HOW LANGUAGES ARE LEARNED

P.M.Lightbown, N.Spada

Chapter 1 will not be considered as it deals with first language acquisition.

2 THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO EXPLAINING
SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING
(pg 30 –46)

Considerations in second language learning (pg 3030-35): • • • • • • • • • • • • Personal characteristics Difference in in the conditions for learning Existence of a first language Cognitive maturity MetaMeta-linguistic awareness Cultural knowledge Anxiety, fear OR NERVOUSNESS Learning environment Time Corrective feedback Type of language exposition Age

LANGUAGE ACQUISITION INFORMAL LEARNING CONDITIONS keep this in mind: mind • “Younger learners in an informal language learning environment are allowed to be silent until they are ready to speak” … (pg 33) • Modified input : child directed speech or teacher talk Adjustments Adjustments done to speaking in order to help learners understand (pg 34) • Error correction is limited to correction of meaning or vocabulary choice. grammar and pronunciation are overlooked (pg 34) Errors are considered as an integral part of the learning process .

LINGUISTIC THEORIES In many ways theories that account for second language learning are closely related to those proposed for first language learning. Behaviourism (pg 3535-36) • Imitation • Practice Practice • Reinforcement • Habit formation • Contrastive analysis hypothesis: learner’s whose first language is similar to the target language will learn easily .Errors therefore can be predicted. Basically because a second language is learnt following the same process of a first language learning. learning. other to the role of environment and other tend to integrate both aspects seeking to unsolve the mysteries of language learning. I. give primary importance to learners innate characteristics. Some theories however. .

II. Learners need opportunities hypothesize about it Krashen’s Krashen’s “monitor Model” (pg38(pg38-40) • Communicative language teaching • Innatist theory constituted by 5 hypothesis: 1. therefore learners must be aware of the differences period of noticing to observe language. Innatism (pg 3636-37) Noam Chomsky • Universal grammar: innate knowledge knowledge of grammar rules applied to all language learning • Critical period for language acquisition • Language competence • Error correction and metameta-linguistic information doesn’t contribute learning • Learners need to know about the language • Universal grammar (innate (innate knowledge of the principles of grammar) of mother tongue interferes with second language learning.Acquisition learning hypothesis: (pg38) Acquisition is unconscious Learning is conscious .

Affective filter hypothesis ( pg 39) Imaginary barrier which prevents learners from acquiring language from input. Acquisition situations develop fluency 3. The more stressed the learner is the higher the barrier and and less the learning.Input hypothesis( pg 39) Language is acquired acquired only by exposure to comprehensible units Input is the source of acquisition 5.Monitor hypothesis(pg38) Learners monitor their performance only in learning situations.Natural order hypothesis(pg 39) Acquisition follows a predictable sequence independent from the order of rules learnt in class 4. it is directly proportional to stress.2. Factors involved: o Motivation o Needs o Attitude o Emotional states .

Connectionism (pg 42) • Learners build up their knowledge of language through exposure • Input is the principal source of language knowledge. • Learners Learners develop neurological “connections” through repetitive exposure • The more exposure the more connections .Recent Psychological Theories (pg 4141-46) I. Information Processing (pg41(pg41-42) Internalization • Building up of knowledge systems that can eventually be called on automatically for speaking and understanding • Noticing the language by paying attention to “bits” of it in sequential turns • Richard Schmidt: everything we know about the language was first noticed consciously • According to this theory there is no difference between learning and acquisition • Development of automaticity through practice II.

III. Intelligence (pg 52) May be an important factor for language analysis and rule learning but it may play a less important factor in communicative interaction . Interactionism (pg42(pg42-44) • Second language acquisition takes place through conversational interaction Factors affecting second Language Learning Learning Chapter 3 Research on Learners’ characteristics (pg 5151-69) I.

II. Aptitude (pg53) learning quickly (based on grammar translation approach) . Personality (pg 54) There is no evidence of correlation between personality and language learning. However it has been found that extroverted students perform better in terms of fluency and and pronunciation . Composed of different types of abilities: • Identifying and memorizing new sounds • Understanding the functions of words in sentences • Figure out grammatical rules • Memorizing new words Matching student’s abilities with with compatible learning environments improves level of achievement( achievement( pg 54) III.

Learner beliefs • Influence the kind of strategies learners choose in order to learn new material VII. Age of acquisition • Critical period hypothesis : Mark Patkowski Patkowski : only the learners under 15 can achieve full. Motivation and attitude • Motivation or success. the younger the better .IV. This does not mean that people over 15 are impelled to learn or acquire a second language but. what’s first? • Provide opening routines and forthcoming activities • Vary the activities. native –like mastery of the target language. materials and formats • Use coco-operative learning activities V. Learner preferences • Visual learners • Kinaesthetic Kinaesthetic learners • Aural learners • Cognitive learning styles: field dependant or field independent VI.

every year. hypothesize about it and experiment with it in a positive and supporting atmosphere our aim as teachers is to provide them with exposure to real language as much as possible and to help them achieve communicative competence .To teach a language is to start all over again. because learning is cyclical Learners need opportunities to observe language.

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