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
Many popular theories of second language acquisition have been analyzed throughout history. The socialization of L2 learners, their present emotional state that is present at time of acquisition, as well as the comprehensible input and output with the use of scaffolding play a major role in second language acquisition. Let us also not forget the importance of written expression as well as reading comprehension with these L2 learners. Each play a role in language development. However, I believe that in acquiring a language, one must use a variety of techniques that work together to create a balance within the learning environment. Furthermore, all L2 learners learn differently and so a variety of resources will need to be used based on the ability of each student. There are many theories that have been developed by highly qualified experts in the field on linguistics. However, I will address those areas that I agree with as I present my personal theories on second language acquisition.
First, children¡¯s acquisition of language is an innate mechanism that enables a child to analyze language and extract the basic rules of grammar, granted by Chomsky. It basically states that humans are born with a language acquisition device that, the ability to learn a language rapidly as children. However, there is one important controversy in language acquisition concerns how we acquire language; since Chomsky fails to adequately explain individual differences. From the behaviorists¡¯ perspectives, the language is learned like other learned behaviors. It is learned through operant
The second language classroom is full of theories of how to get students to acquire the target language (L2). These theories have been around for many years and have been debated and revised numerous times. Theories such as the grammar translation theory, used up until the 1940’s, are no longer in favour because of their inability for learners to use the language in colloquial situations have been superseded by new innovative ideas. At the time of writing this paper, there are three main theories used in the second language classroom: Behaviorist, Innate, and Interactionist.
(3) Strategies of second language learning. Some of the rules in the learner’s interlanguage may result from the application of language learning strategies ‘as a tendency on the part of the learners to reduce the target language (TL) to a simpler system’
According to Wikipedia, learning theories, “are conceptual frameworks describing how information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning. Cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how understanding, or a worldview, is acquired or changed and knowledge and skills retained.” There are many different versions and theories on learning. Some of the more common learning theories include behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism.
However, it can be argued with (Bruner 1964) that social interaction doesn’t explain all the complexities of language acquisition. Almost every day the language we hear is often incorrect, poorly defined, incomplete and full of hesitations, mispronunciations and other errors, and yet despite this we still learn to talk following the correct grammatical rules. Again this indicates the idea of Chomsky’s (1968) LAD model that children are born ‘hard-wired’ with the innate knowledge of linguistic rules and so these rules help the baby make estimations and presumptions about the language it is hearing. From these estimations and presumption the child can work out grammatical sets of rules and when more language is exposed to them, the more their language develops. Even within Chomsky’s (1968) LAD theory, undoubtedly he believed the role and promotion of the ‘nature’ aspect is the core foundation on which language can develop. But his theory also requires the role of nurture
Therefore, from the behaviourist approach, language acquisition can be seen as a stimulus-response process. Children learn language by immitation and analogy. The roles of imitation, repetition, reinforcement, and motivation are essential in learning the language. The First Language Acquisition is thus the result of nature which based on practicing.
Chomsky proposed a theory of language acquisition, which holds that at least some knowledge about language exists in humans at birth. Additionally, that all languages share some properties of organization and structure. (Miller, p. 198)
Students who are more introverted may observe and listen to others until they are more confident of what to say. Teachers need to understand that the outgoing student may not be as fluent as he or she seems to be and that the more introverted student may be more proficient in their second language than they appear to be. Although it will take time, both types of students will learn to speak their second language proficiently. While these students are learning, they will make mistakes. The article states that if teachers correct the mistakes directly, it may discourage students from trying out their new language skills. Modeling the correct language is a much better way of correcting mistakes then using direct correction.
Many second language acquisition theories have been developed over the years. These theories examine the avenues in which second language is acquired and the avenues in which they are
Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is a young but widely-discuss field of study. Many theories are exploring how children learn to talk and understand language such as behaviorism, nativism, social cognitive learning and stages of language development (Levine, Munsch 2013). For example, a mother-infant conversation is one of the
A behaviorist view treats language learning as environmentally determined, controlled from outside by what learners are exposed to and the reinforcement they receive. In contrast, mentalist theories emphasize the importance of the learner’s ‘black box’ in their memory. They maintain that learners’ brains are especially equipped to learn language and all that is needed is minimal exposure to input in order to trigger acquisition (Ellis, 1997). On the whole, input is absolutely necessary and there is no theory or approach to SLA that does not recognize the importance of input and making sure that it is comprehensible. In Schwartz’s view (1993), the input feeds or nurtures an innate system to aid its growth. But input alone cannot facilitate second language learning. It will not function to the full in SLA until it gets involved in interaction. Input processing is just as important because it aims to offer an explanation as to how L2 learners process input, how they make form-meaning connections and how they map syntactic structures onto the utterance.
Now, my position on how children acquire language is better understood and modified. I believe that the major theories, such as Innateness Hypothesis, Imitation Theory, Reinforcement Theory, Active Connectionist Theories and Social Interaction Theory are all correct to an extent and are linked to each other; therefore, neither of them can be considered the only theory to understand how language is acquired. Children learn at different rates and by different methods and that is one main reason I agree with all the theories to an extent and cannot just agree with one or even two of them. But the Innateness Hypothesis, the Imitation Theory and the Active Construction of a Grammar Theory are three theories that mainly influence my understanding of language acquisition; mostly by observing, interacting and speaking to
Language acquisition is a piece of the greatest parts of human advancement. However, the process of learning a language faces a lot of difficulty. First language acquisition is the process whereby children acquire their original languages. All humans have an ability to gain a language（or languages, for many learn more than one in the environment in which they are raised.）. All normal humans have the probability to learn extra languages, similarly with other field of study such as math or science, some people are better at learning second languages than others. Rather than obtaining, learning happens effectively and intentionally through explicit instruction and education. As such, older children and adults past the critical period
People can live their life without learning reading or writing, but they can speak, understand and discuss their ideas and thoughts. All the children can understand some words and sentences which they never heard before. They have a great and perfect theory of language, which able them to make and understand the grammar of the language they hear. No one tells the children how to make a sentence by using verbs and nouns, no one tells them how to form plurals, and they can do that by themselves depending on what they hear from adults or others. They also get and acquire language through the interaction with others. Every human being is able to learn the language because it is a natural