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(INTRODUCTION) SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION (SLA) THEORIES The development of second language acquisition theories has been in line

with development in first language acquisition theories. Applied linguistics studies have focused on the process of second language acquisition. They investigate how a second language is acquired as they provide descriptions of the different stages of development. Moreover, they assess whether second language acquisition follow a similar route to that of first language acquisition. A number of second language acquisition theories, thus, were formulated, either deductively or inductively, and research in the second language classroom flourished. In this paper, Krashen's acquisition /learning hypothesis, which is central to his SLA theory called the Monitor Model, is discussed in the general framework of SLA, and in the light of some elaborations on this hypothesis from findings in cognitive approaches to second language acquisition. THE MONITOR MODEL The influence Stephen Krashen has on second language acquisition research and bilingualism is undisputable. His theoretical framework has generated a lot of extensive further research in SLA process. His influence on teachers has made them more attentive to the importance of meaning over vocabulary and grammar. He developed one of the most ambitious and influential- and most debatable as well- second language acquisition theories. It is an overall SLA theory that had important implications on language teaching since it was first introduced in late 70s and elaborated in later years. His theory has five components: a. The Acquisition-learning Hypothesis b. c. d. e. The Monitor Hypothesis The Input Hypothesis The Natural Order Hypothesis The Affective Filter Hypothesis

Krashen ultimately synthesized these five hypotheses in what is called Monitor Model. His Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis is the centerpiece of his academic work. An evaluation of this dichotomy is attempted in the following sections first in broad sense of an SLA theory and then in relation to new findings from cognitive accounts of second language acquisition. According to this acquisition/learning hypothesis, there are two distinct and independent ways for adult second language learners to develop competence in a second language. Acquisition that is a subconscious process analogous in many aspects to the way in which a child acquires their first language (L1) or an adult picking up a second language (L2) by living and interacting with 1

people in this second language community. In this sense, acquisition comes about naturally as there is no focus on linguistic forms, i.e. grammatical rules. To acquire a second language, therefore, learners need to go through a meaningful interaction in a natural communication setting. Learning, on the other hand, comes from direct instruction, i.e. explicit or deductive, about the rules of language. Therefore, it is a conscious process leading to "knowledge about" or formal knowledge of the target language through formal language lessons and a focus on the grammatical features of that language (Krashen, 1982). Learning, thus, takes place in formal school-like settings. In a learning context, errors detection and correction form an important part of the teaching process. This way it contrasts with acquisition where speakers are mainly concerned with the message or conveying the intended meaning. Although learners, having conscious knowledge about the new language, can memorize the rules of the language and succeed on standardized tests, they may not be able to speak and write well. It is likely that, for Krashen, learning is less important than acquisition. Learning language in this sense is not communicative. The L2 learner, therefore, needs a source of natural communication. Otherwise, teaching about the language is only of marginal utility. Krashen asserts that learned language does not 'turn into' acquisition as it takes place in a formal environment and is consciously attended to by the learners. Therefore, teaching grammar rules or "knowledge about" the language is worthless since it will not help learners to become competent users of the language in authentic situations (Krashen, 1982). It can be assumed here that what Krashen means by this kind of "learned language" reflects the prevailing practice of second language teaching which seems to be based only on teaching grammar rules deductively. Krashen's acquisition/learning distinction has become very popular in discussions on second language learning in describing language growth intuitively. In spite of this popularity, there are major points of criticism directed to this hypothesis. The terminology employed, for example, seems to be broad and loose. Under-definition and over-generalization cut through the basic texture of this distinction that is doomed as an oversimplification. "Learning" in Krashen's terms is very restricted in its application as he associates it with conscious attention, a term never satisfactorily explained, to the language rules as well as with this kind of knowledge learners receive in school-like milieu. Language learning, on the contrary, has a broad sense that, for some SLA theorists like Stern (1983), it encompasses "first or second language acquisition or learning, the development of bilingualism, and the learning of linguistic variations within a language". In using the term "acquisition", Krashen links it to the Chomsky's Language Acquisition Device (LAD). Thus, Krashen based his hypothesis upon two assumptions: first, LAD facilitates language acquisition and second, LAD is still available for the acquisition of a second language. In

applying it to adult language learning, Gregg (1984) notes, he gives it much wider "scope of operation than is normally the case in linguistic theory". LAD, as used by Chomsky, is intended to be as a construct to describe the child's initial state which would mean that it cannot be applicable to adult learners who have "superior cognitive abilities, memory, pragmatic knowledge, etc.," (Gregg, 1984) to depend on, as the LAD declines with age. Therefore, the underlying assumption is not generally accepted (McLaughlin, 1987). Another major criticism lies in the fact that this distinction is not based on empirical research, thus, it is not scientifically verifiable. McLaughlin (1987) acknowledges that Krashen attempted to develop a comprehensive, detailed theory of SLA that can account for many different variables but he points out that he does not adequately define the terms "conscious" and "subconscious" on the one hand and "acquisition" and "learning" on the other. He argues that: these terms are not readily testable. In the light of recent development in empirical research in SLA and cognitive psychology, we can ask this question: how is language, or better second language, is stored in the brain? Krashen does not tell us in his distinction what the acquisition process is like, i.e. how the learner builds up a functional model of second language from input alone. It is not clear as well why learned information is not as accessible as acquired information. It is practicable that the distinction between learned and acquired knowledge is to be viewed as the distinction between two stages of the same learning process rather than as separate ones; complementary rather than contrasting. COGNITIVE THEORY OF LEARNING A challenging hypothesis about "learning" comes from the findings in the fields of cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. The contribution of cognitive psychologists lies in the information processing models that investigate the role of cognitive processes in learning. Learning a second language, according to this perspective, is considered as a complex cognitive skill. It is cognitive in that it involves "internal representations that regulate and guide performance". Learning is a skill because different aspects of it need to be "practiced and integrated into fluent performance" (McLaughlin, 1987, p. 133). The purpose of this cognitive framework is to explain how information is stored in different kinds of memory. Memory is, accordingly, defined as: " a large and permanent collection of nodes that become complexly and increasingly interassociated and interrelated through learning. Most of these nodes are normally passive and inactive and are termed long-

term store when in the inactive state. The set of currently activated nodes is termed short-term store." (Shiffrin & Schneider, 1977a) The brain is conceived as having two different kinds of memory: first is the short-term memory (STM), or working memory, that is a finite storage space limited in capacity and needs much attention. We use it to carry information while we are making use of it. long term memory (LTM) which is a permanent storage, large in capacity and does not require much attention in processing the information. SLA process, thus, can be better understood by considering how the human brain processes new linguistic information (Mitchell & Miles, 2004). This refers to three fundamental cognitive aspects of learning: how knowledge is developed, how knowledge becomes automatic and how new knowledge is integrated into an existing cognitive system of the learner. INFORMATION-PROCESSING MODEL The cognitive theory of learning is based on the theory of human information processing. It deals with mental processes involved in learning. This refers to three basic cognitive aspects of learning: how knowledge is developed, how knowledge becomes automatic and how new knowledge is integrated into an existing cognitive system of the learner. Viewed as such, learning assumes a wider meaning than that of Krashen's. Central to this approach is the concept of automaticity as information processing is described as either controlled or automatic (Shiffrin and Schneider, 1977b). It is controlled as it attends to the several steps of the task and makes sure they are correctly followed. Therefore, it needs much attention and makes high demand on the working memory that has a limited capacity. It is automatic as the steps form a whole unit, integrated together so their order is no longer important, and is performed with ease without attentional effort. Skill acquisition, in this approach, is defined as the construction of complex procedures engaging memory in putting together elementary pieces of information. ANDERSON'S ADAPTIVE CONTROL OF THOUGHT (ACT) MODEL Andersons Adaptive Control of Thought Model (ACT) is a processing model that attempts to explain L2 acquisition in terms of a general theory of skill learning (OMalley &Chamot, 1996). Anderson made a distinction between two types of knowledge, i.e. two types of representations in long-term memory: declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge. Declarative knowledge refers to knowledge of facts and things about the world. It is conscious and stored in steps or a serial manner. Procedural knowledge, on the other hand, consists of what we know how to do in the form of routines or procedures that manifests declarative knowledge in practice. According to 4

this distinction declarative knowledge is acquired suddenly, by receiving a message, whereas procedural knowledge is acquired gradually by performing the skill. Moreover, declarative knowledge, unlike procedural knowledge, can be communicated verbally (Ellis, 1995). What appears here is that Anderson is making a similar distinction, i.e. between declarative and procedural knowledge, to that of Krashen's (acquisition/ learning). However, according to Anderson, the difference is between two stages in the absorption of knowledge rather than between two entirely different forms as Krashen assumed. First of all, knowledge is taught, and rehearsed, as a set of rules which is the declarative knowledge. Then, through assimilation to already existing knowledge, the new behaviours become routinized as procedural knowledge, and the rules themselves may be forgotten and no longer available for recall. It seems that Krashen looks at learning not as a process liable to undergo changes, and hence improvement and control, but rather as an inflexible account. Anderson, on the other hand, in explaining it in the abovementioned cognitive framework where it is divisible into analyzable stages, considers the possibility of learning to turn into acquisition in terms of second language acquisition. While Krashen failed to see leaning as a process and formed an unjustifiable judgment, Anderson sees it developmentally in the general framework of a cognitive skill which gives it vitality. This perspective encourages further empirical research. Therefore, the two viewpoints have different stances. Language learning, in this view, requires a shift from declarative to procedural knowledge, i.e. movement from controlled to automatic processing through practice, and this entails three stages: 1. The cognitive stage: the learner starts by receiving information or observing an expert or even studies the item on his own (conscious effort). Knowledge is constructed in a series of steps. This may be rules of grammar or chunks of formulaic language (later discussed in this paper). Although, the learner knows how to describe them but still s/he cannot use them properly. Errors are found as the performance is not stable yet. 2. The Associative stage: the learner spots the errors and comes over them. Knowledge moves from declarative to procedural. Connections of different steps of the skill are achieved but not without some overgeneralizations. The steps are not completely forgotten but rather they involve less conscious effort. Performance, though expert-like, is still slow. 3. The autonomous stage: skill becomes error-free and automatic and information becomes chunked. At this stage, the declarative knowledge is likely to be lost. Language acquisition, thus, like other skills, depends on learning and practice. Learning starts with declarative knowledge that slowly becomes proceduralized through practice. In this perspective, Anderson holds a different view of learning from Krashen who sets a water-tight distinction between learning and acquisition as the former can never lead to the latter. He

(Anderson, 1980, cited in Mitchell & Miles, 2004) claims that learning a foreign language can be achieved in learning the rules of the foreign language in a classroom context as a movement from declarative knowledge to procedural one is gained. RESTRUCTURING As has been mentioned before, learning is viewed as an ongoing movement from controlled to automatic process. When new information is added to existing knowledge, it modifies the content to adapt it to accommodate this new information. This process results in a regular restructuring of the L2 learner's linguistic system. Restructuring, thus, changes some structures in the interlanguage and the possibility of some errors to occur temporarily. In the light of this phenomenon, errors are accounted for as normal thing but not defective as "restructuring destabilizes some structures in the interlanguage, which seems to have been previously acquired, and hence leads to the temporary reappearance of second language errors" (Mitchell & Miles, 2004, p. 101). FORMULAIC LANGUAGE In the same framework of information process model, it is important to account for the how second language learners store and internalize information in the process of learning. The concept of formulaic language (chunks) is fundamental in this regard. Formulaic language is " a sequence, continuous or discontinuous, of words or other elements, which is, or appears to be, prefabricated: that is, stored and retrieved whole from memory at the time of use, rather than being subject to generation or analysis by the language grammar" (Wray 2002:9). It takes many forms such as fixed phrases, collocations, situational formulae, or frames. As children unconsciously acquire their L1, they internalize many recurrent and formulaic sequences which play an important role in the acquisition process. It is reasonable that L2 learners should follow the same route. Lewis (1993) suggests that instead of learning the will-future directly, students may deliberate on the use in a series of "archetypical utterances", e.g. I'll see what I can do. At the beginning of language learning process, learners memorize chunks of language in an analyzed form. Later on, these chunks are analyzed and then used creatively (Wray, 2002). Chunks save processing time and thus do not require much attention. It is easy to retrieve I'll see what I can do as a whole entity than to form rules related to this kind of production. Therefore, using chunks indicates that processing time is made free so that it is available for other simultaneous tasks. It is difficult, however, for an L2 learner to learn all formulaic patterns a native speaker knows and uses. To make up for this unfeasibility, Howarth (1998) suggests raising learners' conscious awareness of the learning task at hand. Moreover, L2 learners can be equipped with learning strategies that will "enable them to

acquire the knowledge needed to use formulaic sequences accurately and appropriately in their own work" (Jones and Haywood, 2004). BIALYSTOK'S ANALYSIS-CONTROL MODEL Bialystok stresses the importance of learning strategies in the process of second language acquisition. Learning strategies are considered as a cognitive skill like learning a second language. They are defined as "optimal methods for exploiting available information to increase the proficiency of L2 learning They operate by bringing relevant knowledge to the language task that has the effect of improving performance" (Bialystok, 1978: 76). Learning strategies in this model is of two kinds: formal and functional. Formal strategies, which engage conscious learning of the second language and/or tries to turn the explicit knowledge automatic, refer to correct linguistic form, i.e. formal practice. And functional strategies refer to language use in context, functional practice, L2 learners try to use the target language in meaningful communication. There is a distinction between an implicit and explicit knowledge with regard to the analysis level. This distinction is between implicit and explicit knowledge or the lower and higher levels of analysis. Implicit knowledge, this may be similar to Krashen's concept of subconsciousness, can direct performance but cannot be inspected. On the contrary, explicit knowledge "is independent of meaning and accessible to inspection" (Bialystok, 1990, p. 121). Language proficiency is developed when implicit knowledge, which governs performance, is made explicit through analyzing it. Explicit linguistic knowledge, therefore, can be implicit through the use of formal practicing strategy. Moreover, learning strategies can be automatic and finally convert to implicit learning. Similarly, explicit knowledge can be obtained from implicit linguistic knowledge through a strategy of inference. Krashen's hypothesis is further challenged here as well as the distinction he made as being more complementary, in this regard between implicit and explicit learning, than disparate. CONCLUSION We have seen that Krashen, in his Monitor Model, provides an overall theory of second language learning that posits a similarity between second language acquisition and first language acquisition. Second language learner, thus, does not have to exert any conscious effort to learn the language as conscious learning never leads to acquisition which is a subconscious process. Setting a dichotomy between learning and acquisition, as the pivot of his model, puts it in a debatable stance that necessitates more empirical research. Investigating the terminology employed by Krashen results in empirical elaboration that considers learning as a dynamic process.

Based on a cognitive view of language learning and development, language acquisition theories also assume that SLA is similar to FLA. They regard language acquisition as a process of continuous automatisation of skills through restructuring and connecting new information to existing knowledge. In the meantime, they put language learning on par with other kinds of learning. They stress the importance of learning the formal aspects of the target language. Students, accordingly, need to build up their conscious awareness of language rules in packing them into networks where they will be accessible as procedural routines. This enhances the concept of learning as a process distinguishable into stages and thus entails betterment towards a goal which is achieving a competent performance in a second language. Despite the fact that they have some criticism which is overlooked in this context, several models of human information processing, as introduced in this paper, have proved that formal language learning can lead to second language acquisition. Krashen's acquisition/learning hypothesis is, accordingly, found to be poorly founded. On a lower level of analysis, Krashen's hypothesis helped teachers, who do not like to bother with so much fine discussions in SLA, to focus more on the communicative aspect of language teaching rather than on teaching pure grammatical rules and individual vocabulary items.

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