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Neurolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition

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Jill Caprathe

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of Neurolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition

Neurolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition
What is Neurolinguistics?
Neurolinguistics studies the relation of language and communication to different aspects of brain function, in other words it tries to explore how the brain understands and produces language and communication (Ahlsén, p. 3). The modern field evolved out of the study of aphasiology in the 19th century, but has even older roots in historical perceptions of brain functions.
Hippocrates Plato Erasistratus Thomas Willis Franz Joseph Gall Jean-Baptiste Bouillaud Marc Dax Paul Broca John Hughlings Jackson Carl Wernicke Korbinian Brodmann Henri Hécaen Harry Whitaker Michel Paradis
460-379 B.C.E. 387 B.C.E. 280 B.C.E. 1681 C.E. 1808 1825 1836 1861 1864 1874 1909 1968 1976, 1984 2004
fMRI: functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
PET: Positron Emmision Tomography
MEG: Magnetic Encephalogram
3 Store Hypothesis
Direct Access Hypothesis
The Direct Access Hypothesis proposes that words (and utterances) are understood directly, that is, without first having to identify the language. a word is processed as follows: To the sound [æpәl] corresponds the meaning hence, this is an English word. The hearer does not reason that [æpәl] is an English word; hence it means
Subsystems Hypothesis
a neurofunctional proposal which acknowledges a separate neurofunctional cognitive system independent of the language system. In addition, it recognizes that language is an independent neurofunctional system, a neurofunctional module, receiving inputs from the conceptual system and providing outputs to the articulatory or digitomanual kinetic systems. Each language is a subset of the larger language neurofunctional system.
Paradis,p. 210
A Neurolinguistic Theory of Bilingualism
Direct Access Hypothesis
Subsystems Hypothesis
3 Store Hypothesis
How do we look inside a living brain
What are the implications for
Second Language
instructional practice?

Explicit Knowledge
Build pathways in the brain
Netten and Germain’s Guidelines
for an Effective Classroom
References:

Li Hai Tan, Lin Chen, Virginia Yip, Alice H. D. Chan, Jing Yang, Jia-Hong Gao, and Wai Ting Siok. 2011. Activity levels in the left hemisphere caudate–fusiform circuit predict how well a second language will be learned. retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038767/

Mechelli, Andrea; Crinion, Jenny T.; Noppeney, Uta; O'Doherty, John; Ashburner, John; Frackowiak, Richard S.; Price, Cathy J. 2004. Structural Plasticity in the Bilingual Brain. retrieved from : http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/pqrl/docview/204572762/fulltextPDF/14219DFB63C257D2D84/1?accountid=14925 Nature, 14 October 2004, 431(7010):757

Eric H. Chudler. 2013. Milestones in Neuroscience Research. Retrieved from: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/hist.html

Jonathan L. Preston, Stephen J. Frost, William Einar Mencl, Robert K. Fulbright, Nicole Landi, Elena Grigorenko, Leslie Jacobsen and Kenneth R. Pugh. 2010. Early and late talkers: school-age language, literacy and neurolinguistic differences. Retrieved from: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/133/8/2185.full

Elisabeth Ahlsén. Introduction to neurolinguistics. 2006. John Benjamins B.V

Paradis, Michel. A Neurolinguistic Theory of Bilingualism. 2004. John Benjamins B.V.

Frank Nuessel, Caterina Cicogna. Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary in the Elementary and Intermediate Italian Classroom. 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.academicroom.com/article/strategies-teaching-vocabulary-elementary-and-intermediate-italian-classroom

Carmen Muñoz and David Singleton. A critical review of age-related research on L2 ultimate attainment. 2010. Retrieved from: http://cambridgefluids.com/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=7931371&jid=LTA&volumeId=44&issueId=01&aid=7931370&fulltextType=RV&fileId=S0261444810000327

Edna Andrews, Luca Frigau, Clara Voyvodic-Casabo, James Voyvodic and John Wright. Multilingualism and fMRI: Longitudinal Study of Second Language Acquisition. 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.mdpi.com/2076-3425/3/2/849
Muriel Grosbois. CMC-based projects and L2 learning: confirming the importance of nativisation. 2011. Retrieved from: http://cambridgefluids.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8364912&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S095834401100019X

Joan Netten, and Claude Germain. A new paradigm for the learning of a second or
foreign language: the neurolinguistic approach. 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.ambafrance-cn.org/IMG/pdf/netten_germain_-_the_neurolinguistic_approach.pdf

Neurolinguistic approach to second- (or foreign-) language acquisition. Retrieved from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurolinguistic_approach_to_second-_(or_foreign-)_language_acquisition

Lee Osterhout, Andrew Poliakov, Kayo Inoue, Judith McLaughlin, Geoffrey Valentine, Ilona Pitkanen, Cheryl Frenck-Mestre, and Julia Hirschensohn. Second-language learning and changes in the brain. 2008. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2600795/

Laleh Fakhraee Faruji. Neurolinguistics Aspects of Second Language Acquisition. 2011. Retrieved from: http://brain.edusoft.ro/index.php/brain/article/view/273/381

Ayşegül Nergis. To what extent does neurolinguistics embody EFL teaching methods?. 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042811002436

Nina Hyams. The Effects of Core and Peripheral Grammar on Grammatical Development in Children.1988. Retrieved from: http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/hyams/papers/1988%20Hyams%20core%20periphery.pdf
Paradis writes, "where something is represented depends on how it is processed, which in large part depends on whether it is supported by procedural or declarative memory. Our best working hypothesis, which may be taken to be the null hypothesis, is that there is nothing in the bilingual brain that differs in nature from anything in the unilingual brain. Hence the mechanisms for comprehension and production in the bilingual brain do not need any additional component that is not already present in the unilingual speaker-hearer's brain. Nor is there any different component in the mechanism for a fluent as compared to a nonfluent bilingual. The only difference is the extent to which they make use of parts of the verbal communication system." (Paradis, p. 186).

A number of brain-mapping studies showed a language-universal neuroanatomical system in the bilingual brain, and they have led to one critical prediction that a common neurobiological marker may be predictive of the growth of the literacy skills in the two languages'(Tan et.al.).

Learning a second language increases the density of gray matter in the left parietal cortex, and the degree of structural reorganization is modulated by the degree of proficiency attained and the age of acquisition (Mechelli et.al).
Some neurolinguistic questions ...
If a person knows more than one language, does this affect the way language is processed by that person’s brain?
How are the different languages kept apart?
Do they interfere with each other?
Various hypotheses have claimed that all languages are localized in the same areas ,
that different languages are localized in separate areas, that bilinguals develop centers for functions related to bilingualism, or that all languages are localized in the same areas but
have separate neural circuits involving separate nerve cells. (Ahlsén)
Implicit Competence
Oral Language, the foundation for all other language development must precede reading and writing.
Carter and McCarthy’s Strategies
for Teaching Vocabulary
Creation of implicit competence will occur if there is less vocabulary and fewer language structures being taught; instead, L2 learners need more interactive activities.

There must be authentic language and communication situations taking place in the classroom. Teaching strategies must be interactive as well. Lecturing to students non-stop without a chance for students to comment or converse with others is taboo.

Asking questions of each other and of the teacher will help L2 learners as well.


-Utilize techniques that evoke visual image associations
-Focus on phonological patterns as a strategy for lexical retention
-Develop a notion of core vocabulary versus peripheral vocabulary
-Encourage students to guess by using contextual clues for ascertaining the meaning of new vocabulary in oral and written formats.
-Teach words in discourse to develop an appreciation of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic functions of lexical items
-Overuse of dictionaries actually retards language development and the ability to communicate.

Strategies for Eliciting and Acquiring Vocabulary
-Contextualization- creation of an appropriate and significant environment in which a learning activity may be located; teacher needs to have conversations with students, and students having conversations with each other
-Visualization-pictures, slides, film, videos, and related technology
-diversification-a wide range of learning activities
Personalization-include students as active participants in language activities
-Use of the Cloze procedure is recommended, but the Cloze needs to be authentic

Questions for Think-Pair-Share Activity

1. After watching this video, do you believe the focus in on implicit competence or explicit knowledge, or both?


2. Using Netten and Germain's guidelines, think of an activity which fosters implicit competence within your target group.

3. When teaching explicit knowledge, what are some pitfalls to avoid?
Nettern and Germain
Creation of implicit competence will occur if there is less vocabulary and fewer language structures being taught; instead, L2 learners need more interactive activities.

There must be authentic language and communication situations taking place in the classroom. Teaching strategies must be interactive as well. Lecturing to students non-stop without a chance for students to comment or converse with others is taboo.

Asking questions of each other and of the teacher will help L2 learners as well.


Abstract:
In this presentation we give a brief overview of the history of neurolinguistics. We look at Paradis' neurolinguistic theory of bilingualism, and offer suggestions from researchers for classroom application of neurolinguistics in Second Language Acquisition.
Jill Caprathe & Lynn Jimenez
Madonna University
TSL 5190, Fall 2013
Full transcript