Language Processing Theories In Chapter 4 OfHow Languages Are Learned?
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LING325 Assignment 1
Patsy Lightbrown and Nina Spada (2013) explore various second language processing theories in Chapter 4 of ‘How Languages are Learned’ through behaviourist, innatist, cognitive, and sociocultural perspectives.
After briefly reviewing the behaviourist perspective which had an early influence in teaching where students had been made to learn through memorisation and imitation, the chapter goes on to the innatist perspective with Stephen Krashen’s (1982) ‘Monitor Model’. Krashen postulated five hypotheses.
One of these is the acquisitional learning hypothesis which states that language is acquired by being exposed to a selection of language without conscious attention, whereas language is learnt through conscious attention to rule learning and form.
Another of Krashen’s hypotheses is the monitor hypothesis, wherein second language users employ the rules and patterns they have learnt when engaging in spontaneous conversation, allowing them to make slight changes and refine what they have acquired. However, this only occurs when the speaker has enough time, has learnt the relevant rules for application, and is concerned with accuracy.
According to the natural order hypothesis, language rules that are the simplest to instruct are not necessarily the first to be acquired.
In the comprehensible input hypothesis, acquisition takes place when the learner is exposed to language that is comprehensible and holds i+1. The ‘i’ constitutes the level of language