Elements of Language Developmental Language Skills, First Course

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We loved service as a about compared relevant research of all structural and such form about each practice based to a hip information. An regularity to Set Theory and Topology. The type of input may also be important. One tenet of Krashen's theory is that input should not be grammatically sequenced. He claims that such sequencing, as found in language classrooms where lessons involve practicing a "structure of the day", is not necessary, and may even be harmful.

While input is of vital importance, Krashen's assertion that only input matters in second-language acquisition has been contradicted by more recent research. For example, students enrolled in French- language immersion programs in Canada still produced non-native-like grammar when they spoke, even though they had years of meaning-focused lessons and their listening skills were statistically native-level. Researchers have also pointed to interaction in the second language as being important for acquisition. According to Long's interaction hypothesis the conditions for acquisition are especially good when interacting in the second language; specifically, conditions are good when a breakdown in communication occurs and learners must negotiate for meaning.

The modifications to speech arising from interactions like this help make input more comprehensible, provide feedback to the learner, and push learners to modify their speech. Much modern research in second-language acquisition has taken a cognitive approach.

Atypical development

This area of research is based in the more general area of cognitive science , and uses many concepts and models used in more general cognitive theories of learning. As such, cognitive theories view second-language acquisition as a special case of more general learning mechanisms in the brain.

This puts them in direct contrast with linguistic theories, which posit that language acquisition uses a unique process different from other types of learning. The dominant model in cognitive approaches to second-language acquisition, and indeed in all second-language acquisition research, is the computational model.

In the first stage, learners retain certain features of the language input in short-term memory. This retained input is known as intake. Then, learners convert some of this intake into second-language knowledge, which is stored in long-term memory. Finally, learners use this second-language knowledge to produce spoken output. In the early days of second-language acquisition research on interlanguage was seen as the basic representation of second-language knowledge; however, more recent research has taken a number of different approaches in characterizing the mental representation of language knowledge.

The mental processes that underlie second-language acquisition can be broken down into micro-processes and macro-processes. Micro-processes include attention; [52] working memory; [53] integration and restructuring. Restructuring is the process by which learners change their interlanguage systems; [54] and monitoring is the conscious attending of learners to their own language output.

Other cognitive approaches have looked at learners' speech production, particularly learners' speech planning and communication strategies.

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Speech planning can have an effect on learners' spoken output, and research in this area has focused on how planning affects three aspects of speech: complexity, accuracy, and fluency. Of these three, planning effects on fluency has had the most research attention. Their effect on second-language acquisition is unclear, with some researchers claiming they help it, and others claiming the opposite.

From the early days of the discipline researchers have also acknowledged that social aspects play an important role. Ellis identifies three types of social structure that affect acquisition of second languages: sociolinguistic setting, specific social factors, and situational factors. For example, a learner may use more polite language when talking to someone of higher social status, but more informal language when talking with friends.

Immersion programs provide a sociolinguistic setting that facilitates second-language acquisition. Immersion programs are educational programs where children are instructed in an L2 language.


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The goal of these programs is to develop a high level of proficiency in both the L1 and L2 languages. Students in immersion programs have been shown to have greater levels of proficiency in their second language than students who receive second language education only as a subject in school. Also, students who join immersion programs earlier generally have greater second-language proficiency than their peers who join later.

However, students who join later have been shown to gain native-like proficiency. Although immersion students' receptive skills are especially strong, their productive skills may suffer if they spend the majority of their time listening to instruction only. Grammatical skills and the ability to have precise vocabulary are particular areas of struggle.

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It is argued that immersion is necessary, but not sufficient for the development of native-like proficiency in a second language. A learner's sense of connection to their in-group, as well as to the community of the target language emphasize the influence of the sociolinguistic setting, as well as social factors within the second-language acquisition process. Social Identity Theory argues that an important factor for second language acquisition is the learner's perceived identity in relation to the community of the language being learned, as well as how the community of the target language perceives the learner.

A smaller social distance is likely to encourage learners to acquire the second language, as their investment in the learning process is greater. Conversely, a greater social distance discourages attempts to acquire the target language. However, negative views not only come from the learner, but the community of the target language might feel greater social distance to the learner, limiting the learner's ability to learn the language. Gender, as a social factor, also influences SLA. Females have been found to have higher motivation and more positive attitudes than males for second-language acquisition.

However, females are also more likely to present higher levels of anxiety, which may inhibit their ability to efficiently learn a new language. There have been several models developed to explain social effects on language acquisition. Schumann's Acculturation Model proposes that learners' rate of development and ultimate level of language achievement is a function of the "social distance" and the "psychological distance" between learners and the second-language community. In Schumann's model the social factors are most important, but the degree to which learners are comfortable with learning the second language also plays a role.

Gardner's model focuses on the emotional aspects of SLA, arguing that positive motivation contributes to an individuals willingness to learn L2; furthermore, the goal of an individual to learn a L2 is based on the idea that the individual has a desire to be part of a culture, in other words, part of a the targeted language mono-linguistic community.

Factors, such as integrativeness and attitudes towards the learning situation drive motivation. The outcome of positive motivation is not only linguistic, but non-linguistic, such that the learner has met the desired goal. Although there are many critics of Gardner's model, nonetheless many of these critics have been influenced by the merits that his model holds. A unique approach to SLA is Sociocultural theory.

It was originally developed by Lev Vygotsky and his followers. The ZPD notion states that social interaction with more advanced target language users allows one to learn language at a higher level than if they were to learn language independently. According to Ellis, "It is important to recognize Linguistic approaches to explaining second-language acquisition spring from the wider study of linguistics. They differ from cognitive approaches and sociocultural approaches in that they consider language knowledge to be unique and distinct from any other type of knowledge.

Typological universals are principles that hold for all the world's languages. They are found empirically, by surveying different languages and deducing which aspects of them could be universal; these aspects are then checked against other languages to verify the findings. The interlanguages of second-language learners have been shown to obey typological universals, and some researchers have suggested that typological universals may constrain interlanguage development. The theory of universal grammar was proposed by Noam Chomsky in the s, and has enjoyed considerable popularity in the field of linguistics.

It focuses on describing the linguistic competence of an individual. He believed that children not only acquire language by learning descriptive rules of grammar; he claimed that children creatively play and form words as they learn language, creating meaning of these words, as opposed to the mechanism of memorizing language.

Universal grammar theory can account for some of the observations of SLA research. For example, L2-users often display knowledge about their L2 that they have not been exposed to. This unsourced knowledge suggests the existence of a universal grammar. There is considerable variation in the rate at which people learn second languages, and in the language level that they ultimately reach. Some learners learn quickly and reach a near-native level of competence, but others learn slowly and get stuck at relatively early stages of acquisition, despite living in the country where the language is spoken for several years.

The reason for this disparity was first addressed with the study of language learning aptitude in the s, and later with the good language learner studies in the s. More recently research has focused on a number of different factors that affect individuals' language learning, in particular strategy use, social and societal influences, personality, motivation, and anxiety. The relationship between age and the ability to learn languages has also been a subject of long-standing debate. The issue of age was first addressed with the critical period hypothesis.

However, the exact age marking the end of the critical period is debated, and ranges from age 6 to 13, with many arguing that it is around the onset of puberty. However, in general, adolescent and adult learners of a second-language rarely achieve the native-like fluency that children who acquire both languages from birth display, despite often progressing faster in the initial stages.

This has led to speculation that age is indirectly related to other, more central factors that affect language learning. Children who acquire two languages from birth are called simultaneous bilinguals. In these cases, both languages are spoken to the children by their parents or caregivers and they grow up knowing the two languages. These children generally reach linguistic milestones at the same time as their monolingual peers.

People often assume that a sequential bilingual's first language is their most proficient language, but this is not always the case. Over time and experience, a child's second language may become his or her strongest. Proficiency for both simultaneous and sequential bilinguals is dependent upon the child's opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations in a variety of contexts. Often simultaneous bilinguals are more proficient in their languages than sequential bilinguals.

One argument for this is that simultaneous bilinguals develop more distinct representations of their languages, especially with regards to phonological and semantic levels of processing. Learning a language earlier in life would help develop these distinct representations of language, as the learner's first language would be less established. Conversely, learning a language later in life would lead to more similar semantic representations. Although child learners more often acquire native-like proficiency, older child and adult learners often progress faster in the initial stages of learning.

Once surpassed, older learners often display clear language deficiencies compared to child learners. This has been attributed to having a solid grasp on the first language or mother tongue they were first immersed into. Having this cognitive ability already developed can aid the process of learning a second language since there is a better understanding of how language works.

Elements Of Language by Holt, Rinehart and Winston

The exact language deficiencies that occur past a certain age are not unanimously agreed upon. Some believe that only pronunciation is affected, while others believe other abilities are affected as well. However, some differences that are generally agreed upon include older learners having a noticeable accent, a smaller vocabulary, and making several linguistic errors. One explanation for this difference in proficiency between older learners and younger learners involves Universal Grammar.

Universal Grammar is a debated theory that suggests that people have innate knowledge of universal linguistic principles that is present from birth. The rules and principles that guide the use of the learners' native language plays a role in the way the second language is developed. Some nonbiological explanations for second-language acquisition age differences include variations in social and psychological factors, such as motivation; the learner's linguistic environment; and the level of exposure.

Even with less advantageous nonbiological influences, many young children attain a greater level of proficiency in their second language than older learners with more advantageous nonbiological influences. Considerable attention has been paid to the strategies learners use to learn a second language. Strategies have been found to be of critical importance, so much so that strategic competence has been suggested as a major component of communicative competence.

Learning strategies are techniques used to improve learning, such as mnemonics or using a dictionary. Communicative strategies are strategies a learner uses to convey meaning even when he or she doesn't have access to the correct form, such as using pro-forms like thing , or using non-verbal means such as gestures. If learning strategies and communicative strategies are used properly language acquisition is successful. Some points to keep in mind while learning an additional language are: providing information that is of interest to the student, offering opportunities for the student to share their knowledge and teaching appropriate techniques for the uses of the learning resources available.

Another strategy may include intentional ways to acquire or improve their second language skills.

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The learner's attitude to the learning process has also been identified as being critically important to second-language acquisition. Anxiety in language-learning situations has been almost unanimously shown to be detrimental to successful learning. Anxiety interferes with the mental processing of language because the demands of anxiety-related thoughts create competition for mental resources.

This results in less available storage and energy for tasks required for language processing. Further, the apprehension created as a result of anxiety inhibits the learner's ability to retrieve and produce the correct information. A related factor, personality, has also received attention. There has been discussion about the effects of extravert and introvert personalities. Extraverted qualities may help learners seek out opportunities and people to assist with L2 learning, whereas introverts may find it more difficult to seek out such opportunities for interaction.

Further, while extraversion might be beneficial through its encouragement of learning autonomously, it may also present challenges as learners may find reflective and time-management skills to be difficult. Other personality factors, such as conscientiousness , agreeableness , and openness influence self-regulation, which helps L2 learners engage, process meaning, and adapt their thoughts, feelings, and actions to benefit the acquisition process.

Both genetics and the learner's environment impact the personality of the learner, either facilitating or hindering an individual's ability to learn. Social attitudes such as gender roles and community views toward language learning have also proven critical. Language learning can be severely hampered by cultural attitudes, with a frequently cited example being the difficulty of Navajo children in learning English [ citation needed ]. Also, the motivation of the individual learner is of vital importance to the success of language learning.

Motivation is influenced by goal salience , valence , and self-efficacy. However, motivation is dynamic and, as a L2 learner's fluency develops, their extrinsic motivation may evolve to become more intrinsic. Further, a supportive learning environment facilitates motivation through the increase in self-confidence and autonomy. Attrition is the loss of proficiency in a language caused by a lack of exposure to or use of a language. One way it does this is by using L1 as a tool to navigate the periods of change associated with acquisition and attrition. A learner's L2 is not suddenly lost with disuse, but its communicative functions are slowly replaced by those of the L1.

Similar to second-language acquisition, second-language attrition occurs in stages. However, according to the regression hypothesis, the stages of attrition occur in reverse order of acquisition. With acquisition, receptive skills develop first, and then productive skills, and with attrition, productive skills are lost first, and then receptive skills.

Age, proficiency level, and social factors play a role in the way attrition occurs. However, if a child has established a high level of proficiency, it may take them several years to lose the language. Proficiency level seems to play the largest role in the extent of attrition. For very proficient individuals, there is a period of time where very little, if any, attrition is observed.


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For some, residual learning might even occur, which is the apparent improvement within the L2. A cognitive psychological explanation for this suggests that a higher level of proficiency involves the use of schemas , or mental representations for linguistic structures.

Schemas involve deeper mental processes for mental retrieval that are resistant to attrition. As a result, information that is tied to this system is less likely to experience less extreme attrition than information that is not. In particular, motivation and attitude influence the process. Higher levels of motivation, and a positive attitude toward the language and the corresponding community may lessen attrition.

This is likely due to the higher level of competence achieved in L2 when the learner is motivated and has a positive attitude.

While considerable SLA research has been devoted to language learning in a natural setting, there have also been efforts made to investigate second-language acquisition in the classroom. This kind of research has a significant overlap with language education , and it is mainly concerned with the effect that instruction has on the learner.

It also explores what teachers do, the classroom context, the dynamics of classroom communication. It is both qualitative and quantitative research. The research has been wide-ranging. There have been attempts made to systematically measure the effectiveness of language teaching practices for every level of language, from phonetics to pragmatics, and for almost every current teaching methodology. This research has indicated that many traditional language-teaching techniques are extremely inefficient.

Rather, to become proficient in the second language, the learner must be given opportunities to use it for communicative purposes. Another area of research has been on the effects of corrective feedback in assisting learners. This has been shown to vary depending on the technique used to make the correction, and the overall focus of the classroom, whether on formal accuracy or on communication of meaningful content.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about natural acquisition of a second language. For classroom learning, see Language education. Outline History Index. Grammatical theories. Main article: Interlanguage. Main article: Order of acquisition. Main article: Language transfer. Main article: Individual variation in second-language acquisition. Main article: Second-language attrition.

Main article: Second-language acquisition classroom research. Linguistics portal Languages portal. Main article: Outline of second-language acquisition. Bilingualism neurology Dynamic approach to second language development International auxiliary language Language learning aptitude Language acquisition Language complexity List of common misconceptions about language learning List of language acquisition researchers Native-language identification Psycholinguistics Second-language attrition Sociolinguistics Theories of second-language acquisition Vocabulary learning.

This strict separation of learning and acquisition is widely regarded as an oversimplification by researchers today, but his hypotheses were very influential and the name has stuck. See Krashen for a review of these studies. Sharwood Smith and Kellerman preferred the term crosslinguistic influence to language transfer. They argued that cross-linguistic influence was neutral regarding different theories of language acquisition, whereas language transfer was not.

Archived from the original on 22 November Retrieved 3 May October Wired : Cognitive Science. Archived from the original on 28 March Archived PDF from the original on Retrieved Archived from the original on 11 June Retrieved 10 June Natural Order Hypothesis 2 :Interlanguage". Quentin, a course run from to Archived from the original on Theory and Practice in Language Studies. How Languages are Learned.

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Ashcraft, M. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Bailey, N. Language Learning. Bates, E. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Brown, Roger A First Language. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Canale, M. Applied Linguistics. Chang, Charles B. Journal of Phonetics. Cook, Vivian Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. DeKeyser, Robert In Doughty, Catherine; Williams, Jessica eds. New York: Cambridge University Press. Doughty, Catherine; Williams, Jessica, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dulay, H. Dulay, Heidi; Burt, Marina In Richards, Jack ed. Error Analysis. New York: Longman. In Dulay, Heidi; Burt, Marina eds. Elley, W. Ellis, N. Ellis, Rod The Study of Second Language Acquisition.

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