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Functional approaches

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Deida Perea

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Functional approaches

Linguistics and The Functional Approaches to SLA
Functional Approaches (FAs) differ to Chomskyan tradition in SLA in that:
-There is a focus on the use of language in real situations PERFORMANCE as well as COMPETENCE.
-The purpose of language is communication: linguistic knowledge requires communicative use.
- Focus on how language is used in interaction & aspects of communication beyond language
Systemic linguistics
Language acquisition... needs to be seen as the mastery of linguistic functions. Learning one's mother tongue is learning the uses of language, and the meanings, or rather the meaning potential, associated with them. The structures, the words, and the sounds are the realization of this meaning potential. Learning language is learning how to mean. (Halliday 1973:343)
Function-to-form mapping
Givón (1979): pragmatic model & syntactic model, which goes from:
Topic-comment to subject.predicate
Loose conjunction to tight subordination
Slow rate of delivery to fast rate delivery
Word order governed by pragmatic principle to word order to signal semantic case functions
One-to-one ratio of verbs to nouns in dicourse to a larger ratio of nouns over verbs.

Pragmatic functions in children:
'Second language acquisition is largely a matter of learning new linguistic forms to fulfill the same functions... within a different social milieu' (Saville-Troike, McClure & Fritz 1984:60)
1. Nonlinguistic
2.L2 formula or memorized routine
3. Single L2 word
4. L2 phrase or clause
5. Complex l2 construction
Functional typology
'why some L2 constructions are more or less difficult than others for learners to acquire, and for the selectivity of crosslinguistic influence or transfer' pg. 55
Feature in L1 Feature in L2 Prediction
Marked unmarked L2 ft. easy
L1 ft. won't transfer to L2
Unmarked marked L1 ft. will transfer to L2
Markedness: marked vs. unmarked
Markedness Differential Hypothesis by Eckman 1977
See McLaughlin 1987, pg. 57
Information Organization
Utterance structure (Klein & Purdue, 1993:3)
IL: learner varieties (K&P)
Developmental levels
Nominal Utterance Organization
Infinite Utterance Organization. An IL called Basic Variety
Finite Utterance Organization: progressive grammaticalization (as in Function-to-form mapping)
Organizing Principles
Phrasal constraints
Semantic constraints
Pragmatic constraints
Some learners more successful than others (K&P, 1993)
Communicative needs
Cross-lingusitic influence
Extrinsic factors
Limits on processing
What do FAs agree on?
SLA processes?
Any 'howevers'?
Language is:
A system
Linguistic elements to acquire
Universal Grammar (UG)
Poverty of Stimulus Hypothesis
Principles and Parameters
Full transcript