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Second Language Acquisition

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Title: Second Language Acquisition


1
Second Language Acquisition
Five hypotheses about second language acquisition
2
1.The acquisition-learning distinction
2.The input hypothesis
3.The monitor hypothesis
4.The affective Filter hypothesis
5.The natural order hypothesis
3
1)Acquisition vs. Learning The American SLA
scholar Stephen Krashen makes the distinction
between acquisition and learning. Krashen holds
that language acquisition is a subconscious
process to acquire a language in natural
settings, while language learning is a conscious
process to obtain a language in school settings.
4
Children obtain their mother tongue not through
conscious learning, but the second language,
though it can be acquired in appropriate
linguistic context, is usually obtained in
non-natural environment through formal
instruction and conscious learning.
5
Tough Movement rule
Move the infinitive after the tough words to
the position immediately before the subject.
John is easy to please. John is eager to please.
To please John is easy.
6
We walked across the field, carrying heavy
equipment.
Across the field, we walked,carrying heavy
equipment.
7
They didnt walk across the field, carrying heavy
equipment.
Across the field, they didnt walk, carrying
heavy equipment.
8
?????,across????????????????????,??????????????
9
In learning, specific grammatical rules are
taught to the students.
?????,towards????????????????????,???????????????
10
The soldiers didnt march towards the fort.
Towards the fort, the soldiers didnt march.
11
Go
????go????????????????????????,?
He went to America from Japan.
12
??????????????????????,???????????????,?
From Japan, he went to America.
13
????????????????????????,???????????????????,?
To America, he went from Japan.
14
A rule can be learned before it is internalized
(i.e., acquired), but having learned a rule does
not necessarily mean the acquisition of it.
15
For example, a learner may have learned a
grammatical rule, but when he uses that rule in
communication, he may make mistakes.
16
Acquisition and learning are two different
processes. The former helps the development of
language ability while the latter contributes to
the development of knowledge of language.
17
2. THE INPUT HYPOTHESIS
How do we move from stage i, where i represents
current competence, to i 1, the next level in
second language acquisition?
18
The input hypothesis makes the
following claim a necessary (but not
sufficient) condition to move from stage i
to stage i 1 is that the acquirer understand
input that contains i 1, where "understand"
means that the acquirer is focussed on the
meaning and not the form of the message.
19
We acquire, in other words, only when we
understand language that contains structure that
is "a little beyond" where we are now.
20
How can we understand language that contains
structures that we have not yet acquired?
21
The answer to this apparent paradox is that we
use more than our linguistic competence to help
us understand. We also use context, our knowledge
of the world, our extra-linguistic information to
help us understand language directed at us.
22
1.Context Clue 1 definition Sometimes a
writer knows that a word is unfamiliar or
strange to many readers. To make the word
easier to understand, the writer may include a
definition of the word in a sentence.
23
A. All other birthdays are called sing il (
born day). The sixty-first birthday is called
huan gup (beginning of new life.)
B. The harbor is protected by a jetty---a wall
built out into the water.
C. Jane is indecisive, that is ,she cant make up
her mind.
24
Context Clue 2 Restatement More often, you may
find a restatement, which tells you almost as
much as a definition.
A. He had a wan look. He was so pale and weak
that we thought he was ill.
B. I am a resolute man. Once I set up a goal, I
wont give it up easily.
25
Context Clue 3 General knowledge
More often than not, the meaning of many words
can be readily guessed if you use your own
experience or general knowledge of the subject.
A. The door was so low that I hit my head on the
lintel.
26
B. Mark got on the motorbike, I sat behind him on
the pillion, and we roared off into the night.
27
C. We have found that no one in the freshman
class can add, multiply, subtract or divide
simple sums, Therefore, we are setting up a
special class for those pupils who have
arithmetic problems.
28
Context Clue 4 Related information
Sometimes you can make an intelligent guess of
the meaning of some new words or expressions if
you put together related information from the
surrounding text.
29
A. She went to school for 12 years and she cant
write a sentence? Timken said. They made an
illiterate out of my daughter!
30
B. Just before the exam Carls hands shook and
sweated so much that he could not hold a pen. His
heart beat fast and his stomach ached,
even though he knew the subject very
well. He really had a strange
phobia about taking tests.
31
Context Clue 5 Examples Examples can also give
you some clues or hints to the meanings of
unfamiliar words.
A. Select any of these periodicals Time
magazine, Newsweek, Readers digest, etc.
B. She is studying glaucoma and other diseases of
the eye.
32
Context Clue 6 Comparison When we compare
things, we see how they are like each other. So
comparisons in writing can give you clues to the
meanings of unfamiliar words.
33
A. The snow was falling. Big flakes drifted with
the wind like feathers.
B. The hot-air balloon took off. It was as
buoyant in the air as a cork(???) in water.
34
Context Clue 7 Contrast The use a contrast can
give you a hint to the meaning of an unfamiliar
word.
A. Jane was talking with others while John
remained reticent all the time.
35
B. Most of us agreed however, Bill dissented.
C. Peter was not frugal since he spent money so
freely.
36
The input hypothesis runs counter to our usual
pedagogical approach in second and foreign
language teaching. As Hatch (1978a) has pointed
out, our assumption has been that we first learn
structures, then practice using them in
communication, and this is how fluency develops.
37
The input hypothesis says the opposite. It says
we acquire by "going for meaning" first, and as a
result, we acquire structure!
38
We may thus state parts (1) and (2) of the input
hypothesis as follows (1) The input hypothesis
relates to acquisition, not learning.
39
(2) We acquire by understanding language that
contains structure a bit beyond our current level
of competence (i 1). This is done with the
help of context or extra-linguistic information.
40
A third part of the input hypothesis says that
input must contain i 1 to be useful for language
acquisition, but it need not contain only i 1.
It says that if the acquirer understands the
input, and there is enough of it, i 1 will
automatically be provided.
41
In other words, if communication is successful, i
1 is provided. This implies that the best input
should not even attempt to deliberately aim at i
1. We are all familiar with syllabi that try to
deliberately cover i 1.
42
There is a "structure of the day", and usually
both teacher and student feel that the aim of the
lesson is to teach or practice a specific
grammatical item or structure.
43
Once this structure is "mastered", the syllabus
proceeds to the next one. This part of the input
hypothesis implies that such a deliberate attempt
to provide i 1 is not necessary. It may even
be harmful.
44
Thus, part (3) of the input hypothesis is (3)
When communication is successful, when the input
is understood and there is enough of it, i 1
will be provided automatically.
45
The final part of the input hypothesis states
that speaking fluency cannot be taught directly.
Rather, it "emerges" over time, on its own.
The best way, and perhaps the only way, to teach
speaking, according to this view, is simply to
provide comprehensible input.
46
Early speech, moreover, is typically not
grammatically accurate. Accuracy develops over
time as the acquirer hears and understands more
input. Part (4) of the input hypothesis is thus
(4) Production ability emerges. It is not
taught directly.
47
Evidence supporting the hypothesis (i) First
language acquisition in children. The input
hypothesis is very consistent with what is known
about "caretaker speech", the modifications that
parents and others make when talking to young
children.
48
The most interesting and perhaps the most
important characteristic of caretaker speech for
us is that it is not a deliberate attempt to
teach language.
49
Rather, caretaker speech is modified in order to
aid comprehension. Caretakers talk "simpler" in
an effort to make themselves understood by the
child.
50
A second characteristic of interest to us here is
the finding that caretaker speech, while it is
syntactically simpler than adult sentence, is not
"finely-tuned".
51
In other words, caretaker speech is not precisely
adjusted to the level of each child, but tends to
get more complex as the child progresses.
52
caretakers are not taking aim exactly at i 1.
The input they provide for children includes i
1, but also includes many structures that have
already been acquired, plus some that have not (i
2, i 3, etc.) and that the child may not be
ready for yet.
53
In other words, caretakers do not provide a
grammatically based syllabus!
54
A third characteristic of caretaker
speech that concerns us is known as the "here and
now" principle. It is well established that
caretakers talk mostly about what the child
can perceive, what is in the
immediate environment.
55
Discourse with children is far more likely to
deal with what is in the room and happening now
("See the ball?") than what is not in the room
and not current.
56
While there is no direct evidence showing that
caretaker speech is indeed more effective than
unmodified input, the input hypothesis
predicts that caretaker speech will be very
useful for the child.
57
First, it is, or aims to be, comprehensible. The
"here and now" feature provides extra-linguistic
support (context) that helps the child understand
the utterances containing i 1.
58
The child does not acquire grammar first and then
use it in understanding. The child understands
first, and this helps him acquire language.
59
As discussed earlier, roughly-tuned caretaker
speech covers the child's i 1, but does not
focus on i 1 exclusively. Rough-tuning has the
following advantages in child first language
acquisition
60
1. It ensures that i 1 is covered, with no
guesswork as to just what i 1 is for each
child. On the other hand, deliberate aim at i 1
might miss!
61
2. Roughly-tuned input will provide i 1 for
more than one child at a time, as long as they
understand what is said. Finely-tuned input, even
if accurate (i.e. even if it "hits" ( 7), will
only benefit the child whose i 1 is exactly the
same as what is emphasized in the input.
62
The input hypothesis predicts that roughly tuned
input will be very useful for the second language
acquirer, just as caretaker speech is posited to
be useful for the child.
63
The input hypothesis also predicts that natural,
communicative, roughly-tuned, comprehensible
input has some real advantages over finely-tuned
input that aims directly at i 1, in other words,
classroom exercises that aim to teach the
structure of the day.
64
Most important, the input hypothesis predicts
that the classroom may be an excellent place for
second language acquisition, at least up to the
"intermediate" level.
65
For beginners, the classroom can be much better
than the outside world, since the outside usually
provides the beginner with very little
comprehensible input, especially for older
acquirers .
66
In the classroom, we can provide an hour a day of
comprehensible input, which is probably much
better than the outside can do for the beginner.
67
3.The monitor hypothesis
Conscious learning is available only as a
"Monitor", which can alter the output of the
acquired system before or after the utterance is
actually spoken or written. It is the acquired
system which initiates normal, fluent speech
utterances.
68
Learned competence (the monitor)
Acquired competence
Output
"Monitor" can alter the output of the acquired
system before or after the utterance is actually
spoken or written. It is the acquired system
which initiates normal, fluent speech utterances.
69
The Monitor hypothesis implies that formal rules,
or conscious learning, play only a limited role
in second language performance. Second language
performers can use conscious rules only when
three conditions are met.
70
(i) Time. In order to think about and use
conscious rules effectively, a second language
performer needs to have sufficient time. For most
people, normal conversation does not allow
enough time to think about and use rules.
71
The over-use of rules in conversation can lead to
trouble, i.e. a hesitant style of talking and
inattention to what the conversational partner is
saying.
72
(ii) Focus on form. To use the Monitor
effectively, time is not enough. The performer
must also be focussed on form, or thinking about
correctness . Even when we have time, we may be
so involved in what we are saying that we do not
attend to how we are saying it.
73
(iii) Know the rule. This may be a very
formidable requirement. Linguistics has taught us
that the structure of language is extremely
complex, and they claim to have described only a
fragment of the best known languages.
74
We can be sure that our students are exposed only
to a small part of the total grammar of the
language, and we know that even the best students
do not learn every rule they are exposed to.
75
All the rules of English
Subset of English described by formal linguists
Applied linguists knowledge
Best teachers knowledge
Rules taught
Rules actually learned by students
Rules used in performance
76
They treated me very badly. They
very badly treated me.
Badly???????????????????????????????????????????,?
??????????.
77
They were badly treated. They were
treated badly.
??????,badly????????????,????????????.
78
He had for twenty years lived in poverty. She
had in poverty lived for twenty years. They live
frugally. They frugally live.
?????????????,????????????????????????,???????????
live???
79
probably ???????????????????,??????????,?
80
She probably believed his story. She would
probably believe that story.
?
They probably can find their way home.
81
???????,???????????????????,? She probably never
would have believed his story.
They probably cant finish the task in time. He
probably isnt a teacher.
They cant probably finish the task in time.
82
??????,?be???, probably???????????,?
She believed probably his story.
He is probably a teacher.
83
?
good likelihood strong likelihood high
likelihood good probability strong
probability high probability good possibility
strong possibility high possibility good
chance strong chance high chance
?
?
?
?
84
Mary is very (really, quite) able. Mary
is a very (really, quite) able student.
Mary is perfectly (well, totally)
able. Mary is a perfectly (well, totally) able
student.
?
?
85
When able is used predicatively, or when it
is used as a modifier of another noun, it can be
collocated with very, really, quite, not the
words perfectly, well, totally.
86
?
Mary is very able to give the lecture.
Mary is really (quite, perfectly, well,
totally) able to give the lecture.
87
In the pattern,be able to do sth., it can not
be collocated with very. It can, however,
collocate with the words really, quite,
perfectly, well, totally.
88
In her anger, she absolutely screamed at
him. In her anger, she absolutely spoke to him.
?
absolutely?????????????????????????????????????
89
Girl boy boy
man woman car
flower vessel pretty garden
handsome overcoat colour
airliner village typewriter
etc. etc.
90
?????????????????????????? He is a French
teacher. ?????French teacher,??????French??teacher
?????????
91
????????????,?????French?????,Teacher?????,??,He
is a French teacher????????,??????????
A French ,teacher teaches French.
92
??????French?????,teacher?????,??He is a French
teacher??French??????
A ,French teacher is French.
93
Old, new, pure, wrong???????????????????????,????
????????????????????,??????????,???
94
my old ,friend (old long known or long
familiar) ?????? My
friend is old. my new ,friend ??????
My friend is new. a pure
,scientist ??????
The scientist is pure. thewrong ,applicant
?????? The applicant is
wrong.
95
????worth?while??????????,????????worth ones
while????????????,???????????????????????????ones
?????????,??ones?????????worth?while???????????
96
?worth ones while?????,your???worth?while????????
??,???????????????????????,? Its worth
Brians while to learn a second language.
Its worth a rich mans while to help the poor.
97
??????????,????????????????ones?????????????
Is it worth anybodys while to take up a
challenging job?
98
???????,??ones??????????my, ????????????,???????w
orth your while???????,??his??????????????,???your
?
Acceptable
unacceptable your
his their my anybodys Johns
99
(i) Monitor Over-users. These are people who
attempt to Monitor all the time, performers who
are constantly checking their output with their
conscious knowledge of the second language. As a
result, such performers may speak hesitantly,
often self-correct in the middle of utterances,
and are so concerned with correctness that they
cannot speak with any real fluency.
100
(No Transcript)
101
Another type may be related to personality. These
over-users have had a chance to acquire, and may
actually have acquired a great deal of the second
language. They simply do not trust this acquired
competence and only feel secure when they refer
to their Monitor "just to be sure".
102
(ii) Monitor under-users. These are performers
who have not learned, or if they have learned,
prefer not to use their conscious knowledge, even
when conditions allow it.
103
Under-users are typically uninfluenced by error
correction, can self-correct only by using a
"feel" for correctness (e.g. "it sounds right"),
and rely completely on the acquired system.
104
(iii) The optimal Monitor user. Our pedagogical
goal is to produce optimal users, performers who
use the Monitor when it is appropriate and when
it does not interfere with
communication.
105
Many optimal users will not use grammar in
ordinary conversation, where it might interfere.
In writing, and in planned speech, however, when
there is time, optimal users will typically make
whatever corrections they can to raise the
accuracy of their output.
106
5 THE AFFECTIVE FILTER HYPOTHESIS The Affective
Filter hypothesis states how affective factors
relate to the second language acquisition
process.
107
Research over the last decade has confirmed that
a variety of affective variables relate to
success in second language acquisition
108
(1) Motivation. Performers with high motivation
generally do better in second language
acquisition (usually, but not always,
"integrative").
109
(2) Self-confidence. Performers with
self-confidence and a good self-image tend to do
better in second language acquisition.
110
(3) Anxiety. Low anxiety appears to be
conducive to second language acquisition, whether
measured as personal or classroom anxiety.
111
Acquirers vary with respect to the strength or
level of their Affective Filters. Those whose
attitudes are not optimal for second language
acquisition will not only tend to seek less
input, but they will also have a high or strong
Affective Filter --- even if they understand the
message, the input will not reach that part of
the brain responsible for language acquisition,
or the language acquisition device.
112
(No Transcript)
113
Filter
Language Acquisition Device
Acquired competence
Input
The affective filter acts to prevent input from
being used for language acquisition. Acquirers
with optimal attitudes are hypothesized to have
low affective filters.Classrooms that encourage
low filters are those that promote low anxiety
among students, that keep students off the
defensive.
114
The filter hypothesis explains why it is possible
for an acquirer to obtain a great deal of
comprehensible input, and yet stop short (and
sometimes well short) of the native speaker level
or "fossilize". When this occurs, it is due to
the affective filter.
115
5. The Natural Order hypothesis Acquirers of a
given language tend to acquire certain
grammatical structures early, and others later.
In other words, the acquisition of grammatical
structures proceeds in a predictable order.
116
English is perhaps the most studied language as
far as the natural order hypothesis is concerned,
and of all structures of English, morphology is
the most studied.
117
Brown reported that children acquiring English as
a first language tended to acquire certain
grammatical morphemes, or functions words,
earlier than others.
118
For example, the progressive marker -ing and the
plural marker/s/ were among the first morphemes
acquired, while the third person singular
marker/s/ and the possessive /s/ were typically
acquired much later.
119
-Ing (progressive) Plural Copular ( to be)
Auxiliary (progressive, as in he is
going) Article(a, the)
Irregular Past
Regular Past III Singular -s Possessive -s
120
Other Theories about Language Learning
121
The critical period for language
acquisition
122
The critical period hypothesis, advanced by
neurobiologist Eric Lenneberg, refers to a period
in one' s life extending from about age two to
puberty, during which the human brain is most
ready to acquire a particular language without
formal classroom instruction.
123
The critical period for first language
acquisition coincides with the period of brain
lateralization.
124
Brain lateralization is the localization of
cognitive and perceptual functions in a
particular hemisphere of the brain.
Lateralization process is gradual and
maturational. It seems to be human-specific.
125
Both hemispheres are involved in important mental
functions, with the differences only in the way
in which incoming stimuli are treated. They are
dependent on and complementary to each other, for
example
126
Left hemisphere Right
hemisphere language and speech perception
of
nonlinguistic sounds analytic
reasoning holistic reasoning
temporal ordering visual and spatial
skills
127
Left hemisphere Right
hemisphere reading and writing recognition
of patterns calculation
recognition of musical
melodies associative thought
128
Two observations support Lennebergs critical
period hypothesis one is that before the
lateralization is completed, a child with the
left hemisphere damage can acquire linguistic
skills by shifting the language centers to the
right hemisphere because of cerebral plasticity.
129
The other is that those beyond the critical
period are poorer second language learners than a
child.
130
1.First language acquisition Children may show
individual differences in the acquisition of
their mother tongues, but all normal children,
brought up with appropriate mother tongue input
in appropriate linguistic context, can
successfully acquire their mother tongues and the
stages they experience in the mother tongue
acquisition are similar.
131
Language acquisition is primarily the acquisition
of the grammatical system. First, no one can
store all the words and expressions in his mind.
A child usually constructs his grammatical rules
by listening to the linguistic input that
surrounds him and speaks according to his own
constructed grammar.
132
Without these productive rules, a language user
would be unable to produce and understood an
unlimited number of sentences which he has never
heard or used before.
133
Language acquisition is mainly the acquisition of
grammatical rules. This does not mean that it is
the acquisition of each specific rule. What a
child has acquired is a limited number of highly
abstract and general principles, ignoring the
irregular cases.
134
For example, a child may add -s to the end of
a noun to form the plural form, whether the noun
is regular or irregular. Therefore, the mistakes
that a child makes are systematic and
predictable.
135
The role of input and interaction Human
genetically programmed capacity for language is
not a sufficient condition for language
acquisition. Successful language acquisition
requires appropriate linguistic context in which
a child can interact with others linguistically.
Otherwise, language acquisition can be severely
hampered.
136
Caretaker speech is a modified speech usually for
communication with children. Children with little
or no exposure to caretaker speech do not
necessarily acquire their mother tongues more
slowly than children with much exposure to
caretaker speech.
137
It means the exposure to caretaker speech is not
an essential condition for language acquisition.
However, caretaker speech can help establish the
relation between linguistic forms and their
meanings, facilitate the comprehension of
language and make the acquisition of vocabulary
and structures easier.
138
The role of instruction Language acquisition
for normal children requires little conscious
instruction or classroom teaching. In natural
settings, parents rarely correct young childrens
grammatical mistakes in their communication. Even
if they do so, their efforts very often seem to
achieve little effect. For example
139
Child I taked a cookie. Parent Oh, you mean you
took a cookie. Child Yes, that's right, I taked
it. Therefore, conscious instruction to a
normal child plays a minor role at best, if any.
140
The role of correction and reinforcement Behaviou
rists believe that a child's verbal behavior was
conditioned through association between a
stimulus and the response. Correct verbal
behaviour gets positively reinforced and
incorrect verbal behaviour gets corrected.
141
In this way, a child gradually forms the
behaviour of using the language correctly. But
modern research has shown that correction and
reinforcement only play a minor role in the first
language acquisition, for example
142
Child Nobody don't like me. Mother
No, say "Nobody likes me." Child Nobody don' t
like me. This type of exchange is repeated
eight times. Mother No, now listen carefully
say "Nobody likes me." Child Oh! Nobody don't
LIKES me.
143
Generally speaking, correction and reinforcement
from the parents occur in childrens
pronunciation and reporting of truthfulness of
utterances.
144
The role of imitation Imitation only plays a
minor role in the first language acquisition.
Children actively discover and construct their
personal linguistic rules from the linguistic
input they have received.
145
If childrens first language acquisition involved
the passive imitation on the part of children,
then many linguistic mistakes children have made
would not be satisfactorily explained because the
mistakes they make are not usually heard in the
adult speech forms.
146
For example, children are often heard to say my
foots instead of my feet, goed instead of went
and maked instead of made.
147
In addition, children who can not speak because
of some other neurological or physiological
defects can learn a language. Children do not
imitate blindly. They make selective use of
imitation,for example, in learning vocabulary.
Imitation does not play a key role in the first
language acquisition.
148
Second language acquisition Second language
acquisition (SLA)studies the similarities and
differences in the first language acquisition and
the second language acquisition, the causes of
the difficulties in the second language
acquisition and the methods which facilitate
second language acquisition.
149
The role of input Second language acquisition
requires that SL learners expose themselves to an
adequate amount of input with which they can
interact. The appropriate input is therefore one
of the conditions for the success in the second
language acquisition. But scholars disagree among
themselves on what constitutes the optimum input.
150
Some scholars believe that only when the second
language learners have access to comprehensible
linguistic input can second language acquisition
occurs.
151
Others believe that linguistic input is not
linguistic intake. Intake is the input that is
assimilated and fed into the interlanguage
system. The factors that decide on the success in
second language acquisition should include not
only interaction, but also intake.
152
The role of formal instruction No agreement has
been reached on the effect of formal instruction
on second language acquisition, but research
findings have, in general, proved that formal
instruction contributes to SLA.
153
Formal instruction usually does not change the
natural route of SLA, but by providing
comprehensible input and intake-type environment,
it can speed up SLA.
154
Formal instruction contributes to the improvement
of students writing ability, planned speech and
career-oriented examination. In a long run, it
helps the students oral communicative
proficiency.
155
Transfer and interference Language transfer
refers to the phenomenon in which learners
consciously or subconsciously use their first
language knowledge in learning a second language.
Positive transfer occurs when an LI pattern is
identical with, or similar to, a target-language
pattern.
156
Negative transfer, also called interference,
occurs when an LI pattern is different from the
counterpart pattern of the target language and
the language learners still use their mother
tongue knowledge to learn the target language.
157
Contrastive Analysis is usually the analysis of
similarities and differences between the mother
tongue and the target language to predict the
main causes of the difficulties in the target
language learning so that measures can be taken
to overcome these difficulties.
158
Contrastive linguists believe that positive
transfer helps second language learning, while
the negative transfer, the cause of mistakes,
interferes with the second language learning.
Therefore the second language learning process is
a process of overcoming the differences between
the mother tongue and the target language.
159
Empirical observations do not support the
Contrastive Analysis hypothesis. It is discovered
that most mistakes that students make do not
result from the mother tongue interference, but
from the learners active experiment with and
construction of their target language rules.
These mistakes are systematic to a large extent.
160
The research into the mistakes made by the second
language learners has brought about the change in
the attitude to the mistakes made in the second
language acquisition. The second language
acquisition is no longer regarded as a process of
overcoming the old language habits and forming
new ones, but a process of constantly
constructing and modifying communicative rules.
161
4. 4 Inter-language and fossilization Interlangua
ge is a variety formed in the transition of
learners linguistic forms from their mother
tongue to the target language. It is different
from the mother tongue and the target language as
well. It is the result of the learners use of
their creatively-constructed linguistic rules to
communicate in the process of second language
learning. Therefore, it is systematic.
162
Interlanguage, as the interim knowledge of the
target language, represents the learner' s
transitional competence approximating the target
language competence. Interlanguage is, very
often, a product of L2 training, mother tongue
interference, overgeneralization of the target
language rules, and communicative strategies of
the learner.
163
Fossilization occurs when learners linguistic
forms stop approximating the target system and
learners, therefore, fail to achieve native-like
competence in the target language.
164
Because of fossilization, linguistic rules, which
are different from those of the target language
can be internalized in the mind of the target
language learners. Both internal and external
factors contribute to a learner's fossilized
language, yet the exact causes of fossilization
and the ways to prevent it are not fully known.
165
Learner Factors
166
The optimum age for second language
acquisition Although there is a critical period
in language learning, it does not mean the
younger the learner is, the better he is at
learning a second language. The optimum age for
SLA is early teenage. The cognitive abilities of
the early teenagers have been considerably
developed, but their brains are still plastic
enough, because their brain lateralization has
not been completed.
167
Motivation Motivation can be divided into
instrumental motivation and integrative
motivation. Instrumental motivation occurs when
SL learners learn a second language as an
instrument for, say, obtaining a better job.
168
Integrative motivation is social, which occurs
when SL learners learn a second language in order
to integrate themselves into the target language
culture or become members of the target language
community.
169
Generally speaking, if the target language
functions as a foreign language, the learner is
likely to benefit from an integrative motivation
if the target language functions as a second
language , an instrumental motivation is more
effective.
170
Acculturation Acculturation is the process of
SL learners adapting to the target language
culture.
171
One of the hypotheses is that if SL learners
actively make contact with and adapt to the
culture of the target language community, they
are more likely to succeed in second language
acquisition.
172
The degree to which a learner acculturates to the
target language group and the degree to which a
learner keeps social and psychological distances
from the target language culture determine the
amount of contact he makes with the target
language and therefore affect his degree of
success in his second language acquisition.
173
Personality Learners personalities can be
divided into extrovert personality and introvert
personality. One hypothesis is that learners with
the outgoing personality get more opportunities
to interact with the target language speakers and
have more access to the linguistic input and more
chances to practise, therefore, they are more
likely to succeed in second language acquisition
than the learners with introvert personality.
174
But research discoveries have found there is no
significant relationship between extroverted
personality and overall proficiency in a second
language, though outgoing learners are more
likely to achieve better oral fluency.
175
In general, an ideal second language learner is
an early teenager, who has clearly set
motivation, adapts himself to different learning
situations, seizes every chance to use the target
language to communicate, and wants to integrate
himself into the target language culture.
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