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Second Language Acquisition: Interlanguage

Winter 2011; English 470 Second Language Acquisition Presentation on Interlanguage Pam Venema and Noah E.

Pamela Venema

on 29 April 2011

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Transcript of Second Language Acquisition: Interlanguage

Interlanguage “An interim system of L2 learners, which has some features of the L1 and L2 plus some that are independent of the L1 and L2” (Yule, The Study of Language, 289). Pioneers of Interlanguage Interlanguage was first coined by Larry Selinker in his 1972 work called “Interlanguage,” published in The International Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 10: 209-231. Uriel Weinreich (1926–1967) of Columbia University is said to have discovered the L2 system of language some 19 years before Selinker coined the term. Unfortunately, he died before he could establish the system. A mental system of second language learning knowledge. Behavorist
•correct models of language will produce correct speech
•Reinforcement in positive and negative form is important
•It is all about “input” Schools of Second Language Acquisition (partially correct) Mentalist’s Theory (Nativist - Innate Ability)
•Only human beings are capable of learning language
•Human mind is equipped with faculty for learning language
•Norm Chomsky: Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
•This faculty is primary determinant of language acquisition
•Input is needed, but only to trigger the operation of the LAD Environmentalist
•“Black-box” - what is going on on the inside;
•Innate ability to learn language
•Minimal input will trigger those inner workings Interactionist
•Both input and internal language processing Characteristics of L2 acquisition & Interlanguage •The learner constructs a system of abstract linguistic rules, a “mental grammar” that is invented in the learner’s mind that underlies comprehension and production of the target language •Learner’s grammar is permeable and open to influence, outside (input) and inside (overgeneralizations & transference errors) •Learner’s grammar is transitional, changes & restructures the Interlanguage •Learner’s may have variable rules that conflict with one another or compete at any stage of development •Competence is building in inner knowledge •Communication reflects errors in knowledge •Learner’s employ learning strategies to develop interlanguage and simplify learning
Ignoring grammatical rules they are not ready to process
Overgeneralization and transfer are also strategies •Learner’s grammar can fossilize or backslide into previous errors •Fossilization does not occur in L1 learning and may occur in L2 without error feedback
"A learner's developing second language knowledge. It may have characteristics of the learner's first language, characteristics of the second language, and some characteristics that seem to be very general and tend to occur in all or most interlanguage systems. Interlanguages are systematic, but they are also dynamic. They change as learners receive more input and revise their hypotheses about the second language" (Lightbrown & Spada, How Languages are Learnered, 201). Stephen Corder, used the term, 'idiosyncratic dialect', in 1971 to refer to what Selinker called interlanguage. Interlanguage Pragmatics Explicit and Implicit Learning Develop Interlanguage Constrastive Analysis, Error Analysis, and Interlanguage Contrastive Analysis
•It “assumed that many of the mistakes made by learners are caused by differences between the native and target languages, and led to a large number of extremely valuable language descriptions and pedagogical grammars" (Spolsky).
•It is most concerned with “language description (general or autonomous linguistics)” (Spolsky).
•CAH (Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis) predicted errors to be the result of transfer from a learner’s first language. This interpretation made ‘transfer’ or ‘interference’ the explanation for all a learner’s difficulties with the target” (Selinker).

Error Analysis
•It “showed how systematic errors are interpretable as giving evidence of the learning process and so brought research in second language acquisition into theoretical connection with work in first language acquisition” (Spolsky).
•It is most concerned with “language acquisition and learning (psycholinguistics)” (Spolsky).
•It “makes even clearer the similarity to first language acquisition studies by focusing attention on the learner’s knowledge of the target language as a whole, and provides room, through the notion of fossilization, for an ultimate connection with various sociolinguistic studies of language variation” (Spolsky).
•It is most concerned with “communicative competence (sociolinguistics)” (Spolsky).
•Pragmatic competence in interlanguage is “the idea of a separate component of interlanguage dealing with the language system of pragmatics which encompasses the more restricted domain speech acts” (Koike). •For example: speech acts of requests
-5 Stages of Development
-Study on the Speech Act of Requests
•“The study of how second language learners develop the ability to express their intentions and meaning through different speech acts” (Bardovi-Harlig). Syntactic Transfer and Interlanguage "The extent of syntactic transfer is particularly large for complex target structures and among learners of lower proficiency levels, though high-proficiency learners may also rely on the syntax and vocabulary of their previous linguistic repertoire, the LI, when finding it difficult to produce output in the target language" (Chan). Transfer is more wide spread among lower intermediate-students, but many upper-intermediate students also produce strings that strongly resemble the structures of the L1. Student's tendency to think in L1 is no less than that of the lower-intermediate students. However, when the sentence structures are considered more difficult or unfamiliar, the lower-intermediate students tend to rely on the L1 more than upper-immediate. Attitudes toward Interlanguage • Atitudes toward speech are measurably distinct from attitudes toward the person speaking (Gynan, 1984). •Interlanguage attitudes are basically evaluative in nature, not affective. •At least one background variable, area where raised, influences language attitudes differently than socio-affective attitudes. •Interlanguage attitudes are related to native speaker perceptions of comprehensibility of non-native speaker speech and to native speaker perceptions of the ability of the non-native speaker to use the target language in a working situation.
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