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Title: The recent history of second language learning research and human learning

The recent history of second language learning
research and human learning
  • Part I L1 Acquisition

Introduction to Language Acquisition
  • Interests in L1 competence for many centuries
  • beginning of analyzing child language
    systematically and its psychological process in
    the second half of the 20th century
  • analogies between L1 and L2 acquisition
    especially the differences in the case of adult
    SL learning in terms of cognitive and affective
  • three theoretical positions of first language

Theories of L1 acquisition
  • (1) Behavioristic Approaches focus on the
    publicly observable responses
  • (a) assumptions
  • (i) Children come into the world with a tabula
    rasa, a clean slate bearing no preconceived
    notions about the world or about language as to
    be shaped by their environment and slowing
    conditioned through reinforcement
  • (ii) Effective language behavior is the
    production of correct responses to stimuli.
  • (iii) If a particular response is reinforced, it
    then becomes habitual or conditioned.

Theories of L1 acquisition
  • (b) Verbal Behavior by B.F. Skinner (1957) a
  • model of linguistic behavior extended
    from operant conditioning
  • Assumption
  • (i) an operant (an utterance) is emitted
    without necessarily
  • observable stimuli
  • (ii) that operant is learned by
    reinforcement such as from another
  • person.
  • (iii)verbal behavior is controlled by its
    consequences(rewards or
  • punishment or no reinforcement)
  • Criticism Behaviorism cannot explain
    creativity of child language
  • (by Noam Chomsky)

Theories of L1 acquisition
  • (2) The Nativist Approaches
  • (a) innateness hypotheses
  • (i) Assertion language acquisition is
    innately determined.
  • Language is a species-specific behavior and
    certain modes of perception, categorizing
    abilities are biologically determined. (by Eric
    Lenneberg, 1967)
  • Language acquisition device (LAD) in a little
    black box
  • sound discrimination, organization of linguistic
    data, only one possibility of a certain kind of
    linguistic system within ones head, constant
    evaluation in developing linguistic system to
    construct the simplest possible system out of the
    available linguistic input(by Chomsky, 1965)
  • (ii) strengths able to account for
    the generativity of child langauge

  • Universal Grammar (Cook 1993, Mitchell Myles
  • (i) all human beings are genetically
    equipped with abilities that enable
  • them to acquire language
  • (ii) to discover what it is that all
    children bring to the language
  • acquisition process from question
    formation, negation, word order,
  • subject deletion and so on.
  • (c) the development of generative grammar
    children construct hypothetical grammar, formal
    representations of deep structures which start as
    pivot grammars (two-word utterances for two word
    classes) and mature.

  • (d) the Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP)
    Model by Spolsky (Connectionism)
  • (i) A learners linguistic performance may
    be the consequence of
  • many levels of simultaneous neural
    interconnections rather than a
  • serial process of one rule being applied,
    then another and so on.
  • (ii) refutation of the generative
    rule-governed model generative
  • rules in a linguistic sense are not
    connected serially, with one
  • connection between each pair of neurons in
    the brain
  • (e) Contributions of Nativism
  • (i) able to explore the unseen, observable,
    underlying, abstract
  • linguistic structures being developed in
    the child
  • (ii) systematic description of the childs
    linguistic repertoire as either
  • rule-governed or operating out of parallel
    distributed processing
  • capacities
  • (iii) the construction of a number of
    potential properties of UG

Theories of L1 acquisition
  • (3) Functional Approaches (language use and
  • cognitive/affective domains by
  • (a) Two emphases
  • Seeing language as one manifestation of the
    cognitive and affective ability to deal with the
    world, with others and with
  • the self.
  • (ii) Nativism as being unable to deal with the
    deeper levels of meaning of language constructed
    from social interaction but with the forms of

  • (b) cognition and language development
  • Lois Bloom (1971) children learn underlying
    structures and not superficial word order as
    shown in pivot grammar, depending on the social
  • (ii) Jean Piaget (1969) what children know
    (cognition development) will determine what they
    learn about the code for both speaking and
    understanding messages (language development)
  • (iii) Dan Slobin (1971) in all languages,
    semantic learning depends on cognitive
    development and that sequences of development are
    determined more by semantic complexity, than by
    structural complexity-gt schema of cognition on
    the functional level and schema of grammar on the
    formal level

  • (c) social interaction and language development
  • (i) Holzman (1984) a reciprocal model
  • -gt a reciprocal system operates
  • between the language
  • developing infant-child and the
  • competenc adult language user in
  • a socializing-teaching-nurturing role
  • (ii) Berko Gleason (1988) Lock (1991) the
    interaction between language acquisition and
    learning of social
  • systems
  • (iii) Budwig (1995) Kuczaj (1984) the function
    of language in discourse (relations between
    sentences) in terms of conversational cues

Schools of thought in First Language Acquisition
Time Frame Schools of thought Typical themes
Early 1900s, 1940s 1950s Behaviorism Tabula rasa Stimuli linguistic responses Conditioning reinforcement
1960s 1970s Nativism Innate predispositions (LAD UG) systematic, rule-governed acquisition Creative construction Pivot Grammar Parallel distributed processing (PDP)
1980s, 1990s early 2000 functionalism Constructivist Social interaction Cognition and language Function of language Discourse
Schools of thought in SLA
Time Frame Schools of thought Typical themes
Early 1900s, 1940s 1950s Structuralism Behaviorism Description Observable performance Scientific method Empiricism Surface structure Conditioning, reinforcement
1960s 1970s Rationalism Cognitive Psychology Generative linguistics Acquisition, innateness Interlanguage systematicity Universal grammar Competence Deep structure
1980s, 1990s early 2000 Constructivism Interactive discourse Sociocultural variables Cooperative group learning Interlanguage variability Interactionist hypotheses
Part I L1 Acquisition
  • 2. Issues in L1 acquisition
  • (1) -Competence ones underlying knowledge of
    the system of a language
  • - Performance actual production (speaking,
    writing) or the comprehension (listening,
    reading) of linguistic events
  • Criticism
  • (i) competence defined by Chomsky consists of
    the abilities of an idealized hearer-speaker,
    devoid of any performance variables
  • (ii) dualism are unnecessary and the only option
    for linguists is to study language in use (by
    Firth and Halliday)
  • (iii) heterogeneous competence by Tarone that
    all of a childs skps and hesitations and
    self-corrections are potentially connected to

  • (2)Comprehension production
  • (i) comprehension and production can be aspects
    of both competence and performance.
  • (ii) Production competence comprehension
  • (iii) Superiority of production over
  • (3) Nature or nurture?-gt whats predetermined and
    whats learned?
  • (i) Nativism universal innateness in all human
    beings (the LAD or UG)
  • (ii) Environmental factors also matter

  • (4)Universals
  • (a) language is universally acquired in the same
  • (b) the deep structure of language at its deepest
    level may be common to all languages.
  • (c) Universal linguistic categories e.g. word
    order, morphological marking tone, agreement
  • (d) Principles parameters of UG
  • (i) a childs initial state is supposed to
    consist of a set of universal principles (e.g.
    structure dependency) which specify some limited
    possibilities of variation, so-called parameters
    which need to be fixed in one of a few possible
  • -gt a childs task of
    language learning is manageable
  • because of certain
    naturally occurring constraints
  • (ii) language cannot vary in endless ways since
    parameters determine ways in which language can
    vary. E.g head parameter (English- head first
    Japanese head last)

  • (5) Systematicity the systematicity of the
    acquisition process in inferring the
    phonological, structural, lexical, and semantic
    system of language
  • Variability variability in the
    process of learning to
  • determine what is variable maybe
  • (6) Language and thought language interacts
    simultaneously with thoughts and feelings
  • (a) Jerome Bruner (1966) words shape concepts
  • (b) Vygotsky (1962, 1978) social interaction,
    through language, is a prerequisite to cognitive
    development (zone of proximal development- the
    distance between a childs actual cognitive
    capacity and the level of potential development)
  • (c) Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Language
    affects thought-gt each
  • language imposes on its speaker
    a particular world view

  • (7) Imitation
  • (a) surface imitation as a strategy in early
    language learning as
  • supported by behaviorism
  • (b) deep imitation true value in meaningful
    semantic level- the deep structure of language
  • e.g. children often repeat the
    correct underlying deep
  • structure with a
    change in the surface rendition
  • (8) Practice frequency of stimuli (unimportant
    to Nativists) importance of words -gt key to
    language acquisition
  • (9) Input adult and peer input to children
    seen not as important
  • as the influence of LAD to explain
    how children acquire
  • language successfully by nativists
    but in fact ungrammatical
  • input is largely ignored and finally
    transfer correct forms to
  • speech

  • (10) Discourse (by social constructivists)
  • (a) interaction rather than exposure is
    required for successful language acquisition
  • (b) Sinclair and Culthard (1975) to examine
    conversations in
  • terms of initiations and responses
    literal meaning is not
  • necessarily the same as intended meaning

3. mistakes in drawing direct analogies between
first and second language acquisition(Ausubel)
(1) rote learning practice lacks meaningfulness
necessary for language learning (2) adults
learning a foreign language could benefit from
learning grammar deductively (3) L1 is not
just an interfering factor (4) The written
form of the language could be beneficial (5)
Students could be overwhelmed by language spoken
at its natural speed
  • Part II Second Language Acquisition

  • 1. Age and acquisition
  • (1) the Critical Period Hypothesis ( a biological
    timetable for language acquisition)
  • -- Assumption a biologically determined
    period of life when language can be acquired more
    easily and beyond which time language is
    increasingly difficult to acquire
  • (2) Neurological considerations
  • (a) hemispheric lateralization
  • (i) as the human brain matures, certain
    functions are assigned or
  • lateralized to one side of
  • (ii)The left brain intellectual,
    logical and analytic the right brain
  • emotional and social
  • (iii) research question when
    lateralization takes place and how it
  • affects language acquisitio
  • --- Lenneberg (1967) lateralization
    begins around age 2 and is

  • completed around puberty
  • --- Thomas Scovel (1969)
  • Learning a L2 as well as L1
    should be prior to puberty plasiticity
  • especially for nativelike
    (authentic) pronunciation
  • (iv) Unresolved time of lateralization
    five or puberty

  • (b) biological timetables support for the
    acquisition of an authentic accent on a
    neurologically basis, not for that of higher
    order processes or communicative fluency
  • (i) a socio-biological critical period by
    Thomas Scovel (1988)- the development of a
    socially bonding accent at puberty, enabling
  • ---- to form an identify with
    their own community as they
  • anticipate roles of
    parenting and leadership
  • ---- to attract mates of
    their own kind to maintain their own
  • species
  • (ii) different aspects of a L2
    are learned optimally at different
    ages by Walsh and Diller (1981)-lower-order
    processes e.g.
  • pronunciation depending on
    early maturing and less adaptive
  • macroneural circuits

  • (c) right-hemispheric participation
  • (i) Obler (1981) the active role of the right
    brain in SLA or strategies of acquisition e.g.
    guessing at meanings, use of formulaic utterances
  • (ii) Genessee (1982) greater involvement of the
    right hemisphere in bilinguals particularly for
    adult learners
  • (d) anthropological evidence against Scovels
    age-related view
  • (i) some adult learners
    success in language learning
  • (ii) motivation, affective
    variables, social factors and the quality of
    input also important in explaining advantage of
  • the child
  • the significance of accent
  • --- for the critical period from
    phonology, much muscular control is
  • required to be fluent in authentic L2
    so children easily achieve it
  • --- against the critical period fluency
    over accuracy in pronunciation
  • how people have accomplished beyond
    phonological factors

  • (3) Cognitive considerations
  • (a) intellectual development (Piaget)
  • (i) three stages sensorimotor stage (gt2)
  • preoperational stage (2-7)
    operational stage (7- 16)(concrete operational
    stage 7-11 formal operational stage 11-16)
  • (ii) for the critical period at
    puberty, one is capable of abstraction by
    Piaget benefits of deductive thinking for adult
    learners by Ausubel
  • (b) affective, rather than cognitive
    factors, that facilitate adult learners second
    language acquisition
  • (i) adults are aware of their learning
    and can use strategies to help themselves to be
  • (ii) dominance of the left hemisphere after
    puberty contributes to a tendency to
    overanalyze and to be too intellectually
    centered on SLA

  • (c) equilibration cognition develops as a
    process of moving from
  • states of doubt and uncertainty to
    stages of resolution and
  • certainty from disequilibrium (which
    provides motivation for
  • language learning language interacts
    with cognition to achieve
  • equilibrium) to equilibrium
  • (d) rote and meaningful learning learning
    must be related to existing
  • knowledge and experience foreign
    language classroom should
  • not become the locus of excessive rote
  • (4) Affective considerations empathy,
    self-esteem, extroversion, inhibition, anxiety,
  • (a) egocentricity esp for children
  • (b) language ego by Alexander Guiora (1972)
  • (i) the identify a person develops in
    reference to the language he
  • or she speaks
  • (ii) childrens ego is dynamic and
    flexible so learning a new
  • language is not a threat to the ego
    adults is protective and
  • defensive
  • (iii) successful learning- ones
    language ego must be strong
  • enough to overcome inhibitions

  • (c) identity affective inhibitions of children
    and adults a second identity
  • (d) attitudes advantage of young children whose
    attitudes towards races, cultures, classes of
    people havent been developed
  • (e) peer pressure childrens strong constraints
    upon them to conform adults tolerate linguistic
    differences more than children
  • (5) Linguistic considerations
  • (a) Bilingualism
  • (i) two kinds of bilinguals
  • --- coordinate bilinguals two
    meaning systems learned from
  • different language contexts
  • --- compound bilinguals one meaning
    system from which both
  • language operate
  • (ii) code-switching of most bilinguals
    the act of inserting words,
  • phrases, or even longer stretches
    of one language into the
  • other, especially when
    communicating with another bilingual
  • (iii) a considerable benefit of early
    childhood bilingualism
  • bilingual children are more facile
    at concept formation and
  • have a greater mental flexibility

  • (b) interference between L1 and L2 usually not
    in young children
  • (c) interference in adults not necessarily since
    adults manifest errors not unlike some of the
    errors children make as the result of creative
    perception of the second language
  • (d) order of acquisition
  • (i) focus on morphemes by Dulay and Burt
  • --- methodological arguments, lack of
  • (ii) the myth of the younger, the better
    by Scovel adults can benefit from literacy,
    vocabulary, pragmatics, schematic knowledge, and
    even syntax plane

  • 2. Human learning
  • (1) Classical Behaviorism by Pavlov
    respondent conditioning that is concerned with
    respondent behavior that is elicited by a
    preceding stimulus
  • (2) Operant Conditioning by Skinner operant
    behavior is one in which one operates on the
    environment a concern about the consequences
    that follow the response
  • (3) Meaningful Learning Theory by Ausubel
    learning takes place in a meaningful process of
    relating new events or items to already existing
    cognitive concepts
  • (i) any learning situation can be meaningful
    if learners have a meaningful learning set and
    the learning task itself is potentially
    meaningful to the learners
  • (ii) a meaningfully learned, subsumed item has
    greater potential for retention
  • (iii) forgetting is a second stage of
    subsumption for
  • --- an economical reason through cognitive
    pruning where a
  • single inclusive concept than a large
    number of more
  • specific items is retained
  • --- language attribution the
    strength and conditions of initial
  • learning motivation use of a

  • (iv) strengths of subsumption theory the
    disadvantage of rote
  • memory in language learning
    systematic forgetting shift of the goal to
    communicative competence
  • (4) Humanistic Psychology by Rogers
    constructivism by highlighting the social and
    interactive nature of learning in the affective
  • (i) the whole person as a physical,
    cognitive, and emotional being
  • (ii) learning how to learn
  • (iii) teachers as facilitators of learning
    through the establishment of
  • interpersonal relationships with
    learners and genuine trust and
  • empathy
  • (iv) a climate of nondefensive learning
  • (v) empowerment of students, not banking

Behavioristic Cognitive Constructivist
classical (Pavlov) respondent conditioning elicited response S-gtR operant (Skinner) governed by consequences emitted response R-gt S (reward) No punishment Programmed instruction (Ausubel) meaningfulpowerful roteweak subsumption of new items under a more inclusive conceptual system association and retention systematic forgetting cognitive pruning (Rogers) fully functioning person learn how to learn community of learners empowerment
  • 3.Transfer, interference, and overgeneralization
  • (6) A more correct explication The interaction
    of previously learned
  • material with a present learning event
  • (7) Transfer positive transfer and negative
    transfer (interference,
  • usually L1-gt L2, overgeneralization L1-gt
    L1 or L2 -gt L2)
  • (8) All generalizing involves transfer and all
    transfer involves
  • generalizing.
  • 4.Inductive and deductive reasoning
  • (1) Inductive reasoning one stores a number of
    specific instances and induces a general rule or
    conclusion that governs the specific instances
    (e.g. classroom learning)
  • (2) Deductive reasoning a movement from a
    generalization to specific instances
  • (3) Gestalt learning perception of the whole
    before the parts

  • 5. Schema Theory (By Bartlett, 1932 )
  • (1) To explain how the language that we have
    about the world is organized into interrelated
    patterns based on our previous knowledge and
    experience. These schemata also allow us to
    predict what may happen in future context.
  • (2) Efficient readers can relate texts to
    their background knowledge of the world.
  • (3) The process of interpretation is guided by
    the principle that every input is mapped against
    one existing schema and that all aspects of that
    schema must be compatible with the input
    information. This principle results in two modes
    of information processing, called bottom-up and
  • (4) Both processing should be occurring at all
    levels simultaneously.
  • (5)bottom-up processing
  • (i) It is evoked by the incoming data, the
    features of the data enter the system through the
    best fitting, bottom-level schemata. Schemata are
    hierarchically organized, from most general at
    the top to most specific at the bottom. When
    these bottom-level schemata converge into higher
    level, more general schemata, these too become
    activated. Bottom-up processing is thus

(ii) The data that are needed to
instantiate or fill out make schemata become
available through bottom-up processing.
(iii) This processing ensures that listeners or
readers will be sensitive to
information that is novel or that doesnt fit
their ongoing hypotheses about the
content or structure of the text.
(6) top-down processing (i) It occurs as the
system makes general predictions based on higher
level, general schemata and then searches the
input for information to fit into these
partially satisfies, higher order schemata. It
is conceptually driven. (ii) It facilitates
the datas assimilation if they are anticipated
by or consistent with the listeners or readers
conceptual expectations. (iii) It helps
learners resolve ambiguities or select between
alternative possible interpretations of the
incoming data.
  • 6. Styles and strategies
  • Learning styles
  • field independence/field dependence styles

Definition Personal traits Classroom learning Age difference
field independence the ability to perceive a particular, relevant item or factor in a field of distracting items a more analytical, more independent, competitive, and self-confident person analysis, attention to details, mastering of drills in classroom learning, better in deductive lessons Adults Use more monitoring or learning strategies for language acquisition(conscious attention to forms)
field dependence The tendency to be dependent on the total field so that the parts embedded within the field are not easily perceived. More socialized, empathic, and perceptive of the feelings and thoughts of others, Natural, face to face communication, the kind of communication rare in the average language classroom Children use strategies of acquisition (subconscious attention to functions)
  • significance
  • 1. FI and FD are not in complementary
  • distribution within an individual
  • 2. Both styles are important
  • 3. to assume a persons general inclinations
    in a
  • given context with an appropriate style

  • (b) left- and right-brain functioning

Left-brain dominance Right-brain dominance
Remember names Remember faces
Deductive-gt analytical Inductive-gtholistic
Logical-gt logical problem solving Visual, auditory, emotional-gt intuitive problem solving
Linear processing Elusive, uncertain information
FI-gtintellectual, planned and structured FD-gt intuitive, fluid, spontaneous
Prefers talking and writing-gt less body language Prefers drawing and manipulating objects -gt more body language
Make objective judgments -gtmultiple-choice tests Make subjective judgments-gt open-ended questions
  • (c) ambiguity tolerance to predict academic
  • definition how much one tolerates ideas and
  • propositions opposing to ones belief
  • (ii) with ambiguity tolerance-gt free to entertain
    innovative and creative possibilities and not be
    disturbed by uncertainty
  • (iii) too much ambiguity tolerance-gt prevent
    meaningful subsumption of ideas due to
    wishy-washy tendency
  • (iv) no ambiguity tolerance-gtrigid, dogmatic mind

(d) reflectivity and impulsivity
reflectivity impulsivity
Systematic styles A slower, more calculated decision maker Accurate reader Inductive reasoning Intuitive styles A quick, hunch-based decision maker Fast reader Willing to guess
  • More patience for a reflective learner,
  • fewer judgments on mistakes made by an impulsive

(e) visual and auditory styles
Visual auditory
Prefer reading, studying charts, drawing, and other graphic information e.g. Korean students Prefer listening to lectures and audiotapes
Successful learners utilize both visual and
auditory input
(2) Strategies (refer to Oxfords strategy
classification system, 1990) (a) Learning
strategies to take in messages (input) from
others (i) good language
learners by Rubin and Stern (1975) in terms of
personal characteristics, styles, and strategies
(ii) strategies by Michael OMalley (1983)
Metacognitive Cognitive Socioaffective
An executive function involving planning for learning, thinking about the learning process, monitoring of ones production or comprehension, and evaluating learning after an activity In specific learning tasks for more direct manipulation of the learning material itself e.g. repetition, translation, note taking Social-mediating activity and interacting with others e.g. cooperation, question for clarification
  • (iii) indirect learning strategies
    metacognitive, affective and social direct
    learning strategies- memory, cognitive and
  • usefulness of adopting learning strategies
    in language
  • learning
  • -gt strategies-based instruction (SBI)
    (about how to
  • learn) and autonomous self-help
  • 1. be aware of ones style, preferences
    and the
  • strategies
  • 2. practice successful strategies
  • 3. practice compensatory strategies
  • 4. strategy instruction in the textbook

  • (b) Communication strategies how one expresses
    meanings deliver messages to others especially
    when communication is deterred from reaching its
  • avoidance strategies message abandonment, topic
    avoidance, lexical, syntactic, and phonological
  • (ii) compensatory strategies (part of strategic
    competence)circumlocution , approximation, use of
    all-purpose words, word coinage, prefabricated
    patterns, nonlinguistic signals, literal
    translation, foreignizing, code-switching appeal
    for help, stalling/time-gaining strategies

  • 7. Personality factors
  • (1) the affective domain
  • (a) self-esteem a personal judgment of
    worthiness thats
  • expressed in the attitudes that
    individuals hold towards
  • themselves related to ones
    willingness to communicate in a
  • foreign languag
  • (i) general or global self-esteem
  • - a median level of overall
  • -stable in a mature adult so
    resistant to change over time and across
  • (ii) situational or specific
  • - ones self-appraisals in
    particular life situations e.g. home,
  • work, athletic ability, and
    personality traits
  • (iii) task self-esteem
  • - particular tasks within
    specific situation e.g. one subject
  • matter area in the
    educational domain

  • (b) Inhibition sets of defenses to protect the
  • (i) language ego by Guiora (1972) and Ehrman
    (1996) occurs when identity conflict as language
    learners take on a new identity with their newly
    acquired competence
  • (ii) higher self-esteem adaptive language ego-gt
    lower inhibition
  • (c) risk-taking ability to make intelligent
    guesses impulsivity
  • (i) Being willing to take risks doesnt
    necessarily contributes to success since not
    necessarily accurate guesses
  • (ii) Willing and accurate guesses, high
    motivation and self-esteem are also factors of
    learner success
  • (iii) Lack of willingness to
    take risks-gt fossilization

(d) Anxiety (i) trait anxiety (permanent
predisposition to be anxious)/ state anxiety
(situationally anxious)-gt language anxiety
(ii) debilitative(harmful anxiety)/
facilitative anxiety (helpful anxiety e.g.
concern over a task to be accomplished-gt
competitiveness) (iii) three components
of language anxiety 1. communication
apprehension 2. fear of negative social
evaluation 3. test anxiety
  • (e) Empathy the process of putting oneself into
  • some elses shoes usually through language
  • (i) transactional variables to
    SLA imitation, modeling,
  • identification, empathy,
    extroversion, aggression,
  • styles of communication
  • (ii) empathy is more detachment
    from others
  • sympathy is an agreement
    between individuals.
  • (iii) two aspects to the
    development and exercising of
  • empathy
  • 1. an awareness and knowledge
    of ones feelings
  • 2. identification with
    another person (to know
  • oneself first)

  • (f) Extroversion the extent to which a person
    has a deep-seated need to receive ego
    enhancement, self-esteem, and a sense of
    wholeness from others
  • (i) introversion the extent to which a person
    derives a sense of wholeness and fulfillment
    apart from a reflection of this self from other
  • (ii) introverted? passive extroverted?bright and
  • (iii) extroversion as a factor in
    developing oral
  • communicative competence

  • (2) motivation
  • (a) three views of motivation

Behavioristic Cognitive Constructivist
Anticipation of reward Desire to receive positive reinforcement External, individual forces in control Driven by basic human needs (exploration, manipulation,etc) Degree of effort expended Internal, individual forces in control Social context Community Social status Security of group Internal, interactive forces in control
  • (b) instrumental/integrative orientations (Robert
    Gardner MacIntyre, 1991) converted from
    instrumental and integrative motivations
  • (i) Instrumental orientation (usually from
    extrinsic motivation) acquiring a language as a
    means for attaining instrumental goals academic
    or career-related
  • (ii) Integrative orientations (from intrinsic
    motivation) (weaker than assimilative orientation
    by Graham, 1984) learners wish to integrate
    themselves into the culture of the second
    language group socially or culturally oriented
  • (iii) Implications no single means of learning a
    L2 the two orientations are not necessarily
    mutually exclusive

(c) intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
intrinsic motivation extrinsic motivation
to bring out feelings of competence and self-determination strongly favored for long-term retention or self-realization maybe turn out to be integrative anticipation of a reward from outside for short-term retention maybe instrumental
  • 8. Sociocultural factors
  • (1) stereotypes/ overgeneralizations
  • (a) Reality is perceived through ones
    cultural pattern?
  • - too oversimplified
  • (b) Our cultural milieu shapes our world
    view (how do stereotypes
  • form)?
  • (c) Stereotype-thinking towards a
    culture and people in it can be
  • accurate in depicting the typical
    member of a culture but not
  • for particular individuals so
    cultural differences need to be
  • understood.
  • (2) Attitudes implied by stereotyping toward
    the culture or language developed in early
    childhood and be the result of parents and
    peers attitudes
  • (a) group-specific attitude-gt an
    integrative orientation
  • (b) positive attitudes-gt enhance
  • (c) negative attitudes-gt positive by
    direct exposure to reality

  • (3) second culture acquisition
  • (a) culture learning a process of perceiving,
    interpreting, feeling, and being in the world to
    create shared meaning between cultural
  • (b) acculturation the process learners adapt to
    the target language culture and acquire the L2
    usually during the recovery stage
  • the tourist stage the
    empty stage (culture shock)
  • the recovery stage (culture stress)
    the acceptance stage (adaptation))
  • (c) culture shock
  • 1. phenomena ranging from mild irritability
    to deep
  • psychological panic and crisis
  • 2. a profound cross-cultural
    learning experience which takes place when one
    examines the degree to which ones influenced by
    his own culture and understands the culturally
    derived values, attitudes, and outlooks of
    other people

  • (4) social distance
  • (a) definition the cognitive and affective
    proximity of two cultures that come into contact
    within an individual which is difficult to
  • (b) parameters of social distance by John
    Schumann (1976)
  • dominance TL/L2 politically, culturally,
    technically, economically dominant, non-dominant
    or subordinate
  • (ii) integration L2 is assimilation,
    acculturation or preservation
  • (iii) cohesiveness cohesive, size of L2
  • (iv) congruence congruent value and belief
    systems in TL/L2
  • (v) permanence L2s intended length of residence
    in the TL area

  • (c) a good language learning situation
  • the L2 group is non-dominant in relation to the
    TL group
  • (ii) both groups desire assimilation for the L2
  • (iii) low enclosure is the goal of both groups
  • (iv) the two cultures are congruent
  • (v) the L2 group is small and non-cohesive
  • (vi) both groups have positive attitudes towards
    each other
  • (vii) the L2 group intends to remain in the
    target language area for a long time
  • (d) measurement of perceived social distance (W.
    Acton, 1979) by quantifying the different
    attitudes towards various concepts
  • (e) implication mastery of fluency
    in L2 occurs at the beginning of the recovery
    stage of acculturation

  • (f) the optimal distance model by Brown (1980)
    for adults
  • especially a culturally based
    critical-period hypothesis
  • 1. an adult who fails to master a L2 might
    have failed to
  • synchronize linguistic and cultural
  • 2. In Stage 3 to Stage 4, those
    who have achieved nonlinguistic
  • means of coping in a
    foreign culture-gt fossilization
  • (g) culture in the classroom four
    conceptual categories to study
  • the cultural norms
  • (i) individualism (loosely
    integrated)/collectivism (tightly
  • integrated)
  • (ii) power distance- the extent
    to which the less power persons
  • accept inequality in power
    and consider it normal
  • (iii) uncertainty avoidance-
    strong uncertainty avoidance-gt active,
  • aggressive, emotional,
    compulsive, security-seeking and
  • intolerant
  • (iv) masculinity- masculine
    cultures stress material success and

  • (5) language policy and politics
  • (a) world Englishes
  • (b) ESL/ EFL
  • (c) Linguistic imperialism and language rights
  • (d) Language policy and the English
    only debate
  • (6) Language, thought, and culture the
  • Hypothesis
  • (a) euphemisms/verbal labels can shape the way
    one stores
  • events for later recall
  • (b) the way a sentence is structured will affect
    nuances of meaning
  • e.g. Did you see the broken
    headlight?- There is one.
  • Did you see a broken
  • (c) conversational discourse signals, a factor of
    culture- casual/formal
  • (d) lexical items intersection of culture and
    cognition e.g. color categorization
  • (e) question Does language reflect
    a cultural world view or does
  • language actually shape the
    world view?

  • (f) Alternative labels of the Spair-Whorf
  • The Whorfian Hypothesis,
    linguistic relativity or
  • linguistic determinism
  • (g) Criticism
  • -Its possible to talk about
    anything in any language
  • but some concepts are easy to
  • -Through both languages and
    cultures, some
  • universals are found
  • - A L2 learner can make
    positive use of prior
  • experiences to facilitate the
    process of learning

  • 10. Cross-linguistic influence and learner
  • (1) the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (by
    applied linguists)
  • (a) influenced by behaviorism/structuralism in
    the 1950s
  • (b) claim the principal barrier to SLA is the
    interference of the
  • L1 system with the L2 system so the
    differences of L1 and
  • L2 should be overcome
  • (c) Linguistics across cultures by Robert Lado
    (1957) the patterns that will cause difficulty
    in learning can be predicted and described by
    comparing systematically the target language and
    the L1 Similar in L1 and L2-gt simple different
    -gt difficult
  • (d) Hierarchy of difficulty in terms of
    phonology, syntax, etc for prediction by
    Stockwell, Bowen Martin 1965

  • (i) Shortcomings of CAH
  • CAH is inadequate to predict the interference
    problems of a learner
  • (ii) Great difference doesnt necessarily cause
    great difficulty-gt intralingual/interlingual
  • (iii) It is difficult to determine exactly which
    category a particular contrast fit into

(2) Markedness and UG to better explain
learning difficulty than CAH (a)
Markedness theory by Fred Eckman (1977)
(i) Marked items in a language will be more
difficult to acquire than unmarked
(ii) Degrees of markedness will correspond to
degrees of difficulty (iii) Marked
structures are acquired later than unmarked
ones. (b) UG rules shared by all
languages (i) to discover innate
linguistic principles that govern what is
possible in human languages (ii)
to understand and describe contrasts of L1 and L2
and difficulties of learners
  • (3) Learner Language (Interlanguage by Selinker,
  • (l) IL a system that has a structurally
    intermediate status between L1 and L2 It is
    neither L1 nor L2
  • (m) Approximative system byNemser (1971)
  • (n) Idiosyncratic dialect by Corder (1971)
  • (o) Study learner language from production
    data which
  • are observable and reflective of a
  • underlying competence
  • (p) To analyze Interlanguage, errors of
    learners have to be studied because correct
    production yields little
  • information about competence

  • (4) Error Analysis (performance/ interlanguage
  • --- errors provide the evidence of how
    language is learned, and
  • what procedures or strategies the
    learner is employing in the
  • discovery of language
  • --- examination of errors from all possible
    sources, not just from L1
  • interference (like CA) e.g.
    intralingual, sociolinguisitc,
  • psycholinguistic, cognitive or affective

(q) mistakes and errors
mistakes errors
a performance error either a random guess or a slip due to a failure to utilize a known system correctly a noticeable deviation reflects the lack of the linguistic competence
Can be self-corrected by native speakers when attention is called Cannot be self-corrected
  • (r) identifying and describing errors
  • (i) norms errors
  • (ii) how to distinguish errors and mistakes?
  • (iii) Describing errors by
  • --- grammatical categories
  • --- general error type omission (e.g I went to
    movie.), misinformation, misordering (e.g. I to
    the store went), addition (e.g. Does can he
    sing?), substitution (e.g. I lost my road.)
  • --- overt (ungrammatical at the sentence
    level)/covert errors (grammatically well-formed
    but not discourse interpretable within the
    context of communication)
  • --- global (hinder communication)/local (at
    verbatim level)
  • ---domain/extent by Lennon, 1991 e.g. a scissors
    (domain-phrase, extent- an indefinite article)

  • (iv) explaining errors
  • --- systematic, universal, predictable? By
    repeated systematic observation of learner speech
  • --- Sources
  • 1. interlingual transfer especially in the
    beginning stages of
  • SLA e.g He goed.
  • 2. intralingual transfer overgeneralization
  • learners have begun to acquire parts of
    the new system
  • 3. context of learning classroom or social
  • faulty concepts from teachers/induced
  • 4. communicative strategies circumlocution,
  • coinage, false cognates (by Tarone,
    1981), or
  • prefabricated patterns

  • (s) criticism
  • (i) positive reinforcement of clear and free
    communication is also important (fluency).
  • (ii) Overemphasis on production data
    comprehension is also important.
  • (iii) It fails to explain avoidance
  • (iv) It too closely focuses on specific language
    rather than universal aspects of language

(5 ) Stages of learner language development
all are not able to measure overall competence
because one can be in different stages
of different tenses (i) Random
(presystematic) to guess or experiment e.g. John
can to sing (ii) Emergent one begins to
discern a system but then regresses to some
previous stage unable to correct avoidance of
structures and topics (iii) Systematic more
consistent and able to correct errors when
pointed out (iv) Stabilization
(post-systematic) few errors, able to
  • (6) Variability due to context as the source of
  • (a) capability continuum paradigm by Elaine
    Tarone (1988)
  • the extent to which both linguistic and
    situational context may help to describe
  • (b) variable competence model by Rod Ellis (1994)
  • (c) criticism variable -gt systematic

(7) Fossilization (a) definition
the relatively permanent incorporation of
linguistic forms into a persons L2 competence
(b) How do items become fossilized?
(i) affective feedback
(ii) cognitive feedback (c) Why
does fossilization occur?
(i) the presence or absence of internal
motivating factors (ii)
seeking interaction with other people
(iii) consciously focusing on forms
(iv) ones strategic investment
in the learning process
  • (8) Form-focused instruction
  • (a) Does form-focused instruction work?
  • Yes, but it depends on the
    target structure being taught e.g plurals
  • (i) item learning (effective in
    instruction)/system learning
  • (ii) the Teachability Hypothesis by Penemann
    Instruction can only promote language acquisition
    if the interlanguage is close to the point when
    the structure to be taught is acquired in the
    natural setting instruction only helps to speed
    up learners learning process
  • (iii) some structures seem to be permanently
    affected by instruction because
  • 1. system learning can last longer
  • 2. it depends on the nature of the instruction
  • 3. when learners use the structure frequently
  • (iv) what structures to teach?
  • Marked functions first
    to trigger the unmarked ones

  • (b) What kind of form-focused instruction works
  • (i) input-based instruction may be more effective
    than production-based instruction
  • (ii) consciousness-raising by providing learners
    positive or negative evidence but positive input
    may help learners start using some difficult
    forms but may not be sufficient to destabilize IL
    and prevent fossilization
  • (c) individual differences are likely to
    influence the effects of instruction.

(9) Error treatment (a) when to treat
errors the importance of errors,
chance of eliciting correct
performance (b) what to correct
global errors to be treated only but some
utterances are not clearly global or
local (c) How to correct
One useful taxonomy by Bailey, 1985 (d)
Learners system is a variable, dynamic, and
approximate system, but
shouldnt be treated as an imperfect system.
11. Communicative competence
  • (1) Definition
  • (a) Dell Hymes highlights the difference
    between linguistic competence and communicative
  • (b) Savignon Communicative competence is
    relative and depends on the cooperation of all
    the participants involved, a dynamic and
    interpersonal construct that can be examined by
    means of the over performance of two or more
  • (c) Cummins
  • (i) cognitive/academic language proficiency
    (context-reduced-gt school-oriented)
  • (ii) basic interpersonal communicative skills-
    the capacity all children acquire to be able to
    function in daily communication
    (context-embedded-gt face to face communication)

  • (d)Canale Swain
  • (i) Grammatical competence knowledge of