Assignment 2


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Assignment 2

  1. 1. 1.Behaviorist Because the acquisition of language is extremely complex, many theorists have studied and researched it meticulously. Through countless hours of observation and tests, there have been five theories created. Amongst those five are two that are very compound; the behaviorist theory and the nativist theory. There were two theorists, Skinner and Watson, who studied the development of language in young children, which became known as the behaviorist theory. Thus, they and others who believe solely in this theory are known as behaviorists. Behaviorists believe that organisms come into the world as "blank slates." That means that when babies of all species are born into the world they do not have any knowledge whatsoever; they do not know anything and they can't do anything. Also, behaviorists believe that their theory's basic principles apply to all species. One very important principle of the behaviorist theory is that the role of the environment is of utmost importance in proving their theory. They believe that the process of learning has only occurred if there has been a change in behavior. Also, behaviorists basically study the relationship between stimuli and responses, and actual mental process. (Copyright (c) 2001-2009 Mega Essays LLC All rights reserved. DMCA HMS) The behaviorist view of language acquisition is that children learn language by receiving reinforcement from their parents after speaking correctly (operant conditioning). If a child's parents become ecstatic when the child says "mama", the child will want to continue speaking to get the same positive reaction. If a child gets a sip of milk after saying "milk", the speech is reinforced, and the child learns that it can get what it wants by saying so. ( onCopyright © 2009 Answers Corporation) Nativist Theory Language acquisition is the study of the processes through which humans acquire language. By itself, language acquisition refers to first language acquisition, which studies infants' acquisition of their native language, whereas second language acquisition deals with acquisition of additional languages in both children and adults. The process of language acquisition is among the leading aspects that distinguishes humans from other organisms. While many forms of animal language exist, production is often fixed and does not vary much across cultural groups, though comprehension may be more flexible (primates may learn to pick up bird signals)[1] The complexity and referential richness and social contextual variation of human language is not exhibited by any other species.
  2. 2. Social interaction and language acquisition: Motherese help you Kevin Durkin, D.R. Rutter, and Hilarie Tucker University of Kent One of the distinctive features of speech addressed to young children is the deviant use of proper names. In a cross-sectional observational study of mother- infant interactions (with children aged 12, 18 and 24 months), this paper investigates the frequency and functions of this aspect of language input. No differences due to age of child were found, indicating that the phenomenon is not sensitive to the linguistic development of the addressee. The most common functions of name usage are identified as Attention-Orienting and Instruction to Act. We argue that this familiar modification reflects communicative rather than pedagogical (linguistic- instruction) purposes on the part of the parent. We present examples which suggest that the modification, which is present before the addressee reaches the two-word stage, influences the early grammatical constructions of the child. We conclude that the relationship between the contingencies of early social interaction and language acquisition is multi dimensional, and not ubiquitously designed to facilitate language learn ing perse. First Language, Vol. 3, No. 8, 107-120 (1982) DOI: 10.1177/014272378200300803 2. Bilingualism in language learning The term bilingual refers to individuals who can function in more than one language. The category of bilinguals is very broad - encompassing individuals who are sophisticated speakers, readers, and writers of two or more languages, as well as those who use a limited knowledge of a second language (L2) for purposes such as work or schooling, and who may be literate in only one language (or even completely illiterate). Because of the consequences of colonization, migration, nation-formation, traditions of exogamy, and modernization, some degree of bilingualism is typical of most people in the world. Bilingualism is a feature not just of individuals, but also of societies. Societies in which two languages are used regularly, or in which more than one language has official status or a recurrent function, can be called bilingual. For example, Canada is a bilingual country because French and English are both official languages, even though many citizens of Canada are monolingual English speakers. Saudi Arabia is also a bilingual society, as most Saudis speak both Arabic and English, though English has no official status. The nature of individual bilingualism is quite different in different communities - there are those where bilingualism is the norm for all educated citizens (as it is, for example, in relatively small language communities like Scandinavia and The Netherlands); those
  3. 3. where bilingualism is the norm for the minority language speakers but not those with the greatest political or economic power in the society (e.g., for Quechua speakers in Peru, for Turkish speakers in the Netherlands, for Spanish speakers in the United States); and those where bilingualism is the norm for the upper classes and better educated but not the relatively powerless (e.g., Colombia). It must be noted that the United States and other traditionally English-speaking countries observe a norm of monolingualism (low expectations for second/foreign language proficiency, low value placed on immigrant languages, universal emphasis on the need to speak English) that is possible only for speakers of a 'language of wider communication' living in an economy that is globally highly influential. Bilingualism is often the product of second language (L2) learning after the first language (L1) has been acquired - either through nontutored exposure or through instruction. Individuals can become bilingual at any age, depending on when the need to learn the L2 emerges or when instruction becomes available. In some cases, though, bilingualism is a characteristic of a child's earliest language system. For example, children growing up in bilingual households - where both parents speak two languages regularly, or where each parent speaks a different language - are typically bilingual from the very beginning of language acquisition. Children growing up with parents who speak a minority language (within the larger societal context) may also be natively bilingual, if visitors, neighbors, television, regular caretakers, and other sources make the majority language available. English as a second language (ESL) refers to the process of producing bilinguals by teaching English as an L2 to learners in an English-speaking context. ESL is distinguished from English as a foreign language (EFL), which is instruction delivered in a context where English is not used regularly outside the classroom, using the instructional techniques and the intensity of instruction required to achieve success. The term ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) is meant to encompass both ESL and EFL. Given the importance of English in the modern, globalized economy, ESOL is a large field of practice buttressed by considerable bodies of research and many curricular resources. ESL instruction also needs to be distinguished, in the American schooling context, from instruction referred to as bilingual education, in which some instructional content is delivered in the learner's L1 while English is being acquired. Bilingual programs range from those that use the native language briefly (and primarily for emotional support), to programs that seek to develop L1 literacy as a source of transfer to English literacy, to those that continue to teach L1 oral and literacy skills at least through the elementary grades. Some districts also offer two-way bilingual, or double immersion programs, in which half the students are L1 speakers of English and half are L1 speakers of another language, and instruction is given to all children in both languages, with the goal of producing high-level bilinguals from both English-and other-language
  4. 4. backgrounds. Bilingual education programs, which were first supported by federal funding as a result of the Federal Bilingual Education Act of 1968, are offered in districts where sufficient numbers of students from a single L1 background exist; such programs came under attack as ineffective in 1998 in California, where they were severely curtailed as a result of ballot proposition 227. Since then, political action to eliminate the bilingual schooling option has spread to other states. The difficulty of carrying out well-designed evaluations of bilingual education has frustrated its supporters because there is, as a result, no unambiguous demonstration that bilingual education generates achievement advantages. Nonetheless, both theory and meta-analyses suggest that bilingual education is the best approach to ensuring educational achievement and reducing the risk of reading failure for many language-minority children. The major challenge of education for language minority children in the U.S. is to ensure adequate literacy development; scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) continue to show serious deficits in literacy for non-native speakers of English, even after several years of U.S. schooling. Thus, focusing on educational treatments that promote literacy is a high priority in research and practice innovations. Early Literacy Development of English Language Learners (ELLS) The central role of language in the emergence of key literacy-related skills raises important questions about the nature of literacy development among bilingual children, and, about the impact of bilingual or second language instructional settings on children's emerging literacy-related abilities. There is surprisingly little systematic research on these issues. It is known, however, that Spanish- speaking children (the most widely studied group) just beginning kindergarten in the United States show wide variation in both their Spanish literacy skills and in their level of oral English proficiency. Since children's abilities in both of these areas have been shown to independently predict English reading performance in middle school, both must be considered critical to children's future academic success. There is also considerable evidence that many key literacy-related skills, including phonological awareness, print concepts, decoding skills, and extended discourse, are transferable from an L1 to an L2. Low-income ELLs, like other children of low socioeconomic status, tend to begin school with relatively few literacy-related skills in general, and they may have vocabularies in each of their two languages that are more restricted even than those of their low-income, monolingual peers - possibly because they have had fewer resources and opportunities to acquire at home the language and literacy skills that have been linked to school success.
  5. 5. Language-Of-Instruction Studies One critical question is how effective literacy instruction is linguistically organized in bilingual or second language (ESL) classroom settings - and with what effect. Non-English-speaking or bilingual preschool children in the United States typically find themselves in one of three types of classroom language settings: first-language classrooms in which all interaction occurs in the children's primary language; bilingual classrooms in which interaction is split between the primary language and English; and English-language classrooms in which English is the exclusive language of communication. Studies of the education offered to L2 learners tend to focus on language use, rather than on the quality of children's learning opportunities. These studies, nevertheless, converge on two important sets of findings. First, studies that have compared preschool program types by language have found certain academic and linguistic advantages for children in bilingual, as opposed to English-only, classrooms at both the pre-school and the K - 6 level. One longitudinal evaluation of the Carpinteria Preschool Program in California found Spanish-language classrooms to be associated with higher levels of language and early literacy attainment in both Spanish and English through grade five. Unfortunately, these studies have not examined what, specifically, goes on in pre-school classrooms to produce such results. Second, studies that have explored the language proficiencies of Spanish- speaking children who attended preschool versus those who stayed home have found that the main effect of preschool attendance, even in bilingual programs, is improved English proficiency. There is contradictory evidence, however, as to whether acquiring English in pre-school necessarily endangers children's home language development. Systematic studies focused on investigating the predictors of English literacy development for ELLs were launched in 2000, when the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) initiated collaborative funding focused on bilingual reading. Questions about both the design and quality of schooling for ELLs are of practical as well as theoretical importance, especially since the majority of ELL preschoolers and school-age children in the United States find themselves in predominantly English-language classroom settings. Expressing concern for the additional risk that such settings may pose, the National Research Council report Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children recommended the need for additional research to examine "whether high-quality preschool experiences are equally beneficial to Spanish-speaking children when offered in English as when offered in Spanish" (Snow, Burns, and Griffin, p. 157). Consequences of Bilingualism
  6. 6. There has been much discussion of the consequences of early bilingualism. Historically, early bilingualism was seen as dangerous, leading to confusion and exacerbating language disorders and language delay. Research has made clear that early bilingualism may well bring cognitive advantages, particularly in domains such as helping children understand the arbitrary nature of language systems and literacy systems. Nonetheless, such advantages are also small - few months' precocity on tasks that monolingual children also typically come to accomplish without difficulty. Obviously, the major positive consequence of bilingualism is knowing two languages - and thus being able to converse with a larger array of individuals, as well as having access to two cultures, two bodies of literature, and two worldviews. For children in language-minority communities, maintaining their ancestral language preserves ties to their grandparents and keeps open the option of experiences that build ethnic identification and pride, as well as cultural continuity. Speaking other languages also has economic advantages, as bilinguals are in demand in the new global economy. Despite these advantages, the most typical trajectory for immigrant families in the United States is that only first-generation children (or the one-and-a-half generation - those born in the U.S. shortly after their parents' arrival) are bilingual, and that the second and later generations are likely to be absorbed into the norms of the larger monolingual society. Given the relatively poor outcomes of foreign language teaching in the United States, this trajectory reflects the forfeiture of linguistic resources that might well be conserved with educational policies more focused on maintaining and developing immigrants' language skills in L1 as well as L2. Factors Influencing Second Language Learning Forces that impinge on the likelihood of successful L2 learning include cognitive influences (e.g., knowledge of L1, linguistic analysis capacity, memory), motivational influences (e.g., interest in the L2, value of the L2 to the learner, positive affect toward speakers of the L2), social influences (e.g., opportunities to interact with L2 speakers, access to useful feedback from L2 speakers), and instruction (e.g., quantity, quality, design). These influences all tend to covary with age, with the social status of the learner, and with other factors, such as reasons for learning the L2. Although the myth of a critical period for L2 acquisition dominates public understanding, there are, in fact, no biological data supporting the existence of a critical period for second language learning. Older learners can achieve high, even native-like levels of proficiency in an L2 under the right conditions, and younger learners sometimes do not achieve this level of proficiency. Very young learners in an immigrant situation are also much more likely to lose their first language in the process of acquiring the second, thus ending up monolingual
  7. 7. rather than bilingual as a result of L2 acquisition. Summary Questions about individuals' second language learning cannot be understood without simultaneous attention to the larger sociocultural and sociolinguistic framework within which learning a second language is occurring. Certainly there are cognitive challenges associated with L2 acquisition - learning new phonological, grammatical, semantic, and interactional rules is hard. But the cognitive challenge associated with learning Spanish, for example, is quite different for the Aymara speaker in Peru, who see it simultaneously as the language of economic advancement and of oppression, than it is for the English speaker in Kansas, who sees it as the language of underpaid immigrant workers, or for the third-generation Mexican American in California, who sees it as the language of history and extended family. Until it is understood how the larger sociocultural and sociolinguistic factors interact with the cognitive and psycholinguistic factors influencing acquisition and maintenance of a second language, it will be difficult to design optimal educational programs for either language-minority children or English speakers learning foreign languages. english-as-a-second-language Copyright © 2009 Answers Corporation 3. Four language arts Reading Before Writing: Can Students Read and Understand Code and Documentation? Tammy VanDeGrift February 2005, (SIGCSE) 1 Introduction Before diving into a description of this proposed research study, I must warn you that these ideas are very premature. (I have spent the bulk of my time writing my dissertation and looking for jobs.) This research study is motivated by an idea I have for teaching introductory computer science. When children learn how to write (more than just the alphanumeric characters), they have spent several years of reading and speaking the language. Therefore, when they are learning to write, children have an existing framework governing syntax and semantics of the language. Also, by spending several years reading, children are exposed to several models of writing before they write something themselves. My primary interest for this study is
  8. 8. nding out if students can read and understand programs. A second motivation for my interest in teaching students to read code before writing code also comes from professional industry. In casual conversations with software developers I have asked what skills are they looking for in computer science graduates. I often get the standard responses, such as they can think" and they can actually write code". Another response is that they can understand existing code since most developers maintain and extend existing systems. My overall research question is not something that I cannot investigate immediately. First, I would like to do preliminary studies focusing on more direct questions. My overall research question is the following: does teaching students how to program by
  9. 9. rst reading programs lead to more ecient learning of language syntax and semantics? First, I will focus on the question of can students currently read and understand existing code and documentation. 2 Related Work This study draws on the reading/writing literature and the code comprehension literature. Musthafa documents the history of research practices in reading and writing from the 1960's through the 1990's in [5]. Reading and writing were
  10. 10. rst viewed as simply behavioral responses and that reading and writing were separate acts. Later, reading and writing theories about causal relationships were studied. Does reading lead to writing or does writing lead to reading? Most recently, the trend is that reading and writing are related activities and each may help the other. It is my sense that when teaching students how to program, there could be a great synergy between writing programs and reading programs to aid in becoming better at both reading and writing. A popular approach to teaching reading is to have kids read and write about the reading [1]. Cobine argues that encouraging kids to write about their reading will satisfy a larger set of learning styles. In the same way, teaching programming through reading and writing may reach a more diverse set of learning styles. The second body of literature related to my interests is the program comprehension, program understanding, debugging, and expert/novice literature. Shaft uses a think-aloud protocol to collect data about how people comprehend a program unfamiliar to them [7]. She chose participants who had several years of industry experience with COBOL, so her sample population is di erent than my target population. She focused on programmers' use of metacognition while reading programs. She found that when they were working in unfamiliar application domains, the use of metacognition interfered with their comprehension skills. Mayer addresses e ective techniques for teaching students how to program, such as providing models and having students describe a concept in their own words, in [4]. Missing from this 1 paper is the technique of having students read programs before or while learning how to write them. Several researchers have investigated expert/novice di erences in program comprehension, theories about program comprehension, and tools to assist in comprehension [6, 3, 2]. One day, there might be tools to assist novices in learning how to read code, but we need to
  11. 11. rst understand how they read and understand code without assistance and the challenges they face when reading code. 3 Research Questions My research question is: Can students read and understand existing code and documentation? Embedded in this question is: How do students read and understand existing code and documentation? Can students evaluate if existing code meets the functional requirements? Can students predict the output of a program given an input or event? Can students follow the execution path of a program given an input or event? (Okay, so maybe I have not quite focused the question enough to be able to develop a study to investigate it.) 4 Evidence Evidence to the main question of students being able to read and understand existing code and documentation can take on the following forms: A student asks a question about the code. This shows that the student knows at least something about the code to ask about it. A student can tell me if the code does or does need meet a functional requirement. A student can tell me that the code documentation is inconsistent with the code. A student can predict the outcome of the program given a certain input. A student can trace the execution path given a certain input. A student can
  12. 12. nd an unhandled case in the code. A student looks up a language feature in the reference manual. This shows that the student knows that they are not familiar with a language feature, instead of blindly skipping over that part of the code. A student draws pictures showing connections between
  13. 13. les/classes/code fragments or abstracts the code into a diagram. 5 Methods Looking at my questions again, I think I would split the investigation into two phases. Phase one will look at can students read and understand code and phase two will center around how do students read and understand code. It might be feasible to study both questions at the same time or with two separate phases in a single experiment. Since I do not know if students can read and understand code, I would probably recruit participants from across all levels in an undergraduate CS program. The most novice set of participants would be students who have just completed CS 1. I would take a more experimental approach when studying this question, instead of incorporating it into an actual class. I would design the experiment so participants were asked to do the following tasks: 1. After introducing the study, I would let the participants know that they can ask me questions at any time. Participants would
  14. 14. rst be given the code (not sure if this will be done on paper or on the computer), access to a language reference, some description/documentation about what the code does, and a set of functional requirements for the code. The participant would be given sucient time to read through the material and I would ask him/her to read it and I would be asking questions about the program during the next phase. 2 2. After the participant is comfortable with the materials, I would ask him/her to describe the program as if he/she is introducing the system to a peer. 3. The participant would then be asked a set of questions about the program. I would ask what would happen given a certain input. I would ask the participant to trace the execution path given a certain input. I would also ask the participant to con
  15. 15. rm if the program satis
  16. 16. es a certain functional requirement. 4. The second phase is for the investigation of the question as to how students read and understand code. (the process in which they do this) I would give the participant a second program and documentation and ask them to think aloud - tell me what they are looking at and what they are thinking as they try to understand the code. This could be tricky, since having them think aloud may alter the process through which they go through. (Having two passes at this gives me some evidence about the thinking aloud altering their process. While they read through the
  17. 17. rst program, I would be taking notes as to what they are looking at, when they look at the manual, when they ask me questions, etc.). An alternative to using a second program would be to videotape the participant while he/she was trying to understand program 1. They I could ask him/her what he/she was doing/thinking while watching the tape. 5. I would then ask the participant to describe how they try to understand the code for a system that is unfamiliar to them. I would ask them to describe any di erences in the process they went through for the two programs. 6 Analysis Procedures I expect to analyze the data both quantitatively and qualitatively. The data I expect to get from the experiment include the following: Descriptions of process when reading/understanding program 1 (from my observations) Descriptions of process when reading/understanding program 1 from participant's answer about their process Questions that the participant asks during the experiment The answers to the input/output questions Participant's description of program 1 The answers to the questions about tracing execution The answers to the questions about the program meeting functional requirements The verbatim transcript from the think aloud protocol for program 2 Descriptions of di erences for the participant in reading program 1 and program 2 Descriptions of how the participant usually goes about understanding the code for an unfamiliar system With the descriptions of process, I would try to build timelines of what the students were doing and the order in which they did them. I would compare their descriptions to the one I observed. I would see how many questions they got right about the input/output, tracing, and meeting functional requirements. I would also look at their verbal description of the program, annotating correct and incorrect interpretations of the program. 3
  18. 18. 7 Future Studies My general interest is to
  19. 19. nd out if teaching students to read before writing programs is more ecient for their learning. In the future I could try to incorporate code reading exercises at the beginning of the term and see how quickly students can get through the syntax and semantics of the language. If students can learn about the language more quickly, then class time could be spent on issues such as eciency, design decisions, and readability of softwar