Comparing Contrasting L1 and L2 Acquisition

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COMPARING AND CONTRASTING FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Types of Comparison and Contrast | The Critical Period Hypothesis | Neurological Considerations
Psychomotor Considerations
Cognitive Considerations
Affective Considerations
Linguistic ConsiderationsIn the Classroom: The Audiolingual Method |

The increased pace of research on first language acquisition in the 60s and 70s attracted the attention not only of linguists of all kinds but also of educators in various language-related fields. Today the applications of research findings in first language acquisition are widespread. In language arts education, for example, it is not uncommon to find teacher trainess studying first language acquisition, particularly acquisition
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It is much more logical to compare first and second language learning in children or to compare second language learning in children and adults. It is reasonable, therefore, to view the latter type of comparison within a matrix of possible comparisons. Figure 3-1 represents four possible categories to compare, defined by age and type of acquisition. Note that the vertical shaded line between the "child" and "adult" is "fuzzy" to allow for varying definitions of adulthood.Cell A1 is clearly representative of an abnormal situation. There have been few recorded instances of an adult acquiring a first language. Accounts of "wolf children" and other instances of severe retardation fall into this category. Since it is not imperative at this time to deal with abnormal or pathological cases of language acquisition, we can ignore category A1.
That leaves three possible type of comparisons: 1. first and second language acquisition in children (C1-C2), holding age constant. 2. second language acquisition in children and adults (C2-A2), holding second language constant. 3. first language acquisition in children and second language acquisition in adults (C1-A2).In the first type of comparison, holding age constant, one is manipulating the language variable. It is important to remember, however, that a 3-year-old and a 9-year-old - both children by definition - exhibit
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