Instructor: Pr.

Mohamed Daoud Student: Eya Dahmen & Insaf Sellami Date: October 29th, 2009

ISLT Master’s Program Course: Applied Linguistics

Second- Language Learning
Barry McLaughling and John Zemblidge In William Grabe and Robert B. Kaplan. (1992). Introduction to Applied Linguistics. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. PP 32-40

General outline

Different attempts/ perspectives in developing a typical process of learning a second language:  Factors influencing Language Learning fail to develop the model of a good language learner  Influence of the First Language Acquisition on SLA debated  Comparing the process of learning L 1 and L 2  The interlanguage approach  The cognitive approach:  Automacity  The Restructuring process  Summary Part 1: I- Fifteen years of second-language research 1. Factors Influencing Language Learning

Failure to provide a sufficiently complex profile of a good language learner.

2. The influence of L 1 on Second Language Acquisition  Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis view  The Morpheme Order studies’ view

3. L 1 and L 2 compared  L 1 = L2: The Morpheme Order Studies (Roger Brown, 1973)  L 1 ≠ L2: Fossilization (Selinker, 1972) and the Critical Period Hypothesis  L 1 Vs L2: LAD / UG; the Cognitive Explanation  Language uniqueness and the Contemporay Chomskyan Theory ► It is no longer a question of L1 and L2 relationship but a question of how learners could set new patterns for the process of L2 learning. 4. The Interlanguage Approach/ the Acculturation Approach  The Interlanguage Approach: review  Acculturation : review  Pidginization/ Fossilization: review

Part 2: II- The Cognitive approach: 1. Review:

Information sharing

Negociation of meaning


Problem solving



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2. Second language learning:  The cognitive approach to SLA seeks for explanations of second language learning in
terms of mental representations and information processing (language as a process ≠ product).

 Learning is a cognitive process because it is thought to involve the internal representations that regulate and guide performance = selecting appropriate vocabulary, grammatical rules, and pragmatic conventions governing language use.  The automatization and restructuring of the acquired information improve second language learner's performance.  Two interdependent and central notions to the cognitive perspective: Automaticity not automacity 2.1 The Routinization of skills: Automacity:  The routinization of skills through practice to built a set of automatic procedures.  Long term vs. short term memory (Shiffrin & Schneider 1977). 2.2 Restructuring:  When acquiring complex skills, the learner devices new structures for interpreting new information and for imposing a new organization on information already stored (S.V.O V.S.O) The second language learner restructures the acquired linguistic data.  3 phases of restructuring:

The Restructuring Process (Karmiloff-Smith 1986)


 The cognitive approach focuses on how learners accumulate and automatize rules and how they restructure their internal representation to match the target language.  The cognitive approach to SLA is a fruitful area of investigation towards exploring language as a process ≠ product. a tendency

 The purpose of SLA studies is to draw the profile of a good language learner sufficiently complex to include all variables. If we want to understand the second language learning phenomena, we need to consider the linguistic, the socio-psychological and the cognitive perspectives (e.g. language transfer). Web site links for further readings: e+approach+to+SLA&source=bl&ots=U4i5H4VivI&sig=dCVd4UxNDVwm6PCoqf2g5LnMLA&hl=fr&ei=lNbmStbuIs75_Aar_dCQCA&sa=X&oi=bo ok_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=cognitive%20ap proach%20to%20SLA&f=false


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