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Chapter 2 Second Language Teaching


Chapter 2 Second Language Teaching & Learning Wright, W. E. (2010). Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners: Research, Theory, Policy, and Practice. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 2 Second Language Teaching

Chapter 2 Second Language Teaching Learning
  • Wright, W. E. (2010). Foundations for Teaching
    English Language Learners Research, Theory,
    Policy, and Practice. Philadelphia Caslon

Guiding Questions
  1. What do teachers need to know about language, and
    why do they need to know it?
  2. What does it mean to know a language?
  3. How do people acquire language?
  4. What do different theories of second language
    acquisition tell us?
  5. How would you describe your approach to second
    language teaching?

ELL Student Language Challenges
  • 1. Vihn has difficulty pronouncing th words. Does
    he have a speech impediment?
  • 2. Chanyoung always leaves off the final s when
    she reads. Ive told her a million times that
    plural words end with an s. Why is she refusing
    to read the words correctly?

ELL Student Language Challenges
  • 3. Rosa always switches words around in the
    sentence, saying and writing things like car
    red instead of red car. Is she dyslexic?
  • 4. Suling always mixes up the gender-specific
    pronouns, calling girls he or him and boys she or
    her. I keep correcting her, but she just doesnt
    get it. And if she calls me Mrs. Wright one more
    time Im going to scream! Cant she tell the
    difference between boys and girls? Should I refer
    her to special education?

ELL Student Language Challenges
  • 5. Reading time was over and students were
    supposed to put their books away and start
    working on their math worksheets. But Thanawan
    just kept right on reading. I said to her, Why
    are you still reading instead of doing your
    math? She smiled and said, Oh, because I not
    finish yet, and she just kept on reading. Why
    did she disobey me so rudely?
  • 6. Our school puts most of the ELLs in a
    bilingual program. Everyone knows young children
    learn new languages quickly. So shouldnt the
    students be placed in an English-only classroom
    before its too late for them to learn English?

ELL Student Language Challenges
  • 7. My principal just bought us a software program
    that drills the ELL students in English. Its
    really neat. If they get 30 drills in a row right
    they get rewarded with a little animation where a
    bunny pops out of the tree and does a little
    dance. The box the software came in says the
    students will be speaking English in 3 or 4
    weeks. Does this mean our ELLs will be ready for
    the poetry analysis unit were starting next
  • 8. Roberto keeps saying, I have 6 years old
    when people ask him how old he is. Weve done
    grammar worksheets and drills on am. And I keep
    correcting him. Why isnt he learning it? Is he a
    slow learner?

ELL Student Language Challenges
  • 9. During student oral presentations on sea
    mammals, William, one of my African American
    students, begins I gonna aks you a question.
    Why whales have blow holes? Whales gotta have
    blowholes because dey be breathin oxygen just
    like all da udder mammals. I just dont
    understand why William speaks such poor English.
  • 10. RoDay quickly finished her math and spelling
    worksheets. And she seemed to do just fine
    reading along with the other students as we did a
    choral reading of a story from our reading basal.
    But unlike the other students, she has hardly
    done any work writing an alternative ending to
    the story. Why is she refusing to do what should
    be a fun and creative assignment?

What is Language?
  • David Crystals (2001) Definition of Language
  • The systematic, conventional use of sounds,
    signs, or written symbols in a human society for
    communication and self-expression
  • Ability to use language separate humans from
    other animals

Why Teachers Need to Know About Language
  • Filmore Snow (2000) identify 5 functions
    teachers perform that require knowledge of
  • Teacher as communicator
  • Teacher as educator
  • Teacher as evaluator
  • Teacher as an educated human being
  • Teacher as an agent of socialization
  • All classrooms are language learning environments
  • Language is at the heart of teaching and learning
  • Teachers need to think linguistically

What Teachers Need to Know About Language
  • Subsystems of Language
  • Phonology
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics
  • Vocabulary (Lexicon)
  • Spelling
  • Language Variation

  • The study of the sound systems of a language
  • Phoneme
  • Smallest units of sound in a language
  • Change in phoneme causes a change in meaning
  • Ex bit/bet
  • Addresses the syllable structure and sequence of
    sounds in a word
  • Knowledge of phonology helps teachers
  • Understand issues of pronunciation, accents, and
    regional varieties
  • Differences in the phonology of a students first
    language (L1) and English that may lead to

  • The study of the structure of words
  • Morpheme
  • The smallest units that carry meaning or have a
    grammatical function
  • Ex Books ? books (free morpheme) -s (bound
  • Inflectional changes
  • ex fast/faster/fastest
  • Derivational changes (words derived from other
  • Ex teach/teacher
  • Creation of new vocabulary words
  • Ex compounding sun roof sunroof
  • Knowledge of morphology helps teachers
  • Explain prefixes, suffixes, infixes, verb tense
    changes, plurals, compound words, possessives,
    comparatives, superlatives, contractions
  • Teach word study lessons such as how to use
    morphemes to create (derive) new words from known
  • Understand challenges caused by differences in
    morphology rules in students L1

  • The study of the rules governing the way words
    are combined to form sentences and the rules
    governing the arrangement of sentences in
  • Grammar
  • Syntax is about the relationship between words,
    and conveying intended meanings
  • Who did what to whom, when, where, and how.
  • Knowledge of syntax helps teachers
  • Model and explain word order and other
    grammatical rules to ensure students communicate
  • Understand challenges caused by differences in
    students L1 syntax

  • The study of the meaning of words, phrases, and
  • Individual words have semantic features that
    indicate various properties or meanings inherent
    in the word
  • Ex Woman ? animate, human, female, adult
  • The relationships between words
  • Knowledge of semantics helps teachers
  • Explain synonyms, antonyms, homophones, homonyms,
  • Develop vocabulary and word study lessons on
    semantically related words
  • Explain cognates and false cognates
  • Understand challenges caused by differences in
    semantics in students L1

  • The study of language in use
  • The study of invisible meaning
  • How we recognize what is meant even when it isnt
    actually said
  • Knowledge of pragmatics helps teachers
  • Guide students how to produce and to recognize
    and respond appropriately to direct and indirect
    speech acts
  • Requests, commands, statements, questions
  • Explain to student appropriate ways to
  • start, maintain, take turns in, and end
  • Express opinions, agree, disagree
  • Negotiate social status, save face, make excuses
  • Identify misunderstandings that may arise due to
    pragmatic differences in students L1

Vocabulary (Lexicon)
  • The vocabulary of a language is its lexicon
  • Finegan (2004) notes to use a word from a
    lexicon, a speaker needs four kinds of
  • Its sounds and their sequencing (phonology)
  • Its meanings (semantics)
  • Its category (e.g., noun or verb) and how to use
    it in a sentence (syntax)
  • How related words such as the plural (for nouns)
    and past tense (for verbs) are formed
  • Children from English-speaking homes pick up
    about 13 new words a day, and know about 80,000
    words by the time they are 17
  • Teachers can help ELLs develop vocabulary in a
    similar manner by creating language rich
    classrooms which provide opportunities for
    natural vocabulary acquisition

  • The English spelling system can be very confusing
  • Our modern American spelling system is not based
    simply on spelling words the way they sound.
  • Words may be spelled similarly because they are
    related in meaning rather than sound
  • Ex know/acknowledge
  • Words borrowed from other languages may be
    spelled to reflect their origin
  • Ex croissant

Language Variation
  • Standard English
  • The variety spoken by members of the dominant
  • The variety taught and assessed in school
  • Regional and Non-Standard Varieties of English
  • Some differences in phonology, morphology,
    syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and/or vocabulary
  • Teachers need to understand, and help students
    understand, that non-standard varieties are not
    bad English
  • Are equally rule-governed and legitimate
  • Teachers need to learn pedagogically sound and
    culturally sensitive methods for helping students
    learn Standard English without delegitimizing the
    variety of their homes and communities

What Does it Mean to Know a Language
  • Old view mastering a set of discrete skills in
    listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • But language proficiency much greater than a sum
    of its parts
  • Common view When you reach the level of a
    native speaker
  • But what is a native speaker?
  • Different native speakers have different ranges
    of linguistic ability
  • Conservational vs. Academic Language
  • A dichotomized view that conversational fluency
    can be developed in a couple of years but that
    academic language proficiency takes five years or
  • Critics charge that this is a false dichotomy
  • Critics note the construct of academic language
    is too simplistic to be generalized to the wide
    variety of language demands across tasks in
    different content areas

What Does it Mean to Know a Language
  • TESOL Standards
  • Attempt to delineate what academic language
    proficiency means for ELLs
  • Being able to communicate for social,
    intercultural, and instructional purposes within
    the school setting
  • Being able to communicate information, ideas, and
    concepts necessary for academic success in
    language arts, mathematics, science, and social
  • Represent a more current view of language
  • Delineates the different kinds of language
    demands associated with the different academic
    content areas
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

TESOLs English Language Proficiency (ELP)
  • Standard 1 English language learners
    communicate for social, intercultural, and
    instructional purposes within the school setting.
  • Standard 2 English language learners communicate
    information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
    academic success in the area of language arts.
  • Standard 3 English language learners communicate
    information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
    academic success in the area of mathematics.
  • Standard 4 English language learners communicate
    information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
    academic success in the area of science.
  • Standard 5 English language learners communicate
    information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
    academic success in the area of social studies.

What does it mean to know a language? Communicativ
e Competence
  • Knowing a language means being able to use it to
    communicate effectively and appropriately with
    other speakers of the language
  • Grammatical competence.
  • The ability to recognize the lexical,
    morphological, syntactic, and phonological
    features of a language and use them to interpret
    and form words and sentences.
  • Discourse competence.
  • The ability to connect a series of utterances,
    written words, or phrases to form a meaningful
  • Sociolinguistic competence.
  • The ability to understand the social context in
    which language is used, including the roles of
    the participants.
  • Strategic competence.
  • The ability to use coping strategies in
    unfamiliar contexts when imperfect knowledge of
    rules (or factors that limit their application),
    may lead to a breakdown in communication.

What does it mean to know a language? Register,
Genre, and Discourse
  • Register
  • Variations in language, including the choice of
    words and grammar, that reflect the social
    setting or context in which it is used
  • Genre
  • In M.A.K. Hallidays (1994) theory Systemic
    Functional Linguistics, refers to goal-directed
    activities, such as the creation of a particular
    kind of text, that functions to achieve a
    particular cultural purpose
  • Discourse
  • James Paul Gee (1996)
  • discourse (small d) language used in a
    particular context to enact activities and
  • Discourse (big D) - different ways in which we
    humans integrate language with non-language
    stuff, such as different ways of thinking,
    acting, interacting, valuing, feeling, believing,
    and using symbols, tools, and objects in the
    right places and at the right times so as to
    enact and recognize different identities and
  • Schools need to help ELLs learn the registers and
    Discourses needed for academic and social success

What does it mean to know a language? Second
Language Instructional Competence
  • Jeff MacSwan and Kellie Rolstad (2003) introduced
    the concept of Second Language Instructional
    Competence (SLIC)
  • An alternative to the problematic construct of
    academic language proficiency
  • SLIC refers to the stage of second language (L2)
    development at which the learner is able to
    understand instruction and perform grade-level
    school activities in the L2 alone, in the local
    educational context.
  • Teachers can focus on a specific academic task
    and ask themselves
  • What is the amount and type of linguistic
    proficiency that is required for that student to
    engage the subject matter at hand?
  • What level of oral and written language is
    required for students to understand the language
    of instruction sufficiently well at that moment,
    in that context, to participate in that lesson
    and learn from it?

Theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA)
  • Behaviorism
  • Skinner
  • Habit formation (stimulus and response positive
  • Innatist perspective
  • Chomsky
  • Universal Grammar Language Acquisition Device
  • Krashens Hypotheses
  • Cognitive/Developmental Perspective
    (Psychological Theories)
  • Interaction
  • Input processing
  • Sociocultural Perspective
  • Vygotsky
  • Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP)

Innatist Theories of Second Language Acquisition
  • Stephen Krashen (1982) proposed 5 interrelated
  • The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
  • The Natural Order Hypothesis
  • The Monitor Hypothesis
  • The Input Hypothesis
  • The Affective Filter Hypothesis

Theories of L2 Acquisition Krashen
  • The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
  • Language Acquisition
  • Subconscious process (not aware it is happening)
  • Once we acquire something, not aware we possess
    new knowledge
  • Subconsciously stored in our brains
  • Language Learning
  • What we did in school
  • Conscious process we know we are learning
  • Rules, grammar
  • Because of the complexity of language, the vast
    majority is acquired, rather than consciously

Theories of L2 Acquisition Krashen
  • Natural Order Hypothesis
  • We acquire the parts of language in a predictable
  • Order for L1 and L2 is similar, but not identical
  • Some grammatical items tend to come earlier and
    others tend to come later
  • example third person singular s (Bob looks at
    his watch) comes late
  • Natural order appears to be immune to deliberate
  • Cannot change natural order through drills,
    explanations, exercises
  • Wont be acquired until its time has come

Theories of L2 Acquisition Krashen
  • The Monitor Hypothesis
  • Language use mostly depends on acquired
    linguistic competence
  • Conscious learning has one function only as a
    Monitor or editor
  • After producing some language (when speaking or
    writing), our monitor can kick in to correct it
    if necessary
  • Like a little language teacher in our heads
    reminding us of the rules

Theories of L2 Acquisition Krashen
  • Input (Comprehension) Hypothesis
  • Answers the most important question How does
    language acquisition occur?
  • We acquire language in one way when we
    understand messages or obtain comprehensible
  • We acquire language when we understand what we
    hear or what we read, when we understand the
  • i 1
  • i a students current level of proficiency
  • 1 input that is just slightly above that level
  • A student can move from i to i 1 by
    understanding input containing i 1.
  • Do with the help of previously acquired
    linguistic competence and context

Theories of L2 Acquisition Krashen
  • Affective Filter Hypothesis
  • Affective variables do not impact language
    acquisition directly, but may prevent
    comprehensible input.
  • Examples, anxiety, low self-esteem, see self as
    outsider of language group, shyness, etc.
  • If affective filter is high, it blocks
    comprehensible input
  • If affective filter is low, it allows more
    comprehensible input in.
  • Teachers need to create a supportive classroom
    environment to lower the affective filter and
    thus allow more i1

Theories of L2 Acquisition Krashen
  • Critiques of Krashens theories
  • Oversimplification of complex processes in second
    language acquisition (SLA)
  • Cant be proven
  • Cant operationalize things like i or 1 or
    specify the exact sequence in the natural order
  • De-emphasizes language output (speaking, writing)
    and the importance of interaction
  • Some misinterpret Krashens theories as opposing
    all direct teaching
  • Nonetheless, Krashens theories have inspired
    research and has led to new theories which build
    on his ideas

The Cognitive/Development Perspective
(Psychological Theories)
  • Interaction Hypothesis (Long)
  • Interaction is essential for SLA to occur
  • Input and interactions can be modified to
    maximize comprehension
  • Comprehensible Output (Swain)
  • Speaking forces learners to confront the limits
    of their language ability and push them to find
    better ways to get their message across
  • Noticing Hypothesis (Schmidt)
  • Nothing is learned unless students notice it in
    the input
  • Processability Theory (Pienemann)
  • Sequence in which learners acquire certain
    language features depends on how easy they are to

The Cognitive/Development Perspective
(Psychological Theories)
  • Input Processing Model (VanPatten)
  • Language acquisition happens in only one way and
    all learners must undergo it. Learners must have
    exposure to communicative input and they must
    process it the brain must organize data.
    Learners must acquire output procedures, and they
    need to interact with other speakers. There is no
    way around these fundamental aspects of
    acquisition they are the basics.

Sociocultural Theories
  • Vygotsky
  • Learning is a social activity
  • Knowledge is constructed through interaction and
    collaboration with others
  • Zone of proximal development (ZPD)
  • a domain or metaphoric space where children can
    reach a higher level of knowledge and performance
    with the support of an adult or other more
    knowledgeable person
  • Scaffolding
  • The assistance given in the ZPD
  • Language socialization
  • Language learning is a process in which students
    are socialized into the knowledge and practices
    of the target speech community
  • Language ecology
  • Emphasis on studying language as within it
    sociocultural contexts

Transfer from L1 to L2
  • Positive transfer
  • Students are able to take much of the
    content-area knowledge and literacy skills they
    gained in their first language (L1) and transfer
    it to their second language (L2).
  • Students with L1 literacy skills will likely make
    rapid progress in developing English literacy
  • Students who have substantial content-area
    knowledge in their L1 do not need to re-learn the
    concepts in English
  • They simply need the language skills to
    demonstrate what they already know and can do
  • Negative transfer
  • Ex applying L1 syntax rules to English
  • More research needed to understand what does and
    does not transfer
  • Teachers can still be assured that students L1
    literacy and content knowledge skills are great
    strengths to build upon

Second Language Teaching Methods and Approaches
  • Grammar-Translation Method (1840s)
  • Analysis and memorization of grammar rules
  • Translation of sentences between the two
  • Opposition to this outdated and ineffective
    method inspired new methods
  • Audiolingual method (1930s)
  • Influenced by behaviorism
  • Memorization of dialogues and grammar drills
  • The Natural Approach (late 1970s/1980s)
  • Application of Krashens theories to the language
    learning classroom
  • Emphasis on providing comprehensible input in an
    enjoyable classroom context so students can
    naturally acquire the language

Second Language Teaching Methods and Approaches
  • Communicative Language Teaching (1980s)
  • Current favored approach in the field
  • Based on communicative competence
  • Learn the language to be able to actually
    communicate with other speakers
  • Classroom activities focus on authentic and
    meaningful communication
  • Includes some focus on form (grammar) which is
    necessary to comprehend and produce
    comprehensible output
  • There are a wide range of communicative language
    teaching approaches, methods, and strategies

Second Language Teaching Methods and Approaches
  • Content-based instruction is a type of
    communicative language teaching
  • A selected content area becomes a meaningful
    context for authentic communication as learners
    collaborate to complete carefully designed
    academic tasks
  • ESL teachers used math, social studies, or
    science as vehicles for language instruction
  • But ESL teachers were not experts in these area
  • Focus was more on learning the language than
    learning the content-area concepts

Second Language Teaching Methods and Approaches
  • Sheltered Instruction
  • Also called specially designed academic
    instruction in English (SDAIE)
  • Content-area teachers learn to shelter (specially
    design) their instruction to make it
    comprehensible for ELLs while supporting their
    English language development
  • Popular models
  • Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach
  • Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)

Critical Pedagogy
  • Developed by Paulo Freire in the 1960s
  • Focus on liberating oppressed students through
    transformative education
  • Many teachers recognize the importance of helping
    ELLs understand and confront unequal power
    relations in order to improve their lives and
    society as they learn English and academic
  • Rejects the banking model of education where
    teachers simply make deposits of essential
    knowledge and skills into the heads of students
  • Involves problem posing, reflective thinking,
    knowledge gathering, and collaborative decision
  • Help students find and express their voice
  • Central to levels 3 (transformative) and 4
    (social action) of Banks levels of multicultural
  • (see Chapter 1)

Beyond Approaches and Methods
  • No single method or approach is applicable to or
    appropriate for every classroom
  • Teachers can draw on the variety of methods and
    approaches and develop their own personal
    approach informed by observation,
    experimentation, and refection on the following
    guiding questions
  • What are the students strengths and needs?
  • What are the instructional goals?
  • What is likely to be challenging about these
    goals for these students?
  • What strategies can help address these
  • How will you know whether these strategies are

  • Knowledge of language is relevant to the many
    roles teachers play as communicators, educators,
    evaluators, educated human beings, and agents of
  • When teachers know their students well, they can
    provide the type of learning environment that
    builds on their students strengths and addresses
    their unique needs. They can provide appropriate
    instruction, activities, and opportunities for
    meaningful interaction to help their students
    continue to make progress in developing
    proficiency in English

  • (Activity sheet available on Companion Website)
  • Work with a partner or in a group of three
  • Read, discuss and complete the matching activity
  • Second language acquisition perspectives
  • Linguistic subsystems
  • Approaches and methods
  • Check and share your answers with the whole group