Human Learning and Second Language Acquisition


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A powerpoint presentation about human learning and second language acquisition. The information, facts and details in the powerpoint are not from me but from various authors of books as well as internet articles/resources.

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Human Learning and Second Language Acquisition

  1. 1. Nature of Learning; Language Teaching & Learning; Theories of Learning
  2. 2. Learning:acquiring of knowledge of a subject or skill by study, experience, or instructiona relatively permanent change in a behavioral tendencythe result of reinforced practice
  3. 3. Summary of How People Learn:(Rita Smilkstein)Stage1: MOTIVATION/Responding to stimulus in theenvironment: watching,observing, having a need or aninterest in learning a particularskill or concept, being curious
  4. 4. Stage 2: BEGINNINGPRACTICE/Doing it: practicing;trying & making mistakes;learning from mistakes; askingquestions; consulting others;understanding the basics; takinglessons; achieving somesuccess
  5. 5. Stage 3: ADVANCEDPRACTICE/Increasing in skilland confidence: gaining somecontrol; reading; becomingencouraged; experimenting;trying new ways; achieving moresuccess; beginning to share skillwith others
  6. 6. Stage4: SKILLFULNESS/Becoming creative: morepracticing, doing it ones ownway, feeling good about oneself,receiving positivereinforcement, sharingknowledge with other, achievingmore success, increasing in self-confidence
  7. 7. Stage 5: REFINEMENT/Makingfurther improvement: learningnew methods, skill becomingsecond nature, continuing todevelop skill, becoming differentfrom anyone else, becomingcreative, receiving validationfrom others, forming habits,teaching others
  8. 8. Stage 6: MASTERY/Applyingskills in broader ways: taking ongreater challenges, teaching,continuing to improve or elsedropping the skill, going tohigher levels that feed otherinterests, getting better andbetter
  9. 9. Simple Forms:1. Habituation - the tendency to become familiar with a stimulus after repeated exposure to it
  10. 10. 2. Sensitization - the increase that occurs in an organism’s responsiveness to stimuli following an especially intense or irritating stimulus
  11. 11. Influential Factors:1. Age Age-related illnesses that involve a deterioration of mental functioning can severely reduce a person’s ability to learn.
  12. 12. 2. Motivation Learning is usually most efficient and rapid when the learner is motivated and attentive.
  13. 13. 3. Prior Experience How well a person learns a new task may depend heavily on the person’s previous experience with similar tasks.
  14. 14. 4. Intelligence People differ individually in their level of intelligence, and thus in their ability to learn and understand.
  15. 15. 5. Learning Disorders A variety of disorders can interfere with a person’s ability to learn new skills and behaviors.
  16. 16. Nature of Language Learning: Learners are not ‘empty vessels’ ready to be filled with the teacher’s knowledge.
  17. 17. Learning is more effectivewhen the learners areinvolved in the process.
  18. 18. Nature of Language Teaching: The teacher’s job is to help learners to learn effectively, or to facilitate learning.
  19. 19. The best teachers have arange of techniquesavailable to them.
  20. 20. Teachers make decisions onwhat techniques to usebased from the followingquestions: Who are the learners? What are their needs? What are their expectations? What material and resources are available?
  21. 21. Approaches to LanguageLearning & Teaching:1. Grammar-translation Method It relies on the teacher having a fairly expert command of both the mother tongue of the students and of the target language.
  22. 22. 2. Audio-lingual Approach The benefits of repetition are still intuitively recognised by many teachers today, and this element of the approach continues in many classrooms.
  23. 23. 3. Functional Approach It refers to the defining of the communicative functions that learners are likely to want to engage in (making requests, agreeing, disagreeing, ordering a coffee and so on).
  24. 24. 4. Natural Approach Associated to Stephen Krashen, it attempts to recreate as closely as possible the context in which infants learn their first language.
  25. 25. Classical Conditioning: developed by a Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) association is the key element
  26. 26. Types of Stimulus & Response:
  27. 27. Three Phenomena in ClassicalConditioning:1. Generalization – occurs when similar stimuli to a CS produce the CR.2. Discrimination – refers to the ability to differentiate between similar stimuli
  28. 28. 3. Extinction – process of unlearning a learned response because of the removal of the original source of learning.
  29. 29. For better understanding, watch this:
  30. 30. Operant Conditioning: pioneered by Thorndike a form of learning in which the consequences of behaviour lead to changes in the probability that the behaviour will occur
  31. 31. Types of Reinforcement &Punishment:
  32. 32. For better understanding, watch this:
  33. 33. Schedule of Reinforcement:1. Fixed-ratio Schedule – a behavior is reinforced after a set number of responses have occurred
  34. 34. 2. Variable-ratio Schedule Fixed – the number of responses needed to gain the reinforcement is not constant
  35. 35. 3. Fixed-interval Schedule – a behavior will be reinforced after a certain period of time. No matter how often it occurs, the behavior will not be reinforced until the time is up
  36. 36. 4. Variable-internal Schedule – also based on time passing but the time period keeps changing
  37. 37. Dangers of Punishment: Punishment can be abusive. Punishment may create a new problem, which is aggression.
  38. 38. Meaningful Learning: advanced by David Ausubel learned knowledge is fully under-stood by an individual and that the individual knows how that specific fact relates to other stored facts
  39. 39. Ideas about MeaningfulLearning Experience: occurs when learners actively interpret their experience using internal, cognitive operations requires that teachers change their role from sage to guide
  40. 40. the teacher’s role becomes one of stimulating and supporting activities that engage learners in thinkingteachers must also be comfortable that this thinking may transcend their own insights
  41. 41. requires knowledge to be constructed by the learner, not transmitted from the teacher to the student (Jonassen, et al., 1999)
  42. 42. Experiencing MeaningfulLearning:
  43. 43. Humanistic Approach: Carl Rogers - believed that people needed unconditional positive regard
  44. 44. Abraham Maslow - people have a variety of needs that differ in immediacy and which need satisfying at different times
  45. 45. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
  46. 46. Five Basic Objectives ofHumanistic Approach:1. Promote positive self- direction and independence (development of the regulatory system);
  47. 47. 2. Develop the ability to take responsibility for what is learned (regulatory and affective systems);
  48. 48. 3. Develop creativity (divergent thinking aspect of cognition);4. Curiosity (exploratory behavior, a function of imbalance or dissonance in any of the systems); and
  49. 49. 5. An interest in the arts (primarily to develop the affective/emotional system).