comprehension than any grammar book. Multimedia: Improve Your English Accent & Pronounce It perfectly in English