6. What are learning styles and strategies and how do they affect second language learning?

Brown (1994) defines styles as “rather enduring tendencies or preferences within an individual”. He also explains, “Strategies are specific methods of approaching a problem or task, modes of operation for achieving a particular end, planned designs for controlling and manipulating certain information.” (1) LEARNING STYLES The way people learn things and solve the problems that they face while their learning is different from one another. It depends on their cognitive style, which is a rather amorphous link between their personality and cognition. When the cognitive style is related to an educational context, we call it learning styles. People get their own learning style while they internalize their total environment, and the internalizing process is affected by physical, affective, and cognitive factors. According to Keef (1979), learning styles are “cognitive, affective, and physiological traits that are relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment.” Skehan (1991) more simply says that learning style is “a general predisposition, voluntary or not, toward processing information in a particular way.” (Skehan 1991) There are some dimensions of learning style :

1) Field Independence Field-independent learning style means the tendency to perceive a particular, proper item or factor in a “field” of confusing items. Field-independent style enables the learner to distinguish parts from a whole, to concentrate on something, to analyze separate variables without confusion with other neighboring variables. However, too much field independence makes the learner only see the parts and fail to see the whole picture. On the other hand, field-dependent learning style is the tendency to be dependent on the field. In this case, the learner gets the clear picture of the whole field but has difficulty in perceiving the parts in the field. In reference to second language learning, field independence is related to classroom learning such as analyzing, focusing on details, mastering of exercises and drills. On the other hand, field dependence is connected with learning communicative aspects 1

of second language. According to Abraham (1985), second language learners who are field independent perform better in deductive lessons, while those who are field dependent perform better in inductive lessons. Since the two different learning styles are needed for different kinds of language learning – classroom activities and natural, face-to-face communication -, both learning styles are important for language learning. 2) Left- and Right-Brain Functioning As a child’s brain matures, his or her brain is laternalized into a left and a right hemisphere and the brain functions are also laternalized into the two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is related to logical, analytical thought, with mathematical and linear processing of information. On the other hand, the right hemisphere perceives and remembers visual, tactile, and auditory images. It’s related to processing holistic, integrative, and emotional information. The two hemispheres work together as a team to solve problems, and the best solutions to the problems are those optimalized by the two different hemispheres. In reference to second language learning, Krashen, Seliger, and Hartnett (1974) say that left-brain-dominant learners of second language prefer a deductive style of teaching while right-brain-dominant learners are more successful in inductive classroom activities. Stevick (1982) say that left-brian-dominent second language learners are better at producing separate words, gathering the specifics of language, dealing with abstractions, classification, labeling, reorganizations, etc. He also explains that right-brain-dominant learners are better with whole images, generalizations, metaphors, and emotional reactions and artistic expressions. This learning style seems to be parallel with field independence-independence. 3) Ambiguity Tolerance People have different degree of tolerance of ambiguity. Some people are relatively good at accepting ideologies, events, and facts that contradict their own views. Others are more close-minded to accept items that are contradictory to their existing system. The person who is tolerant of ambiguity is willing to enjoy lots of innovative and creative possibilities and is not disturbed by ambiguity and uncertainty. In terms of language learning, the learners need to be tolerant of ambiguity while their learning: for example, the contradiction between their native language and the 2

second language, some exceptions in the rule of second language, the cultural differences between their native culture and the target culture, and so on. According to Chapelle and Robers (1986), learners with a high tolerance for ambiguity are slightly more successful in certain language tasks. Clearly intolerance can prevent the learners being creative in using the target language because of the worries about ambiguity. However, too much tolerance of ambiguity can also have a negative effect on their language learning. In this case, the learners cannot effectively make the second language rules integrated with the whole language system but they just use meaningless chunks learned by rote. 4) Reflectivity and Impulsivity People have different personality tendencies toward reflectivity. Some people tend to make a quick, gambling guess at an answer to a problem. Others tend to make a slower, more calculated decision about the same problem. The former cognitive style is called “impulsive or intuitive” styles, and the latter one is called “reflective or systematic” styles. These personality traits have an effect on second language learning. Impulsive learners of second language tend to be quick to answer the questions provided by the teacher, but their answers are not so much accurate compared to the reflective learners. On the other hand, reflective learners tend to make fewer errors but they react slower than the impulsive learners. For language teachers, they need to figure out the reflectivity of their students and adjust their teaching to the traits. For example, they must not judge the errors of impulsive students too harshly, and they need to be more patient to reflective learners in their class. 5) Visual and Auditory Styles People have different preferences for the type of input: either visual or auditory input. People who like visual input tend to prefer reading and studying charts, drawings and other graphic information. On the other hand, those who like auditory input tend to have preference for listening to lectures and audiotapes. According to Joy Reid (1987), Korean students are significantly more visually oriented than native English-speaking Americans. (2) LEARNING STRATEGIES Cook (2001) claims that learning strategy is a choice that the learner makes while 3

learning or using the second language that affects learning. People who are good at languages might tackle L2 learning in different ways from those who are less good or they might behave in the same way but more efficiently. Naiman et al. (1995) introduces six broad strategies shared by good language learners: (1) Find a learning style that suits you; (2) Involve yourself in the language learning process; (3) Develop an awareness of language both as system and as communication; (4) Pay constant attention to expanding your language knowledge; (5) Develop the second language as a separate system; and (6) Take into account the demands that L2 learning imposes. 1) Types of Learning Strategies O’Malley and Chamot (1990) divided learning strategies into three categories: metacognitive, cognitive, and socioaffective strategies. Metacognitive strategy has executive functions such as planning for learning, thinking about the learning process, monitoring of one’s production or comprehension, and evaluating learning after finishing a learning activity. Cognitive strategy involves conscious ways of tackling learning, such as note-taking, resourcing (using dictionaries and other resources) and elaboration (relating new information to old). Finally, socioaffective strategy refers to learning by interacting with others, such as working with fellow students or asking the teacher’s help. O’Malley and Chamot (1990) conducted a study on the relation between using learning strategies and improving their language ability. In the study, they taught EFL students use the three types of learning strategies in their language learning. They trained one group in cognitive strategies and the second group in metacognitive strategies, but they didn’t train the third group to use any learning strategies in their language learning. They found that that the metacognitive group improved most for speaking and did better some listening tasks than the group who were not taught any learning strategies. 2) Communicative Strategies While learning strategies are more receptive domain of intake, memory, storage, and recall, communicative strategies are more related with the productive communication of information. Faerch and Kasper (1983a:36) say that communicative strategies are potentially conscious plans for solving the problems that the learners face in their real communication. The detailed strategies are avoidance, prefabricated patterns, appeal to authority, language switch, and so on. 4

Second language learners avoid a certain lexical item when they don’t know the word. Phonological avoidance or topic avoidance also can be found in their second language use. The learners have some prefabricated patterns that they use in a certain situation like “Tourist survival English,” which is not internalized in their target language system but just memorized. The learners also appeal to authority when they face some problems while they use the target language. They directly ask a native speaker about the problem. Or they sometimes switch the language that they speak. In other words, they use their native language instead of the target language when they don’t know what to say in the target language.

Classification of Communication Strategies
(Tarone 1981:286)


Strategy Approximation

Use of a single target language vocabulary item or structure, which the learner knows is not correct, but which shares enough semantic features in common with the desired item to satisfy the speaker. The learner makes up a new word in order to communicate a desired concept. The learner describes the characteristics or elements of the object or action instead of using the appropriate target language item or structure. The learner translates word for words from the native language. The learner uses the native language term without bothering to translate. The learner asks for the correct term. The learner uses nonverbal strategies in place of a lexical item or action. The learner simply tries not to talk about concepts for which the TL item or structure is not known. The learner begins to talk about a concept but is unable to continue and stops in mid-utterance.

Word Coinage Circumlocution Borrowing Literal Translation Language Switch Appeal for Assistance Mime Avoidance Topic Avoidance Message Abandonment


Second Language Communication Strategies
(Chesterfield and Chesterfield 1985:49-50)

Strategy Repetition Memorization Formulaic Expression

Echo/ imitation of a word modeled by another, or incorporation of a word or structure used previously into an utterance. Recall by rote of songs, rhymes, or sequences of numbers or related concepts. Words or phrases which function as unanalyzed automatic speech units for the speaker, often serving the function of initiating or continuing a conversation and giving the impression of command of the target language. Any means by which the speaker attracts the attention of another to him/herself so as to initiate interaction. Response by providing the answer aloud together with others. Practice in target language by engaging in verbal behavior directed to him/herself. Providing information beyond that which is necessary to carry on the interaction. Guessing from context to provide a response for an anticipated question, or prematurely fill in a word or phrase in another’s statement. Recognition and verbal correction of one’s own error in vocabulary, style, grammar, etc. Spontaneously asking another for the correct term or structure, or for help in solving a problem. Attempt to broaden understanding or knowledge of the target language by asking the speaker to explain or repeat a previous statement.

Verbal Attention Getter Answer in Union Talk to Self Elaboration Anticipatory Answer Monitoring Appeal for Assistance Request for Clarification

References Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall. Cook, V. (2001). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. Arnold.


7. What role does the notion of attention/noticing play on second language acquisition?

Schmidt (1990a) defines noticing in comparison with understanding. He says that noticing refers to registering the simple occurrence of some event, whereas understanding implies recognition of a general principle, rule, or pattern. For example, a second language learner might simply notice that a native speaker used a particular form of address on a particular occasion, or at a deeper level the learner might understand the significance of such as form, realizing that the form used was appropriate because of status differences between speaker and hearer. Noticing is crucially related to the question of what linguistic material is stored in memory, while understanding relates to questions concerning how the material is organized into a linguistic system. According to Schmidt and Frota (1986), noticing is of considerable theoretical importance because it accounts for which features in the input are attended to and so become intake. They suggest that for noticed input to become intake, learners have to carry out a comparison of what they have observed in the input and what they themselves are typically producing on the basis of their current interlanguage system. They refer to this as ‘noticing the gap.’ Schmidt (1990a, 1993, 1994) says that learners’ focus of attention and noticing of mismatches between the input and their output determines whether or not they progress, and that noticing or conscious perception is necessary and sufficient for converting input into intake, at least for low-level grammatical items such as plural or third-person singular s . Schmidt (1990a, 1990b) insists that forms that are not noticed in the first, lower level sense (i.e., not consciously perceived), do not contribute to learning. In his perspective, there is not such thing as subliminal language learning. He accepts that implicit language learning probably occurs (i.e., learning by noticing forms without understanding the rule or principle involved), but thinks that understanding those rules is highly facilitative in cases where straightforward ones can be formulated. On this account, failure to learn is due either to insufficient exposure or to failure to notice the items in question, even if exposure occurred and the learner was attending. For example, a learner could attend carefully to a lecture in an L2 and still fail to notice a particular linguistic item in it. This is the opposite position to that taken by Krashen (1985, 1989), VanPatten (1988), and others, who have denied there is any evidence of beneficial effects of a 7

focus on form, at least in the early stages of language learning. Krashen has claimed that adults can best learn an L2 like children learn an L1, subconsciously and implicitly, while attending to meaning, not form. In his perspective, attention to linguistic forms is supposedly neither necessary nor beneficial. The relationship between explicit and implicit knowledge continues to be a key issue in second language teaching. However, one possibility related to attention/noticing play in second language acquisition is that explicit knowledge functions as a facilitator, helping learners to notice features in the input which they would otherwise miss and also to compare what they notice with what they produce (Schmidt and Frota, 1986; Ellis, 1993a). In a sense, explicit knowledge may contribute to ‘intake enhancement,’ but it will only be one of several factors that do this. References Long, M. H. (1996).The Linguistic Environment. In Ritchie, W. C. & Bhatia, T. K. (Eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 571-604). Academic Press. Ellis, R. (1994). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press.


8. What are the differences between competence and performance and how are they related?

According to Brown (1994), competence refers to one’s underlying knowledge of a system, event, or fact, while performance is the overtly observable and concrete manifestation or realization of competence. In other words, competence is the nonobservable ability to do something, while performance is the actual doing of something such as walking, singing, dancing, and speaking. In reference to language acquisition, competence is the underlying knowledge of the language system such as vocabulary, grammar, and structure, while performance is the real production or comprehension of the language: speaking, writing, listening, and reading. The distinction between competence and performance is first drawn in Chomsky (1965), who defines that competence the speaker/ hearer’s knowledge of his language and performance is the actual use of language in concrete situation. (Chomsky, 1965) Since it was first proposed, this distinction has been the subject of controversy between those who see it as a necessary idealization for linguistics and those who believe it abandons the central data of linguistics. Chomsky (1965) regards competence as an “idealized” speaker-hearer who does not display such performance variables as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and interest, errors, and hesitation phenomena such as repeats, false starts, pauses, omissions, and additions. His point is that a theory of language has to be a theory of competence lest the linguist vainly try to categorize an infinite number of performance variables, which are not reflective of the underlying linguistic ability of the speaker-hearer. In his point of view, competence is not learned through or affected by performance and is, therefore, not worthy of study. According to Chomsky (1980a), linguistic competence is the cognitive state that encompasses all those aspects of form and meaning and their relation, which are properly assigned to the specific subsystem of the human mind that relates representations of form and meaning. For example, it is part of the competence of all speakers of English that rules must be structure-dependent, that heads come first in phrases, and that the Verb “faint” cannot have an object. Chomsky’s notion of competence has sometimes been attacked for failing to deal with how language is used in a society, and the concept of communicative competence has been proposed to remedy this lack. 9

Hymes (1967) was the first researcher to attack Chomsky’s artificial separation of competence and performance. Hymes expands the notion of competence to include different kinds of competence and primarily by adding competences that related to what Chomsky calls performance. Hymes distinguished between linguistic competence and communicative competence to highlight the difference between knowledge “about” language forms and knowledge that enables a person to communicate functionally and interactively. According to Hymes, communicative competence is that aspect of our competence that enables us to convey and interpret messages and to negotiate meanings interpersonally within specific contexts. In other words, it includes both linguistic and pragmatic knowledge. Communicative performance consists of the actual use of these two types of knowledge in understanding and producing discourse. Canale and Swain (1980) adapt Hymes’ model of communicative competence. They say that there are four different components or subcategories, which make up the construct of communicative competence. Grammatical competence is knowledge of lexical items and of rules of morphology, syntax, sentence-grammar semantics, and phonology. This is sentence-level grammar. Sociolinguistic competence is the knowledge of the sociocultural understanding of the social context in which language is used: the roles of the participants, the information they share, and the function of the interaction. Strategic competence is the verbal and nonverbal communication strategies that may be called into action to compensate for breakdowns in communication due to performance variables or due to insufficient competence. Discourse competence is the ability we have to connect sentences in stretches of discourse and to form a meaningful whole out of a series of utterances. This is concerned with intersentencial relationships. Bachman’s (1990) model of communicative language ability is very similar to that of Canale and Swain, with the addition of an important element, strategic competence, but with clearer interaction between the competences. He splits the four competences into two major groups, thus implying that things within those two groups will interact more closely. So, he has organizational competence composed of grammatical competence and textual competence (discourse competence) and he has pragmatic competence which is composed of sociolinguistic competence and functional competence. Sociolinguistic competence is virtually the same as in Canale and Swain’s model, and functional competence deals with how people produce speech acts and the form function mappings, which are required to go about completing specific 10 functions in language.

The concept of competence and performance is related to second language learning more directly than first language learning. Unlike children, adults can make choice between two alternative forms and sometimes they manifest an awareness of grammaticality in a second language. For children, judgments of grammaticality are not meaningful or interesting. In a study conducted by Brown and Bellugi (1964), when asked whether it is better to say “two foots” or “two feet,” children just said whatever they want to; for example, “Pop go weasel.” However, language teachers need to remember that adults are not generally able to verbalize “rules” and paradigms consciously even in their native language. Furthermore, in judging utterances in the modern language classroom and responses on various tests, teachers need to be cautiously attentive to the discrepancy between performance on a given day or in a given context and competence in a second language in general. Therefore, one isolated sample of second language speech may on the surface appear to be rather malformed until you consider that sample in comparison with the everyday mistakes and errors of native speakers. The main goal of SLA research is to characterize learners’ underlying knowledge of the L2, that is, to describe and explain their competence. However, learners’ mental knowledge is not open to direct inspection. It can only be inferred by examining samples of their performance. SLA researchers have used different kinds of performance to try to investigate competence: for example, analyzing the actual utterance of learners, tapping learners’ intuition about what is correct by means of judgment task, etc.

Reference Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall. Cook, V. J. & Newson, M. (1996). Chomsky’s Universal Grammar. Blackwell Publishers.


9. How do socio-cultural factors affect second language learning?

Culture is a deeply ingrained part of the very fiber of our being, but language is the most visible and available expression of that culture. Thus, second language learning means often second culture learning. Brown (1994) defines culture as “the ideas, customs, skills, arts, and tools that characterize a given group of people in a given period of time.” Since culture establishes a context of cognitive and affective behavior of those who are in the culture, it plays an important role in language learning. Brown introduces some sociocultural factors in second language learning : (1) Cultural Stereotypes In the bias of our own culture-bound world view, we picture other cultures in an oversimplified manner, lumping cultural differences into exaggerated categories, and then we view every person in a culture as possessing corresponding stereotypical traits. Schoolchildren have no particular contact with the foreign culture and no particular interest in it, nor do their job prospects depend on it; their attitudes to L2 users may depend more on the stereotypes from their cultural situations than on any real contact. Cultural stereotypes usually comes from the cultural differences between native culture and foreign culture. If people recognize and understand differing world view, they will usually adopt a positive and open-minded attitude toward cross-cultural differences, but if they have a closed-minded attitude of such differences often results in the maintenance of a stereotype, that is an oversimplification and blanket assumption. In reference to second language learning, false, oversimplified stereotypes of the target culture and the language can make the learners have negative attitude of the target culture or the language. It can also result in loss of the learners’ motivation to learn the target language and the culture, and finally unsuccessful learning of the target language. Therefore, both teachers and learners of a second language need to understand cultural differences between their native culture and the target culture so that the learners do not have the negative cultural stereotypes of the target culture. They should recognize openly that everyone in the world is not “just like me.” (2) Attitudes 12

Cultural stereotypes usually imply some type of attitude toward the culture or language. There are some studies on the relation between learners’ attitude toward the target culture and their second language learning. In the studies of Gardner and Lambert (1972), they say that those who have positive attitude toward the target language, such as a desire to understand the target culture and the people and to emphasize with them, has high motivation to learn the target language. John Oller and his colleagues (1977) conducted several studies of the relationship between attitudes and language success. They studied the ESL learners’ attitudes toward self, the native language group, the target language group, their reason for learning English, and their reasons for traveling to the United States. Most of the studies showed that positive attitudes toward self, the native language group, and the target language group enhanced proficiency. The results of above studies tell us that language teachers need to try to help the learners to have positive attitudes so that the learners can learn the target language successfully. They also should know that everyone has both positive and negative attitude and that negative attitude caused by false stereotyping can be often changed by exposure to reality. Therefore, the teachers need to help their students to be exposed to the reality of the target culture through the language classes. It will help the students get motivated to the language learning, and it will finally result in successful second language learning. (3) Acculturation Second language learning is often second culture learning. In order to understand just what second culture learning, one needs to understand the nature of acculturation. Acculturation refers to the process of becoming adapted to a new culture (Brown, 1994). Cook (2001) defines that acculturation refers to the ways in which second language users adapt to life with two languages. One aspect of acculturation is culture shock. A person’s world view, self-identity, and systems of thinking, acting, feeling, and communicating can be disrupted by a change from one culture to another. Culture shock is a common experience for a person learning a second language in a second culture. It refers to phenomena ranging from mild irritability to deep psychological panic and crisis. It’s associated with feelings in the learner of estrangement, anger, hostility, indecision, frustration, unhappiness, sadness, loneliness, homesickness, and even physical illness. 13

According to Brown (1994), there are successtive stages of acculturation. He says the first stage is the period of excitement and euphoria over the newness’ of the surroundings. The second stage – culture shock – emerges as individuals feel the intrusion of more and more cultural differences into their own images of self and security. Persons undergoing culture shock view their new world out of resentment and alternate between being angry at others for not understanding them and being filled with self-pity. The third stage is one of gradual, and at first tentative and vacillating, recovery. This stage is called cultural stress, some problems of acculturation are solved while other problems continue for some time (Larson and smalley, 1972). In this stage, individuals begin to accept the differences in thinking and feeling second culture. The fourth stage represents near or full recover, either assimilation or adaptation, acceptance of the new culture and self-confidence in the “new ” person that has developed in this culture. Schumann (1975) proposed the Acculturation Model as a means of accounting for the differences in learners’ rate of development and in their ultimate level of achievement in terms of the extent to which they adapt to the target-language culture. He claims that second language acquisition is just one aspect of acculturation and the degree to which a learner acculturates to the target-language group will control the degree to which he acquires the second language. He suggests that acculturation affects L2 acquisition by its effect on the amount of contact learners have with TL speakers. The great the contact, the more acquisition takes place. Subsequently, Schumann (1986) suggests that acculturation may affect the nature of the verbal interactions that learners take part in and thus the quality as well as the internal processes that are involved in acquisition. He explains that the extent to which learners acculturate depends on two sets of factors which determine their levels of social distance and psychological distance. (4) Social Distance According to Schumann (1978), social distance refers to the extent to which individual learners become members of the target-language group and, therefore, achieve contact with them. Brown (1994) defines that social distance is the cognitive and affective proximity of two cultures that come into contact within individual. Distance means dissimilarity between two cultures. For example, Americans are culturally similar to Canadians, while Americans and Chineses are, by comparison, relatively dissimilar. We could say that the social distance of the latter case exceeds the former. 14

In the perspective of social distance, Schumann (1978) describes hypothetically good and bad language learning situation in second language learning. In the description, he uses factors such as dominance, integration pattern, cohesiveness, congruence, attitude, and length of residence. Schumann describes a good language learning situation is one where 2 LL group is non-dominant in relation to the TL group, where both groups desire assimilation for the 2LL group, where low enclosure is the goal of both groups, where the two cultures are congruent, where the 2LL group is small and non-cohesive, where both groups have positive attitudes towards each other, and where the 2LL group intends to remain in the target language area for a long time. Under such condition social distance would be minimal and acquisition of the target language would be enhanced. Schumann also explains two bad language learning situations. One is the situation where TL group views the SLL group as dominant and the SLL group views itself in the same way, where both groups desire preservation and high enclosure for the 2LL group, where the SLL group is both cohesive and large, where the two culture are not congruent, where the two groups hold negative attitudes toward each other, and where the 2LL group intends to remain in the TL area only for a short time. The other is the situation has all the characteristics of the first except that in this case, the 2LL group would consider itself subordinate and would also be considered subordinate by the TL group. Cook (2001) says that the roots of motivation to learn a second language are deep within the students’ minds and their cultural backgrounds. Students’ cultural background relates to the background projected by the L2 culture. Lambert (1981) makes an important distinction between additive and subtractive bilingualism. In additive bilingualism, the learners feel they are adding something new to their skills and experience by learning a new language, without taking anything away from what they already know. In subtractive bilingualism, on the other hand, they feel that the learning of a new language threatens what they have already gained for themselves. Successful L2 learning takes place in additive situations’ learners who see the second language as diminishing themselves will not succeed. Lambert says that the best way to release the potential of bilingualism is to transform students’ subtractive experiences with bilingualism and biculturalism into additive ones. References Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall. Cook, V. (2001). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. Arnold. Ellis, R. (1994). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press. 15


10. What does it mean to be bilingual and what are the different types of bilingualism?

According to Webster’s dictionary (1961), bilingual is defined as ‘having or using two languages especially as spoken with the fluency characteristic of a native speaker; a person using two languages especially habitually and with control like that of a native speaker’ and bilingualism as ‘constant oral use of two languages.’’ Bilingualism has often been defined and described in terms of categories, scales, and dichotomies, such as ideal versus partial bilingual, coordinate versus compound bilingual, and so on. These notions are generally related to such factors as proficiency, function, and others. In the popular view, being bilingual equals being able to speak two languages perfectly; this is also the approach of Bloomfield (1935), who defines bilingualism as “native-like control of two languages.” By contrast, Haugen (1953) draws attention to the other end, when he observes that bilingualism begins when the speaker of one language can produce complete meaningful utterances in the other languages. Diebold (1964) gives a minimal definition of bilingualism when he uses the term incipient bilingualism to characterize the initial stages of contact between two languages. Hamers and Blanc (2000) say the concept of Bilingualism refers to the state of a linguistic community in which two languages are in contact with the result the two codes can be used in the same interaction and that a number of individuals are bilingual (societal bilingualism); but it also includes the concept of bilinguality (individual bilingualism). According to Hamers (1981), bilinguality is the psychological state of an individual who has access to more than one linguistic code as a means of social communication; the degree of access will vary along a number of dimensions which are psychological, cognitive, psycholinguistic, social psychological, social, sociological, sociolinguistic, sociocultural and linguistic. When qualifiers are used to describe bilingualism or bilinguality, they generally focus on one single dimension of these phenomena which are thereby viewed from a particular angle. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that bilinguality and bilingualism are multidimensional phenomena which must be investigated as such. Hamers and Blanc (2000) say that there are a number of psychological and sociological dimensions of bilinguality.


Psychological and Sociological Dimensions of Bilinguality
Dimension 1. Relative Competence Type of Bilinguality Balanced bilinguality Dominant bilinguality 2. Cognitive Organization Compound bilinguality Coordinated bilinguality 3. Age of Acquisition Childhood bilinguality Description
The balanced bilingual has equivalent competence in both languages.

For the dominant bilingual, one of the languages, more often the mother tongue, is superior to his competence in the other (Lambert, 1955). In a compound language system, two sets of linguistic signs come to be associated with the same set of meanings (Ervin & Osgood, 1954). In a coordinate system, translation equivalents in the two languages correspond to two different sets of representations (Ervin & Osgood, 1954). Bilingual experience takes place at the same time as the general development of the child; in other words, this bilingual experience occurs at the time when the various developmental components have not yet reached maturity and can therefore be influenced by this experience. In childhood bilinguality, one must distinguish :

before age of 10/11 (1) Simultaneous early or infant bilinguality when the child develops two mother tongues from the onset of language, as for example the child of a mixed-lingual family. (LA and LB). The development of simultaneous bilinguality takes place through informal. In form-function mapping, the child has to map two forms onto one function, which is called compound mapping.


3. Age of Acquisition

Childhood bilinguality

(2) Consecutive childhood bilinguality when he acquires a second language early in childhood but after the basic linguistic acquisition of his mother tongue has been achieved. (L1 and L2) The development of consecutive childhood bilinguality may occur informally, as in the case of the child of an immigrant family, but may also result from intentional learning, as in certain bilingual educational program. In form-function mapping, simple mapping (one language form) occurs before the acquisition of the second language for the functions acquired already.

Adolescent bilinguality Adult bilinguality 4. Exogeneity Endogenous bilinguality Exogenous Bilinguality

When the bilingual between 11 and 17.





When the bilingual acquires the second language after 17.

Endogenous language is one that is used as a mother tongue in a community and may or may not be used for institutional purposes. Exogenous language is one that is used as an official, institutionalized language but has no speech community in the political entity using it officially as for example English or French in West, Central and East African counties. In those counties (ex. Cotonou), the language used at home (e.x. Fon) is different from the one used at school (ex. French). If the two languages are sufficiently valued, the child’s cognitive development will derive maximum benefit from the bilingual experience, which will act as an enriching stimulation leading to greater cognitive flexibility compared to his monolingual counterpart (Lambert, 1974).

5. Social Cultural Status

Additive bilinguality

Subtractive Bilinguality

If the sociocultural context is such that the mother tongue is devalued in the child’s environment, his cognitive development may be delayed in comparison with a monolingual peer’s (Lambert, 1974).


6. Cultural Identity

Bicultural bilinguality L1 Monocultural Bilinguality L2 Acculturated Bilinguality Deculturated bilinguality

Bicultural bilingual identifies positively with the two cultural groups that speak his languages and is recognized by each group as a member. L1 monocultural bilingual is a fluent bilingual while remaining monocultural and identifying culturally with only one of the groups. L2 acculturated bilingual renounces the cultural identity of his mother-tongue group and adopts that of the second language group.

Deculturated bilingual gives up his own cultural identity but at the same time fails to identify with the L2 cultural group, and as a result becomes anomic and deculturated (Berry, 1980)

References Grosjean, F. (2001). The Bilingual’s Language Modes. In Nicol, J. L (Ed), One Mind, Two Languages (pp. 1.-22). Blackwell Publishers Inc. Cook, V. (2001). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. Arnold. Hamers, J. F. & Blanc, M. H. A. (2000). Bilinguality and Bilingualism. Cambridge Press. Romaine, S (1996). Bilingualism. In Ritchie, W. C. & Bhatia, T. K. (Eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 571-604). Academic Press.


DEFINITION 6. Affect Brown (1994) defines that affect is emotion or feeling. Arnold & Brown (1999) says that affect is considered broadly as aspects of emotion, feeling, mood or attitude which condition behavior. According to Brown, there are two facets of the affective domain of second language acquisition: personality factors and sociocultural variables. Personal factors are the intrinsic side of affectivity within a person that contribute in some way to the success of language learning. Sociocultural variables are extrinsic factors that emerge as the second language learner brings not just two languages into contact but two cultures, and in some sense must learn a second culture along with a second language. The affective domain is the emotional side of human behavior, and it may be juxtaposed to the cognitive side. The followings are the personal factors of the affective domains in SLA. (1) Self Esteem Brown explains how specific personality factors in human behavior work in second language acquisition. Self-esteem refers to personal judgment of worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes that the individual holds towards himself. People derive their sense of self-esteem from accumulation of experiences within themselves and with others and from assessments of the external world around them. Brown introduces three categories of self-esteem: general or global self-esteem, situational or specific self-esteem, and task self-esteem. According to Heyde (1979), all three levels of self-esteem correlates positively with performance on the oral production measure, with the highest correlation occurring between task self-esteem and performance on oral production measures. (2) Inhibition In terms of Inhibition, Brown explains that all human beings, in their understanding of themselves, build sets of defenses to protect the ego. As children grow up, they create a system of affective traits that they identify with themselves. In adolescence, teenagers bring on mounting defensive inhibitions to protect a fragile ego, to ward off ideas, experiences, and feelings that threaten to dismantle the organization of values and belief on which appraisals of self-esteem have been founded. The human ego encompasses what Guiora called the language ego to refer to the very personal, egoistic nature of second language acquisition. Ehrman (1993) suggests that the openness, vulnerability, and ambiguity tolerance of those with thin ego boundaries found different pathways to success from those with hard21

driving, systematic, perfectionistic, thick ego boundaries. (3) Risk-taking Rubin and Thompson (1982) says that risk-taking is the ability to make intelligent guesses. Learners have to be able to “gamble’ a bit, to be willing to try out hunches about the language and take the risk of being wrong. Risk-taking is an important characteristic of successful learning of a second language with self-esteem and impulsivity. When students make a mistake in a language class, a person with high global self-esteem is not daunted by the possible consequences of being laugh at. Beebe (1983) notes that fossilization may be due to a lack of willingness of take risks. (4) Anxiety Anxiety is associated with feelings of uneasiness, frustration, self-doubt, apprehension, or worry. Like self-esteem, anxiety can be experienced at various levels. Trait anxiety is a more permanent predisposition to be anxious. State anxiety is experienced in relation to some particular event or act. Foreign language anxiety focuses more specifically on the situational nature of state anxiety. According to Horwitz et al. (1086) and MacIntyre and Gardner (1989, 1991c), there are three components of foreign language anxiety: communication apprehension, fear of negative social evaluation, and test anxiety. Anther important insight to be applied to our understanding of anxiety lies in the distinction between debilitative and facilitative anxiety. Bailey (1983) says that facilitative anxiety is one of the keys to success and closely related to competitiveness. (5) Empathy According to Brown (1994), empathy is the process of “putting yourself into someone else’s shoes, “ of reaching beyond the self and understanding and feeling what another person is understanding or feeling. In more sophisticated terms, empathy is usually described as the projection of one’s own personality into the personality of another in order to understand him or her better. Communication requires a sophisticated degree of empathy. In order to communicate effectively you need to be able to understand the other person’s affective and cognitive states. (6) Extroversion Extroversion, and is counterpart, introversion, are also potentially important factors in the acquisition of a second language. Brown (1994) says that extroversion is the extent to which a person has a deep-seated need to receive ego enhancement, selfesteem, and a sense of wholeness from other people as opposed to receiving that 22

affirmation within oneself. Introversion, on the other hand, is the extent to which a person derives a sense of wholeness and fulfillment apart from a reflection of the self from other people. Extroversion may be a factor in the development of general oral communicative competence, which requires fact to fact interaction, but not in listening, reading, and writing. (7) Motivation Brown (1994) says that motivation is an inner drive, impulse, emotion, or desire that moves one to a particular action. Or, in more technical terms, motivation refers to “the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid, and the degree of effort they will exert in that respect.” (Keller, 1983) Motivation is typically examined in terms of the intrinsic and extrinsic orientation of the learner. Those who learn for their own self-perceived needs and goals are intrinsically oriented and those who purse a goal only to receive an external reward from someone else are extrinsically motivated. The foreign language learner who is either intrinsically or extrinsically meeting needs in learning the language will be positively motivated to learn. According to Arnord and Brown (1999), a broad understanding of affect in language learning is important for at least two reasons. First, attention to affective aspects can lead to more effective language learning. When the language teacher deals with the affective side of learners, they can figure out the way to help the learners overcome problems created by negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, stress, anger or depression. Also, the language teachers can try to find out how they can create and use more positive, facilitative emotions of learners in their teaching. For example, the language teachers need to know that the positive emotions like selfesteem, empathy or motivation can greatly facilitate the language learning process. The second reason why language teachers need to be concerned about affective aspects of learners is that the purpose of classroom learning is not only to convey content information but also to bring the learners new “life goals,” educating the learners to live more satisfying lives and to be responsible members of society. In short, attention to affect can improve language teaching and learning, but the language classroom can, in turn, contribute in a very significant way to education learners affectively. Reference Arnold, J. and Brown, H. D. (1999). A map of the terrain. In Arnold, J (Ed.), Affect in Language learning (pp. 1-24). Cambridge Press. Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall. 23

7. i+1 A number of researchers see i+1 (comprehensible input) as a major causative factor in L2 acquisition. The most influential theoretical positions are those advanced by Krashen and Long. Krashen’s Input Hypothesis (Krashen 1981; 1985; 1989) makes the following claims: (1) Learners progress along the natural order by understanding input that contains structures a little bit beyond their current level of competence. (2) Although comprehensible input is necessary for acquisition to take place, it is not sufficient, as learners also need to be affectively disposed to ‘let in’ the input they comprehend. (3) Input becomes comprehensible as a result of simplification and with the help of contextual and extralinguistic clues; ‘find-tuning’ (i.e. ensuring that learners receive input rich in the specific linguistic property they are due to acquire next) is not necessary. (4) Speaking is the result of acquisition, not its cause; learner production does not contribute directly to acquisition. The Input Hypothesis claims that an important condition for language acquisition to occur is that the acquirer understand (via hearing or reading) input language that contains structure a bit beyond his or her current level of competence. If an acquirer is at stage of level I, the input he or she understands should contain i + 1. In other words, the language which learners are exposed to should be just far enough beyond their competence that they can understand most of it but still be challenged to make progress. Therefore, input should neither be so far beyond their reach but they are overwhelmed (i+2), nor so close to their current stage that they are not challenged at all (i+0). Krashen insists that speech will “emerge” once the acquirer has built up enough comprehensible input (i+1). References Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall. Ellis, R. (1994). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press.

8. Output Although Krashen (1985) says that output or interaction has no direct effect on acquisition, other researchers view learner output as contributing to interlanguage development. Following Krashen (1989), two different hypotheses that allocate a role to output can be identified. The skill-building hypothesis states that we first 24

learner rules or items consciously and then gradually automatize them through practice. The second hypothesis Krashen considers is the output hypothesis. Output hypothesis comes in two forms, according to Krashen. First, there is ‘output plus correction’. Learners try out rules or items in production and then use the corrections they receive from other speakers to confirm or disconfirm them. Schachter (1986b) points out that metalinguistic information relating to the correctness of learners’ production is available both directly (through corrections) and indirectly (through confirmation checks, clarification requests, and failure to understand). The second form of the output hypothesis involves the idea of ‘comprehensible output’. Swain (1985) argues that learners need the opportunity for meaningful use of their linguistic resources to achieve full grammatical competence. She argues that when learners experience communicative failure, they are pushed into making their output more precise, coherent, and appropriate. She also argues that production may encourage learners to move semantic (top-down) to syntactic (bottom-up) processing. Whereas comprehension of a message can take place with little syntactic analysis of the input, production forces learners to pay attention to the means of expression. The evidence indicating that comprehensible output is important for acquisition is largely indirect. For example, a number of studies (Harley and Swain 1978; Harley 1988; Harley, Allen, Cummins, and Swain 1990) have shown that although immersion learners achieve considerable confidence in using the L2 and considerable discourse skills, they fail to develop more marked grammatical distinctions. Swain explains that this is not because of lack of comprehensible input but because of limited opportunity to talk in the classroom and not being pushed to produce the output (comprehensible output). Reference Ellis, R. (1994). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press.

9. Modularity One way to categorize L2 theories or theoretical approaches is according to where they stand on the question of modularity. It is related to the issue, whether people should view the human brain and mind as modular or unitary. That is, should we see the mind as a bundle of modules, with distinctive mechanisms relevant to different types of knowledge? Or, is it more helpfully understood as a single, flexible 25

organism with one general set of procedures for learning and storing different kinds of knowledge and skills? The concept of modularity tracks back to Franz Joseph Gall, who maintained that different parts of brain has different functions. He insists that many brain functions are organized independently. For example, in one’s brain, there is a module for language, one for music, one for art, and so on. Each of the modules is ruled by specific, different structure of the brain. In that perspective, language is a distinct module of the brain and it is supported by a specific brain structure, differently from the other cognitive modules. (1) Modular Approach Modular approaches to L2 acquisition has consistently found support from within linguistics, most famously in the further debate between Chomsky and the child development psychologist, Jean Piaget. Piaget argues that language is simply one manifestation of the more general skill of symbolic representation, acquired as a stage in general cognitive development. Therefore, he says that no special mechanism is required to account for first language acquisition. Chomsky’s general view is that not only is language too complex to be learnt from environmental expose, it is also too distinctive in its structure to be ‘learnable’ by general cognitive means. Universal Grammar is thus endowed with its own distinctive mechanisms for learning (so-called parameter-setting). Those who support the module approach assume the modularity of the mind in general, and the existence of a language module (UG) specifically. In the view of scholars who advocates modularity, a language user is a complex of quite independent subsystems (modules), each obeying different principles. For example, learning how to assemble complex syntactic structures is driven by one system, and learning how to match words from available resources to particular situations is driven by quite another system. They see language knowledge as a separate module from general knowledge of the world, and hence see language acquisition as essentially different in character from the acquisition of real-world knowledge, although no doubt interacting in part with that knowledge. In modular approach, a range of distinct learning mechanisms contribute to the learning of different aspects of language. For example, vocabulary and pragmatics would be learnt by mechanisms quite different from those which account for grammar learning. (Smith, 1994) (2) Nonmodular Approaches 26

Nonmodular approaches see learning as a general process irrespective of object. For example, in this perspective, such processes as hypothesis testing, generalization, analogy automatization, and so on, apply equally to any learning task – linguistic or otherwise (McLaughlin, 1987). A very antimodular approach to language learning is taken by advocates of connectionist models (e.g., Rumelhart, McClelland, & the PDP Research Group, 1986). Connectionists do away with rules, structures, and so on, and instead see learning as the relative strengthening or spreading activation of associations, or connections, between interconnected units or nodes. Reference Candlin, C. N. (Ed.) (1994). Second Language Learning: Theoretical Foundations. Longman. Romaine, S (1996). Logical and Developmental Problems. In Ritchie, W. C. & Bhatia, T. K. (Eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 571-604). Academic Press.

10. Acculturation Second language learning is often second culture learning. In order to understand just what second culture learning, one needs to understand the nature of acculturation. Acculturation refers to the process of becoming adapted to a new culture (Brown, 1994). Cook (2001) defines that acculturation refers to the ways in which second language users adapt to life with two languages. According to Brown (1994), there are successive stages of acculturation. He says the first stage is the period of excitement and euphoria over the neswness of the surroundings. The second stage – culture shock – emerges as individuals feel the intrusion of more and more cultural differences into their own images of self and security. Persons undergoing culture shock view their new world out of resentment and alternate between being angry at others for not understanding them and being filled with self-pity. The third stage is one of gradual, and at first tentative and vacillating, recovery. This stage is called cultural stress, some problems of acculturation are solved while other problems continue for some time (Larson and smalley, 1972). In this stage, individuals begin to accept the differences in thinking and feeling second culture. The fourth stage represents near or full recover, either assimilation or adaptation, acceptance of the new culture and self-confidence in the “new ” person that has developed in this culture. 27

Reference Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall.


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