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Shireen Afroz
SLA research has revealed that
L2 learners, like L1 learners, pass through
sequences of development.
In a given language, many of these
developmental sequences are similar for L1
and L2 learners. Even among L2 learners from
different L1 backgrounds and different learning
environments, many of these developmental
sequences are similar.
But the features of L2 that are heard or read
most frequently are not always easiest to
learn (e.g., articles - a & the).
1. Background: Influences in SLA
2. Grammatical Morphemes
3. Stages of Development
3.1 Negations
3.2 Questions
High level of cognitive development
Mental lexicon of real-world concepts
Knowledge of L1 structures
Different learning environments and
Although the learners L1 have an influence in
learning L2 ,many aspects of these
developmental stages are similar among
learners from many different first language
What is a grammatical morpheme?
a word that functions to specify the relationship between
one lexical morpheme and another

Obligatory contexts:
Experts identify the Obligatory for each morpheme,that
is,the places in a sentence where the morpheme is
necessary to make the entence grammatically correct.

Yesterday I listened to that song

three times.
Learners are often more accurate in using
plural -s than in using possessive -s.
Learners are often more accurate in using -
ing than in using -ed past.
The learners L1 has some effect on the
accuracy order of grammatical morphemes;
however, it is not entirely determined by the
learners L1. There are some strong patterns
of similarity among learners of different L1
The acquisition of negative sentences by L2 learners follows
a path that looks nearly identical to the stages of L1 language.
But the difference is that L2 learners from different language
backgrounds behave somewhat differently within those
Stages of forming negative sentences (see examples on pp. 77-78):
stage 1 using no before the verb or noun
No bicycle. I no like it.
stage 2 using dont
He dont like it. I dont can sing.
stage 3 using are, is, and can with not
You can not go there. She dont like rice.
stage 4 using auxiliary verbs with not that agree with
tense, person, and number.
It doesnt work.
The developmental sequence for questions by L2 learners is similar in
most respects to L1 language acquisition, though also appears to be
affected to some degrees by L1 influence .
Stages of forming questions (P. 79):
stage 1 single words or sentence fragments
stage 2 declarative word order (no fronting and no inversion)
You have a pencil?
stage 3 fronting (wh- fronting but no inversion; do-fronting)
where the children are playing?
stage 4 inversion in wh- + copula and yes/no questions
Where is the sun?
stage 5 inversion in wh- questions
Is there a fish in the water?
stage 6 complex questions (tag questions; negative questions;
embedded questions)
Its better, isnt it?
why cant you go there ?
Can you tell me what the date is today?