2nd language acquisition vs. pedagogy


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2nd language acquisition vs. pedagogy

  1. 1. Naseem Alnaqeeb. Collage of Languages, Sana’a University. 2013 Page 1 of 6 ▶ 2 ◀ Show the Differences and Similarities between Second Language Acquisition Theory and Second Language Pedagogy. The study of language acquisition and language pedagogy, specifically language learning, has caused many theories to be created for the past three decades. Theories such as Contrastive Analysis, Universal Grammar, Error Analysis and Interlanguage Theory are among them. However, apart from these theories, which are considered by many to be ‘theoretical’, Stephen Krashen’s Monitor Model Theory is successful as much as second language acquisition and learning is concerned. Krashen developed this theory in the 1970’s. This theory is most widely known among linguists and language practitioners. His theory was presented in terms of five well-known hypothesis, of which the fundamental hypotheses is that there is a difference between acquisition and learning. The five hypotheses of Krashen’s theory are; The Acquisition-Learning Hypotheses, The Monitor Hypotheses, The Natural Order Hypotheses, The Input Hypotheses and The Affective Filter Hypotheses. According to Krashen’s acquisition-learning hypothesis, there are two independent ways to develop our linguistic skills: acquisition and learning. Thus there are two independent systems of Second language performance: 'the acquired system' and 'the learned system'. The 'acquired system' alludes to 'acquisition', which is the product of a subconscious process that is very similar to the process children undergo when they acquire their first language. This process of acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language, in which speakers are concentrated not in the form of their utterances, but in the communicative act they are supposed to perform. On the other hand, the 'learned system' or 'learning' is the product of formal instruction
  2. 2. Naseem Alnaqeeb. Collage of Languages, Sana’a University. 2013 Page 2 of 6 which is a conscious process that produces conscious knowledge 'about' the language, for example knowledge of grammar rules. In this sense, Krashen points out that 'learning' is less important than 'acquisition'. “Rules and exceptions will make sense and grammar, word choice and pronunciation will be employed appropriately if it "sounds" right. Language analysis and the deductive, rule- driven study of grammar are not only ineffective to produce communicative ability, but also frustrating. It is much easier and more enjoyable to acquire a language than it is to learn a language.” (Krashen, S: 1988). Relationship between acquisition and learning is explained by The Monitor hypothesis. The monitoring function is the practical result of the learned grammar. According to Krashen, for the Monitor to be successfully used, three conditions must be met: first, the acquirer/learner must know the rule, which is a very difficult condition to meet because it means that the speaker must have had explicit instruction. Second, the acquirer must be focused on correctness that is he / she must be thinking about form, and it is difficult to focus on meaning and form at the same time. Thirdly , the learner has sufficient time at his/her disposal, so that he/she is focused on form rather than meaning, resulting in the production and exchange of less information Having time to use the monitor. And because of these difficulties, Krashen recommends using the monitor at times when it does not inte0rfere with communication, such as while writing. The acquisition of grammatical structures follows a “natural order” which is predictable. For a given language, some grammatical structures tend to be acquired early while others late. Moreover, the order of acquisition for second language is not the same as the order of acquisition for first language. Krashen believes that the implication of the natural order hypothesis is not that our syllabi should be based on the order found in the studies, and he rejects grammatical sequencing in all cases where the goal is language acquisition. The Input hypothesis is Krashen's attempt to explain how the learner acquires a second language. It revolves around the proposition that we acquire language only when we understand language that contains structure that is “a little beyond” where we are now in their linguistic competence, and this is possible because we use more
  3. 3. Naseem Alnaqeeb. Collage of Languages, Sana’a University. 2013 Page 3 of 6 than our linguistic competence to help us understand. The input hypothesis says that we acquire by “going for meaning” first, and as a result, we acquire structure. It also states that speaking fluency cannot be taught directly. It emerges over time, on its own. The best way to teach speaking, according to this view, is simply to provide comprehensible input. For example, if a learner is at a stage 'i', then acquisition takes place when he/she is exposed to 'Comprehensible Input' that belongs to level 'i + 1'. One last issue regarding this hypothesis is that Krashen reflected upon the problem that not all of the learners can be at the same level of linguistic competence at the same time. Krashen suggests that natural communicative input is the key to designing a syllabus, so that each learner will receive some 'i + 1' input that is appropriate for his/her current stage of linguistic competence. The last hypothesis, the Affective Filter, is somehow related to psychology. Krashen propose his view that a number of 'affective variables' play a facilitative, but non- causal, role in second language acquisition. By variables Krashen means motivation, self-confidence and anxiety. The idea here is that learners with high motivation, self- confidence, a good self-image, and a low level of anxiety are better equipped for success in second language acquisition, and vice-versa is true. Low motivation, low self-esteem, and debilitating anxiety can combine to 'raise' the affective filter and form a 'mental block' that prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition. To put it simple, when the filter is 'up' it hinders language acquisition. As for teaching a foreign language, the conversation of the roles of researchers and teachers arises. Teachers are often silent, having their hands full with daily planning in the words of Susan Gass in Learning and Teaching: The Necessary Intersection. The advantage of this is the necessity of constant experimentation, “and teachers are therefore constant researchers”. In this consistent dialogue between Second Language Acquisition researchers and teachers everyone agrees that each side should have a better understanding of what the other is doing. However, each party speaks with such a different perspective that progress can be very difficult and slow. But teachers certainly benefit from some useful research issues and articles by SLA (Second Language Acquisition) theorists, names as John Paolillo, Anthony Ciccone, and others participated greatly to the success of second language pedagogy. Krashen's theories, in particular certainly add perspective that is badly needed in the teaching profession.
  4. 4. Naseem Alnaqeeb. Collage of Languages, Sana’a University. 2013 Page 4 of 6 Here follows an attempt to compare between Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and Second Language Pedagogy. Second language acquisition Second language pedagogy Is learning a second language after a first language is already established. Second language learning (SLL) Second language teaching Is the term used to refer to the process by which people consciously learn a second language. The process of teaching a language as a the learner’s second language language is acquired language is learned achieved by actually using the language naturally the second language is developed with a conscious effort Mostly happens with children Mostly happens with adults Children learn language easier than adults. Children seem to develop better pronunciation skills ( can speak as natives) It is nearly impossible for adults to develop completely native-like pronunciation. a child is in a very special privileged position in society. Errors seem cute when made by a child adults lack such a privilege. Errors are odd or weird when made by an adult no materials used materials as curriculums, skills improving tools, presence of monitors (teachers) are available learning the language learning ‘about’ the language a subconscious process (we are not aware that we are learning) conscious process
  5. 5. Naseem Alnaqeeb. Collage of Languages, Sana’a University. 2013 Page 5 of 6 the language is spoken in the immediate environment of the learner, who has good opportunities to use the language by participating in natural communication situations the language is not spoken in the learner's immediate environment, although mass media may provide opportunities for practicing receptive skills. The learner has little or no opportunity to use the language in natural communication situations involves developing the skill of interacting with foreigners to understand them and speak their language. involves receiving information about the language, transforming it into knowledge through intellectual effort and storing it through memorization. a classic example of second language acquisition are the adolescents and young adults that live abroad for a year in an exchange program, often attaining near native fluency, while knowing little about the language. They have a good pronunciation without a notion of phonology, don't know what the perfect tense is, modal or phrasal verbs are, but they intuitively recognize and know how to use all the structures. examples are clear attention is focused on the language in its spoken form attention is focused on the language in its written form and the objective is for the student to understand the structure and rules of the language, whose parts are dissected and analyzed no authority the teacher is an authority figure includes performing conversation the learner hardly ever masters the use of learned structures in conversation. In case of acquiring certain skills, viz, writing, and reading, the presence of a tutor, curricula and class system is inevitable.
  6. 6. Naseem Alnaqeeb. Collage of Languages, Sana’a University. 2013 Page 6 of 6 To conclude, language acquisition is an experience that can be attempted by anyone at any time and need not any sort of effort or complications, whereas language learning is limited to a complementary role in the form of support lessons and study materials, and will be useful only for adult students that have an analytical and reflective learning style and make good use of the monitoring function. However, Language learning will be more useful for languages with a higher level of regularity, as well as in situations where the number of students per group cannot be reduced. References  Krashen, Stephen D. Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Prentice-Hall International, 1988.  Magdalena Bobek. Second Language Acquisition and English Language Teaching.  Susan Gass. Learning and Teaching: The Necessary Intersection.  http://crap87.blogspot.com  http://qenaga.org  http://teachertraining.linguaprof.com  http://tesl-ej.org  http://www.sk.com.br