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Theories, Models, and Processes of Second-Language Acquisition

Elizabeth Jimnez, CEO GEMAS Consulting and Advocacy

This session will introduce: The current research-based theories and models of second-language acquisition The cognitive and social strategies learners use in developing a second language The natural building process of language acquisition

Terminology to Know
Affective lter BICS CALP CULP Idioms L-1/L-2 primary language/second language Communicative competence

Four Domains of Language

Listening Speaking Reading Writing

Receptive vs. Expressive

Listening (receptive) Speaking (expressive) Reading (receptive) Writing (expressive)

Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition

Five main hypotheses: The natural order hypothesis The acquisition-learning hypothesis The monitor hypothesis The input hypothesis The affective filter hypothesis

Natural Order Hypothesis Stages of First Language Acquisition

Normally developing children learn their home language in predictable stages. Language development is a continuum
Babbling, No other animal does anything like babbling Holophrasic (one word)

Typical age
6-8 months

Repeating CV patterns

ba-ba-ba ma-ma-ma

1 year

Naming words (nouns) used in context overextensions or underextensions Combining words and using set phrases Overgeneralization of the regular case

Juice = I want juice kitty = dog, lamb, cat

two-word stage multi-word stage

1- 2 years 2-5 years

BIG juice No way I runned to the fence foots

Quick write: For two minutes, write about ways in which you predict rst language acquisition and second language acquisition to be different and similar.
L-1 (primary language) L-2 (second language)

Suggested Answer
Your answer should include some of the following:
L-1 (primary language) L-2 (second language) fewer patient models of L-2 academic language learner is focused on both BICS and CALP L-2 learners don't babble in L-2

many patient social-language models L-1 learners begin with babble

develop in predictable stages

Both develop in predictable stages

The Natural Order of Acquisition Hypothesis

The second language emerges in much the same order as the rst language.

Natural Order Hypothesis Stages of L-2 Language Acquisition

Silent/Receptive or Preproduction Stage

6-8 months up to 500 "receptive" words 6 months (1,000 Words receptive) 1 year (about 3000 words) 1 year (6,000 words)

Responds by pointing to an object, picture, or person; performing an act, such as standing up or closing a door; gesturing/ nodding; "yes"/"no." Uses one- or two-word phrases, short answers to simple yes/no, either/or, or who/what/where questions. short phrases and simple sentences; asks and answers simple questions.

Point to the country on the map that is north of the United States. Do you prefer to drink milk or water? What is your brothers name? I need my book. Can I go to the bathroom? I agree with Marco. I need to wash my hands, may I go to the bathroom?

Early Production Stage

Speech Emergence Stage

Intermediate Language Proficiency Stage

Longer sentences, state opinions, ask for clarification

The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis

Krashen distinguishes between acquisition which he describes as the informal way in which we pick up a language through listening and interacting to make meaning. Krashens description of learning a new language is more formal instruction in and about a language.

The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis

The second language is acquired in much the same way as the rst language: by using it.

Formal instruction may be useful but is not essential for acquiring the second language.

The Monitor Hypothesis

As second language learners develop more prociency in the new language, they begin to self-correct or self-monitor their speech to be more like that of native speakers.

The Input Hypothesis

Language that is not understandable is called noise Language learners connect new language to language and concepts they already know Comprehensible input consists of the i+1 formula. That is, linguistic forms just one level above what the learner already knows.

Affective Filter Hypothesis

Krashen hypothesizes that a high level of stress and anxiety creates a lter that impedes learning When the students affective lter is low, the languagelearner is likely to be motivated and condent A lot of language learning will take place

Implications for Teaching Activity

Pause the video and think about the ve hypotheses we have just seen. Sort them into the category that best describes each one. a) The natural order hypothesis b) The affective lter hypothesis c) The monitor hypothesis d) The input hypothesis e) The acquisition-learning hypothesis
The Learner The Teacher The Language

Implications for Teaching Answers

Pause the tape and think about the ve hypotheses we have just seen. Sort them into the category that best describes each one. a) The natural order hypothesis b) The affective lter hypothesis c) The monitor hypothesis d) The input hypothesis e) The acquisition-learning hypothesis

The Learner
The affective filter hypothesis The monitor hypothesis

The Teacher
The input hypothesis The acquisitionlearning hypothesis

The Language
The natural order hypothesis

Cummins Language Acquisition Theories

Language comprised of BICS/CALP Common underlying prociency Cognitively undemanding vs. demanding language

Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills Conversational language Acquired through personal interaction Topics are familiar, concrete Includes vernacular Body language
Source: Dr. Jim Cummins, 1979

Conversation vs. Academic Language

Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills

BICS includes: Conversational English Concrete examples Surface/not abstract Informal language Native speakers 3 to 4 years old English learners 6 months to 2 years old

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

CALP Includes: School language Subject-specic vocabulary Process language Deep, abstract, thinking language Literary nuances/idioms/humor Formal speaking registers Native speakers 10 to 12 years old English learners 5 to 7 years old

Common Underlying Language Prociency Concept knowledge transfers across languages Building up L1 pays off in L2 also Explains why learning subsequent languages becomes easier and easier Additive vs. subtractive bilingualism
Dr. Jim Cummins, 1991

Common Underlying Language Proficiency

Dr. Jim Cummins, 1991

L-1 is an Asset
What you know in one language contributes positively to learning a new language. Build on what students know:
Concepts transfer Reading skills transfer Cognates Bilingual dictionary Use L-1 resources

Cummins Quadrant Task Difficulty

If we know what makes language learning easier, we can apply those principles to instruction to make challenging concepts more easily understood. Comprehensible input Dr. Stephen Krashen acquisition vs. learning hypothesis
Dr. Stephen Krashen, 1981

What Makes Learning Easy?

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency- CALP

CONTEXT EMBEDDED Science experiment demonstration History simulation Viewing soccer game lms/discussing strategy CONTEXT REDUCED Lecture Textbook (few or no graphics) Lecturing on soccer strategy

Topic Review
About the learners About the language About the teacher


Cummins, J. (1979) Cognitive/academic language prociency, linguistic interdependence, the optimum age question and some other matters. Working Papers on Bilingualism, No. 19, 121-129. Cummins, J. (1991) Language Development and Academic Learning Cummins, J in Malave, L. and Duquette, G. Language, Culture and Cognition Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Krashen, S. (1981), Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning,Pergamon Downloadable from http://www.sdkrashen.com/ SL_Acquisition_and_Learning/index.html