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Second Language Acquisition


Second Language Acquisition. Second Language Learning. In ... Dr. Robert Schwab, 2006. A Note on Chapter 5. Observing 2nd ... Social Interactionism ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Second Language Acquisition

Second Language Acquisition
Lecture 6
  • Second Language Learning
  • In the Classroom
  • (Lightbown Spada Chapter 6)

Dr. Robert Schwab, 2006
A Note on Chapter 5 Observing 2nd Language
  • Chapter 5 asks you to observe language teaching
    situations by reading several transcripts
    provided in the book.
  • Our course will instead use video observation and
    analysis of native-English speaking master
    teachers using communicative language teaching
    applications in real classroom settings.
  • Chapter 5 is not included in our coursework and
    will not form the basis for any assessment or
    other formal requirement in this course

Chapter 6
  • Chapter 6 reviews 5 paradigms for classroom
    teaching, each reflecting a different theoretical
    approach in terms of application in the second
    language classroom setting
  • Get it right from the beginning (Grammar
  • Say what you mean, mean what you say (Social
  • Just listen and read (Comprehensible input)
  • Teach what is teachable (Orders of acquisition)
  • Get it right in the end (Form-focused instruction)

Get it Right From the Beginning
  • Theoretical approach Behaviorist (Behaviorism)
  • Methodological Approach Grammar translation,
  • Classroom focus oral language, but not
    spontaneous language. Spontaneous language would
    allow students to make errors, and errors are
    considered the source of bad language habits.
    Memorization and reciting predetermined dialogues
  • Conceptual focus gradual accumulation of one
    item after another with perfect memorized

  • No need for student to think about what they are
    saying or even understand what the sentence means
  • Most successful with highly motivated adult
    learners with good grammar-based knowledge of 1st
  • Advantageous at the rote-beginner level for
    forming a basic foundation on which recognition
    and meaning can be developed
  • Least successful in ordinary school programs
    where motivation may be a problem, where
    correctness may not be highly valued, where the
    inability to actually communicate real messages
    intentions often results

Say What You Mean,Mean What You Say
  • Theoretical approach Social Interactionism
  • Methodological Approach Task-based instruction,
    discovery learning, comprehensible input
  • Classroom focus spontaneous oral language
    through meaningful unstructured interaction with
    teachers other students. Students negotiate for
    meaning mutual understanding. Only errors that
    impede communication are corrected
  • Conceptual focus acquiring language forms base
    on recognition of meaning and related mental

  • Students must negotiate for meaning (involving
    clarifications, confirmations, repetitions, etc)
    as an essential element of language acquisition
  • The learner takes more control of their
    linguistic output as language acquisition
  • The learner in no pressured to speak, but the
    natural impulse to communicate is encouraged
  • Interaction with other learners of varying levels
    is encouraged communicative practice is
    considered more important than accurate
    grammatical input

Just Listen and Read
  • Theoretical approach Innate acquisition
  • Methodological Approach Comprehension-based
    instruction, TPR, Enhanced input, Guided exposure
  • Classroom focus providing comprehensible input
    through listening and/or reading activities may
    be reinforced through pairing with physical
  • Conceptual focus acquiring language forms based
    on association rather than communicative
    interaction, minimizing the threat associated
    with risk-taking

  • Most successful, in early stages of learning,
    where students have no contact with the target
    language outside of the classroom, and where the
    goal of language learning is academic (not
  • Advantageous, early level in target language
    deficient environments, no or limited contact
    with native or competent speakers, large
    classroom environments
  • Least successful, more advanced levels,
    particularly in terms of pronunciation and
    comprehensible speech and in recognizing
    interlanguage patterns that are not appropriate
    in the target language (negative transfer)

Teach What is Teachable
  • Theoretical approach Innate, orders of
  • Methodological Approach Guided exposure,
    scheduled instruction, explicit instruction
  • Classroom focus assess learners developmental
    level and teach what would naturally come next
  • Conceptual focus Some areas (vocabulary) can be
    taught at successfully at any level but others
    (simple complex sentence word order) are
    acquired based on developmental stages. For
    these, stage 4 ca not be achieved until stage
    1, 2 3 have been acquired

  • Highly dependent on motivation, intelligence and
    quality of instruction
  • Most successful with individual instruction or
    small groups with all students at same
    developmental level
  • Advantageous at lower developmental levels in
    environments with limited natural exposure to the
    target language
  • Least successful in large classroom settings,
    with groups containing different developmental
    levels, and in target-language dominant
  • Often associated with syllabus planners

Get It Right In the End
  • Theoretical approach Innatist - interactionist
  • Methodological Approach Comprehension-based,
    content-based, task-based, form-focused
    instruction, corrective feedback
  • Classroom focus wide variation of classroom
    exposure to language that is meaning-based with
    strong structural and corrective reinforcement
  • Conceptual focus Many features can be acquired
    naturally based on motivation and input, but
    form-focused instruction and corrective feedback
    is necessary for speed efficiency of learning

  • Less highly structured, respecting tenants of a
    variety of theoretical approaches, adapting
    classroom applications to existing needs
  • Most successful in classroom settings with older
    learners (teen ), wide ranges of abilities, and
    limited exposure to natural language outside of
  • Less successful for younger children who may not
    be able to handle grammar form focused
  • Variation variety promotes learning, doesnt
    matter how we get there, its the destination
    thats important. The right balance will be

Issues that could affect choices
  • Access to types of quality input native or
    competent speakers as instructors and fellow
    learners, resources
  • Motivation and goals (academic, social,
  • Similarity of target language to the L1
  • Language environment L2 dominant/non-dominant
  • Cultural and social constraints risk-taking,
    threat of embarrassment, willingness to
  • Age, capacity for logic and higher order thinking
    skills, existing meta linguistic sophistication
  • Range of abilities and level of fellow students

THE ENDLecture 6Second Language
AcquisitionDr. Robert Schwab, 2006