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THEORIES OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION (BOTH L1 AND L2)

May 2005

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THEORIES BASED ON "NURTURE" (Empiricism) (environmental factors are believed to be more dominant in language acquisition)

Behavirorism Structuralis m

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Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (1957) (L1)

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Skinner’s Verbal Behavior (1957) (1962,) (L1)

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Bloomfiield (1940’s) & Lado (1964) & L2)

(L1

Community Language Learning

- A Neurofunctional Theory of Language Acquisition

Trial-and-error (Thorndike and Guthrie)

- The Universal Grammar Theory (1965, Pinker,1984, 1994) (L1)

Audiolingual Method

Cognitivism Social constructivis

Contrastive analysis hypothesis (Lado, 1957), (Lightbown and Spada,1993) (L1 & L2)

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Piaget’s View of Language Acquisition (1969’s) (L1)

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Cognitive Theory : Language Acquisition View (Brown, 1987) (L1, & L2)

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Burner’s constructivist theory (1966, 1974, 1986, 1990) (L1)

Instructions Curriculum

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The Interaction Hypothesis ( Long , 1985, 1996 & Pica,1994) (L2)

Interaction Teacher’s talk Caregiver’s talk

Socio-Behavioris

May 2005

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Discourse Theory ( (L1 & L2) Produced by Sooin

The Speech Act Theory (Austine , 1955,1962, & Searle ,1969). (L1 & L2)

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Some of the Resulting THEORIES BASED ON “NATURE” Foreign/Second (Nativism) (Innate factors Language Teaching are believed to be more dominant in Methods language acquisition)

Some of the Resulting Foreign/Second Language Teaching Methods

Error analysis

Communicative Language teaching

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Critical Period Hypothesis (Lenneberg, 1967,) Lateralization & L2)

Winitz’s Comprehension Approach (?)

(L1

Monitor Model (Krashen, 1977, 1981, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1997) - Five hypotheses (L1 & L2)

The Natural Approach


Table 1.

Classification of Language Acquisition Theories Around Sourced by: http://maxpages.com/thena/ladiscussion

“Nurture and Nature Distinction� Revised by Chun, Sooin, May,2005,

1. Zone of Proximal Development: -

Vygotsky (1978) maintained the child follows the adult's example and gradually develops the ability to do certain tasks without help or assistance. He called the difference between what a child can do with help and what he or she can do without guidance the "zone of proximal development" (ZPD).

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Proximal Zone (Distal zone) -> Learning (social interaction) -> Present knowledge : Cognitive development ( http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~rallrich/learn/zone.html )

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2 Skinner’s verbal Behavior -

Knowledge is the product of interaction with the environment through stimulus-response conditioning.

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Unconditioned stimulus (UST) -> Unconditioned response (URE) -> Positive reinforcement (PRE) -> Conditioned stimulus (CST) -> conditioned response (CRE)

3. Lado’s Audiolingual Method -

Language learning is considered as habits and focusing on spoken language.

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Teaching the spoken language is through dialogues and drills.

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Language is a set of habits, just like driving a car. Language is doing things, not kowning things. -> “Habit formation” by practice

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( Cook, 2003)

4. Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CHP) -

The differences between languages can be used to reveal and predict all errors and the data obtained can be used F/SL teaching.

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Positive vs. Negative transfer of habits

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Main source of errors in L2 due to transfer of L1 habits

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Errors can be predicted by a contrastive analysis of the L1 and L2

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The greater the difference between L1 and L2, the more errors that will occur

5. Piaget’s view of Language acquisition -

language acquisition as a case of general human learning however, that the development is not innate, but only that there is no specific language module. Piaget’s view was then that the development (i.e., language acquisition) results mainly from external factors or social interactions.

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Discovery learning and supporting the developing interests of the child

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Stages of cognitive development (Developmental stages)

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Adapting

the

world

through

Assimilation

and

Accommodation

(http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/assimacc.htm

http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/piaget.html ) -

Equilibrium (an ideal state at a balance between the structure of the mind and the environment between assimilation and accommodation.

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6. Cognitive Theory: Language Acquisition View -

Language is a meaningful process of “relating new events or items to already existing cognitive concepts”

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It is based on the language system and involves procedures for selecting appropriate vocabulary, grammatical rules, and pragmatic conventions governing language use.

7. Burner’s Constructivist theory -

Learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on a cognitive structure to do so. Cognitive structure (i.e., schema, mental models) provides meaning and organization to experiences and allows the individual to "go beyond the information given"

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Instructional

8. Discourse Theory -

Leaner discover the meaning capacity of language by taking part in communication.

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Communicative competence includes knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary, knowledge of rules of speaking, knowledge of how to use and respond to different types of speech acts and social conventions, and knowledge of how to use language appropriately.

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Language acquisition will successfully take place when language learners “know” how and when to use the language in various settings and when they have successfully “ cognized” various forms of competence such as grammatical competence (lexis, morphology, syntax and phonology) and pragmatic competence (speech acts).

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Learner needs to “know” conversational strategies to acquire the language.

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Failed to notice universal principles in language acquisition.

9. The Speech Act Theory

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When we speak, our words do not have meaning in and of themselves. They are very much affected by the situation, the speaker and the listener. Thus words alone do not have a simple fixed meaning. Locutionary act: saying something with a certain meaning in traditional sense. Illocutionary act: have a certain ‘force’, e.g. informing, ordering, warning, undertaking. Perlocutionary acts: bring about or achieve something, e.g. convincing, persuading, deterring

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http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/speect_act.htm

10. Socio-Educational Model

(Cook, 2003)

11. Accommodation Theory -

When we talk with other people, we will tend to subconsciously change our style of speech (accent, rate, types of words, etc.) towards the style used by the listener. We also tend to match non-verbal behaviors. This signals agreement and liking. It should create greater rapport and them such that they approve of us more. This can be unwelcome, especially if it is perceived as aping or being overly familiar.

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The reverse also happens: people deliberately assert their identity by speaking and acting differently from the other person.

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http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/communication_accomodation.htm

12. Interactionist view of Language Acquisition -

Comprehensible input is taking important role in language acquisition but it is most effective when it si modified through the negotiation of meaning.

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Comprehensible input is the result of modified interaction.

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For example: parents modify their speech to children, Native speakers often slow down speech to second language learners,

13. The Competition Model -

Four aspects language for communication: Word order, Vocabulary, Word forms (morphology), and Intonation.

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As the speaker can only cope with a limited number of things at the same time, a language has to strike a balance between these four. For instance, the more a language intonation, the less it can rely on word order; the more emphasis on word forms, the less on word order, …,

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The different aspects of language “compete” with each other for the same space in the mind.

14. Information-processing Model -

Learning starts from controlled processes, which gradually become automatic. For example, learning driving skill,

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Controlled processing can be said to lay down the “stepping stones” for automatic processing as the learner moves t more and more difficult levels. (Cook, 2003)

15. Cognitive Behavioral Model (Anderson, 1993) 16. The Acculturation Theory (Berry 1998)

May 2005

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(Cook, 2003)

May 2005

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Theories