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First and Second Language Acquisition Theories and Models

Adapted from "Why TESOL?" by Aziz, et. al.
by

Robert Bardach

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of First and Second Language Acquisition Theories and Models

Language is a complex and rule-intensive system of communication.
How is language acquired?
Listening?
Being instructed?
Natural human function (like breathing)? First Language Acquisition Theories Best known theorist was B.F. Skinner (think Simpsons).
Learning takes place through operant training and exposure to a series of stimuli.
Response rewarded learning.
Reinforced through cultural inputs.
...mouse and cheese... Behaviorism Biologically Determined
Major innovator was Noam Chomsky
Child as the decoder- analyzing the language around them and looking for patterns.
Does not take into account the guidance provided by adults. Nativist/Mentalist Perspective Language from the social role language serves.
Like behaviorists, believe environment is a major factor.
Language as a ladder or scaffold onto which social constructs are formed. Social Interactionist Division of the brain into "sections" of language. Brain-Based Principles Krashen's Monitor Model (p. 151) Cummins Second Language Framework Model (p.151) McLaughlin's Attention Processing Model
(p. 153) Bialystok's Analysis/ Automaticity Model
(p. 154) Selinker's Interlanguage Theory (p. 156) Second language learners are producing their own self-contained linguistic system. 5 Hypotheses
1. Acquisition vs. Learning Hypothesis
2. The Natural Order Hypothesis
3. Monitor Hypothesis
4. The Imput Hypothesis
5. Affective Filter Hypothesis

We have to make students feel safe and secure in a caring learning environment in order for learning to take place.
When an environment is threatening or not secure learning may hindered. Jim Cummings (1981) made a distinction between social language and academic language. Stages of Interlanguage Development
Random errors
Experimentation and inaccurate guessing
Emergent - growing in consistency in linguistic production.
Backsliding
Systematic stage - ability to correct errors on their own
Stabilization - few errors made
Intralingual - inconsistencies within the target language itself. Academic languagage harder
than social language The Theory emphasizes the importance of introducing authentic and contextually embedded language through meaningful activities and automatic processing.
Explicit Knowledge refers to a perns knowledge about a language and their ability to articulate that knowledge.
Implicit Knowledge refers to information that is automatically and spontaneously used in language tasks.
In other words, second language learners need mre time to process linguistic input because they have move back and forth between explicit and implicit knowledge of the language in interpreting linguistic messages.
What does that mean for a teacher?
teachers need to be patient, giving student extra time to process verbal messages.
Using journals or reading response logs, in addition to asking students to respond orally in class. Academic presentations without
visuals- cognitively demanding Survival vocabulary and following directions are cognitively undemanding (easy) Common Underlying Proficience (CUP)
- Native language transfer to target language >Awareness of knowledge leads to long term memory
>Controlled Processing Mechanism
limited and temporary
basics first
> Automatic Processing Mechanism
relatively permanent
process many types of information simultaneously
>Children focus on communication for meaning
internalize language naturally
> Adults focus on rules
unnatural; not as communicative
>Language learning needs to be authentic
and meaningful to be internalized
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