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12 OCT 2011 CHAPTER 2


Second language learners: 1. Have all acquired a first language 2. Young SLLs do not have the metacognitive abilities and world knowledge of older learners 3. Older learners with these abilities can solve problems and engage in discussions about language 4. However some researchers argue that older L2 learners HAVE to use these facilities because they no longer have access to innate language acquisition facilities (and that is seen as a disadvantage) 5. Attitude and emotional issues tend to affect learners differently. Young children do not usually have prejudices or notions about the value of the L2. They tend not to be worried about self image when using the new language (not worried about making mistakes). Adults can sometimes become frustrated because they cannot express themselves as they do in their L1.

As it says: 1. Young learners are often allowed to be silent until they feel like talking or interacting 2. Young children in L2 situations can have exposure to the language all the time, while those in formal educational situations use the language in specific instances (periodicallyand specific language) 3. Outside formal learning situations the communitcative level of usage is the important thing, while in classrooms correct usage is given prominence.although correction is often not consistenly given (according to the book). 4. Exposure to modified speech foreigner or teacher talk


North America between 1940s and 1970s Nelson Brooks and Robert Lado = Audiolingual method mimicking language use, memorization, habit formation Contrastive analysis an offshoot of audiolingual intended to account for interference errors CAH when the L1and the L2 were similar, learning would be easier However, research has disputed these findings.
L2 speech is more like childrens L1 L2 speech is often ungrammatical in the L1 L2 structures are very similar regardless of the L1 L2 learners are reluctant to xfer from L1 even when the structures are the same.

1970s the end of these ideas about learning especially from the rise of innatist views


Chomskys criticism of behaviorism L1 and UG (he did not make a connection with L2 learning) White and others UG is applicable to L2 Bley-Vroman (1983); Schacter (1990) UG is not adequate for L2, another theory is needed Cook (2003) learners still manage to learn more than they could have ever been taught, so maybe there is some kind of UG UG researchers (1990s) Schwartz: real learning happens in natural situations formal instruction only superficially influences the language White (et al.) UG is altered somehow by L1 acq. and needs to be supplemented with explicit grammar instruction. UG researchers study advanced learners --- to know what learners know about rather than how they use language


Influenced by Chomsky The five hypotheses of the monitor model
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Acquisition learning hypothesis Monitor hypothesis Natural order hypothesis Input hypothesis Affective filter hypothesis

Questioning the model could they be tested through empirical research? Influential at the time and led to concepts of immersion, communicative language teaching, and content-based learning However, studies have found that there is acertain point where formal instruction needs to fill in gaps


1990s psychological theories The computer mind metaphor Neurobiology making a link between behavior and brain activity Cognitive and developmental psychologists say there is no need to have Krashens hypotheses because language learning can be explained by general theories of learning.


Cognitivist perspective The building up of knowledge that can be used to construct speaking and understanding automatically Learners have to pay attention to what they trying to learn but theres a limit to what we can pay attention to. In the beginning these are just basic elements, but as a kind of repertoire is built up they can learn more and produce more. The automatic processes use less resources than the ones that require attention. practice needed to achieve automaticity comes in a variety of forms L2 as skill learning Declarative knowledge (that or what) leads to Procedural knowledge (how) Once it becomes procedural (automatic) thinking about declarative knowledge actually impedes performance. Procedural knowledge can be developed in the classroom via presentation followed by practice In time, learners can even forget that they ever had the declarative knowledge. restructuring learning not explainable by the gradual build up of knowledge characterized by moments when learners seem to understand something without explicit instruction can also explain moments when previous correct forms are lost transfer appropriate processing -- information is best retrieved in situations similar to contexts where it was learned. When we learn, we also record contexts. Studied so far in laboratory situations with vocabulary learning. Tests may be easier if they look like the materials used to learn language elements. Test retrieval may be more difficult if the language item was learning in a communicative situation because the test generally cannot replicate the communicative context.

No need to have propose a specific area in the brain dedicated to language acquisition Environment plays a larger role than cognitive processing Less importance to the role of declarative knowledge More important is the frequency elements are encountered and the freq in with things occur together (the connection!) Gradual build up of knowledge through hearing things over and over and in specific situations This builds networks of connections. They dont learn from rules (declarative knowledge) they learn from hearing things many times in situations. Strong connections - heard together often / weak connections heard together less often. Language is predictable (mostly) and formulaic Learned in chunks


Related to the connectionist model No innate brain module and learning without focused attention on language elements Form, meaning and use From exposure (again) to a lot of language learners begin to understand language cues
Noun animacy first Then word order stronger than noun animacy at a certain point in learning (L1) Then later grammatical elements begin to influence understanding Other languages rely more on grammatical markers

Basically this model proposes that learners need to learn the relative importance of language cues appropriate to the language theyre learning.


Hypotheses, models and theories of L2A from the cognitivist/developmental perspective 1. The interaction hypothesis
1. 2. 3. 4.

2. 3.

1. 2. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3.

The noticing hypothesis Input processing

Conversational interaction essential Learning comes from interaction and the negotiation of meaning to achieve understanding Language needs to be modified (comprehensible input) Language modification: Comprehension checks, clarification requests, and selfrepetition or paraphrase The need to communicate Noticing is an essential starting point for learning You cant learn something that you havent noticed Like the competition model about paying attention to grammatical cues But that learners cannot pay attention to form and meaning at the same time Meaning usually gets priority over form. Language elements at the beginnings or ends of sentences were easier to process (understand) Learning sequences L1 transfer (again) beginning learners do not simply transfer elements from L1 until they have a certain knowledge of L2 then they transfer.


Processability theory


Vygotsky cognitive development including language development is a result of social interactions. Language production and thinking are very much connected Learning comes about as a result of what is proposed in the ZPD when interaction takes place with someone with a slightly higher level Difference between ZPD and i+1 ZPD is from interaction co-constructed, i+1 the input comes from outside the learner Vygotsky and the interaction hypothesis the difference is primarily on the importance given to cognitive processes.
Interaction hypothesis interaction facilitates the cognitive processes by providing the input Vygotsky the learning happens through the interaction. The interaction is the location of the knowledge building (rather than the brain / cognitive processes)


ZPD = expert and novice interaction; novice / novice; learner / learner Comprehensible output hypothesis more attention is paid (noticing hypothesis) to getting the communicative message across than understanding the incoming message thus more learning Collaborative dialogue co-construction of language knowledge (learner/learner) Sociocultural theorists believe that cognitive processes begin as an external socially mediated activity and eventually become internalized. Cognitivists believe it begins internally and is augmented by interactions.


All language theories attempt to present models that propose how languages are learned. Metaphors built on observations of language learning behaviors Soon direct evidence will be available via technologies that can measure brain activities Behaviorism was built on animal learning observed in laboratory setting Psychological theories were modeled on computer simulations, or controlled laboratory experiments with humans Linguists theorize from studies of proficient speakers Interactionists study how language is learned from interactions Those looking for simple answers are often frustrated by the multiple perspectives A comprehensive theory of SLL is a long way off There is a large body of applied research that is probably more useful to practitioners than any single specific theory