Theories of L2 Acquisition Dr. Chen Chin-fen
Introduction • An integrated understanding of the principles of SLA that underline the pedagogical process. • A number of disciplines attempting to explain the complex phenomena, each with its claims and hypotheses, which reflect the intricacy of SLA and the variability of individuals and contexts.
Current Generalizations, Hypotheses, and Models of SLA Elements for a language theory: • What language is, what learning is, and what teaching is. • Knowledge of kids’ learning of their L1. • Differences between adult & child learning, and between L1 & L2. • SLA is part of general principles of human learning. • Variations across learners in cognitive style and learning strategies.
Learner Variables • Age • Cognition • Native Language • Input • Affective Domain • Educational Background
Age • Biological • Cognitive factors • Social –parental influence, schooling, • peer group pressure. • Critical period, social factors • Critical period, social factors • Children 1-5 • 5-10 • Adolescents 11-15 • Adult 16-on
Cognition • General intelligence • Language aptitude (learning strategies)
Native Language • Phonological • Grammatical • Semantic
Input -I • Free learners: • place of learning (foreign L., L2 L., • bilingual environments) • Type of language contact • Family L. environment • Peer L. Environment
Input -II • Instructed learners: • Types of instruction (formal, informal, • intensive, non-intensive) • Length of instruction (No. of years, • No. of contact hours) • Place of instruction (Foreign, L2, • bilingual environment) • Material of Instruction ( graded (sequencing), • ungraded, skill-oriented materials) • Source of instructor (teacher attitude/training)
Affective Domain • Social-cultural factors : attitude toward native culture, L2 culture,, native people and to L2 people. • Egocentric Factors : • depression, anxiety, homesickness, ego permeability, rejection, and self-consciousness • Motivation: integrative, instrumental (own or forced choice)
Educational Background • Illiterate • Literate : • professional (educational system, • specialization) • non-professional (number of years, • place of study)
Innatist model: Krashen’s hypothesis –subconscious • Krahsen The Acquisition – learning hypothesis Monitor hypothesis The Natural Order hypothesis Affective Filter hypothesis The Input Hypothesis
Attention-processing model • Controlled process: capacity limited, temporary: primitive learned skills • Automatic process: more accomplished skills , which is done by a process of restructured, in which the components of a task are coordinated, integrated, or reorganized into a new unit. • In every act, focal and peripheral attention actually occur simultaneously.
Attention-processing model • When a child says “Nobody likes me.” • Focal – to express verying emotion, mental anguish, or loneliness. • Peripheral - attend to words and morphemes that underline the central meaning. • Go between: to read parents’ facial • Features, mental recall of an uncomfortable incident of rejection, awareness of a sibling overhearing the communication.
Cognitive Models- Implicit and Explicit Models • Implicit knowledge: automatically and spontaneously used in the tasks. Kids learn phonological, syntactic,, semantic and pragmatic rules of their L1 but cannot explain the rules explicitly. (Bialystok’s, 1978) • Rod Ellis’s: Grammar raising- some explicit attention to language form is blended with implicit communicative tasks.
Cognitive Models-Implicit and Explicit Models Language exposure • Input • Output Other knowledge Implicit linguistic knowledge Explicit linguistic Knowledge Automatic Response Time-delayed
Social Constructivist Model Long’s interaction hypothesis, 1985 • Emphasize the dynamic nature of interplay between learners, their peers, their teachers and others.-socially mediated interaction. • IH: comprehension input is the modification of interaction- native speakers and other interlocutors create in order to render their input comprehensible to learners.- mother tone, slowing down, more deliberate, with clarification/ repair requests, paraphrases • Van Lier (1996), Curriculum as interaction: principles of awareness, autonomy, authenticity leading to Vygotsky’s ZPD
Social Constructivist Model • Pedagogical research for Optimal Learning Environment: • classrooms is a place where the contexts for interaction are carefully designed. Material and curriculum developers are supposed to create the Optimal Learning Environments and tasks for input and interaction, where learners will create their own language knowledge in a socially constructed process of discovery.
Ecology of Language Acquisition (Brown, 1991) Input: Teacher talk, textbook, materials, other students, nonverbal, outside of class, self. Leaves of Strategies: scanning, skimming, keyword attention, nonverbal, self-practice, dictionary use, appeal to authority, error monitoring Branches of Affective variables:extroversion, anxiety, risk-taking, empathy Fruit of performance: speaking, listening, writing (production) , reading (comprehension) –Trunk of feedback.
Ecology of Language Acquisition (Roots) Seeds of predisposition: Innate factors, previous experience, cultural schemata, aptitude. Soil of Style: problem solving, cognitive style, personality style input generator Germination strategies: direct, memory, affective social, metacognitive strategies. Inferred competent intake: Phonologicla, grammatical, discourse, socialinguistic, pragmatic rules; reception & production rules; interlanguaeg system.
Proper Attitude toward Language Theories • Balancing believing games and doubting games: try to find something wrong in one’s claims or hypotheses. • Appreciate the art and science of SLA • Trust your intuition: when problems are elusive and hard to define
Is it hard? Of course not! 咱們喝杯咖啡去吧!