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SLA Classroom

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by

James McKay

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of SLA Classroom

The Role of Output
is to attract more input More output will attract higher quantity and quality of input Other Features that Encourage Acquisition Potential of the Second
Language Classroom "Teaching" Conversational Competence Output and Learning Output aids learning because it provides a
domain for error correction. When a second language user speaks or writes, he or she may
make an error. When this error is corrected, this supposedly helps the learner change his or
her conscious mental representation of the rule or alter the environment of rule application Characteristics of Optimal input for Acquisition Conversation and Language Acquisition Be involved in conversation to help with
language acquisition A. Optimal Input is Comprehensible
B. Optimal Input is Interesting and/or Relevant
C. Optimal Input is NOT grammatically sequenced
D. Optimal Input must be in sufficient quantity 1) Students should not be put on the defensive
"methods and materials should not assess the student's abilities or
previous experiences; shouldn't reveal weaknesses but should help acquire input"

a) concentrate on providing comprehensible input focusing on the
message not on the form
b) - keep the filter low by NOT insisting on too-early production
before the student is ready
- attempting to correct errors will raise the affective
filter and will put the student on the defensive Formal vs. Informal Environment

*Formal environment can provide comprehensible input that is optimal for acquisition in which both the beginner and especially the intermediate language learner can adapt rapidly.

*Informal environment can provide a continuous supply of “more input,” but does not always provide comprehensible input, particularly “to the older second language student” (p. 58-59).

*Central to the language acquisition theory is the subconscious acquisition in a formal environment like the classroom. Limitations of the Second Language
Classroom (Formal Environment)

1) The outside world has an obvious advantage - more and more input can be supplied on a continuous basis. However, the classroom can provide input that is “comprehensible” and do so as the learner progresses adding “more and more use as the acquirer progresses” (p. 59).

2) Second language classroom is limited and will never be "natural" nor able to “match the variety of the outside world, although we can expand beyond our current limitations” (p. 59).

3) The classroom will never overcome its limitation and does not have to what is important is to bring learners to the point that they are “us[ing] the outside world for further acquisition” (p. 59). Is conversational competence learned or acquired? Scarcella argues that:
a) discourse rules and strategies are too complex
b) even if these conversational competence rules are
learned, they will not always be available
- So, non-universal aspects of conversational
competence have to be acquired
- it is possible that subset of conversational
management tools can be taught through direct
instruction as rules or memorized routines starting a
conversation pause
filters expressions
that ask for help Other Features that Encourage Acquisition (cont'n) 2) Provide tools to help students obtain more input
a) provide enough input -----> gain linguistic competence

Two ways:
devices that help control the the quantity (starting
conversation; keeping conversation going)

devices that help control the quality of the input (get help from
NS by using discourse devices-what?, "I don't understand"
Full transcript