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Second language acquisition

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The Study Of Language 4th Edition - Chapter 14

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Second language acquisition

  1. 1. SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Chapter 14 – study of the language George YULE LINGUISTICS Carlos Lara
  2. 2. Second language learning  A distinction is sometimes made between learning in a “foreign language” setting (learning a language that is not generally spoken in the surrounding community) and a “second language”  acquisition: the gradual development of ability in a first or second language by using it naturally in communicative situations  learning: the conscious process of accumulating knowledge, in contrast to acquisition. Second Language Acquisition Acquisition and learning
  3. 3.  For most people, the experience with an L2 is fundamentally different from their L1 experience and it is hardly conducive to acquisition.  Joseph Conrad whose English speech retained the strong Polish accent of his L1.  the critical period for language acquisition has passed  Against this view, it has been demonstrated that students in their early teens are quicker and more effective L2 learners in the classroom than, for example, seven-year-olds. Acquisition barriers Second Language Acquisition
  4. 4. Affective factors  Teenagers are typically much more self-conscious than younger children.  If this self-consciousness is accompanied by a lack of empathy with the other culture (for example, feeling no identification with its speakers or their customs)  This type of emotional reaction, or “affect,” may also be caused by dull textbooks, unpleasant classroom surroundings or an exhausting schedule of study and/or work. Second Language Acquisition
  5. 5. Focus on method  the need for instruction in other languages has led to a variety of educational approaches and methods aimed at fostering L2 learning.  William Caxton used his newly established printing press to produce a book of Right good lernyng for to lerne shortly frenssh and englyssh.  The grammar-translation method  The direct method  The audio-lingual method  Suggestopedia  The silent way  Total physical response  The natural approach  The communicative approach Second Language Acquisition
  6. 6. The grammar–translation method  Vocabulary lists and sets of grammar rules are used to define the target of learning, memorization is encouraged and written language rather than spoken language is emphasized.  Learner groups work on translating different sections of a text, and then regroup to connect together their parts into a full text, with suitable connecting language.  Learners bring in examples of L1 language (in their own country) or L2 (in another country) for discussion and translation. Signs can be particularly interesting. This can also be done by sharing material via group e- mails.  Learners bring in short texts/proverbs/poems and present them to the class, explaining why they like them. These are then used for translation. Second Language Acquisition
  7. 7. The audiolingual method  It involved a systematic presentation of the structures of the L2, moving from the simple to the more complex, in the form of drills that the student had to repeat.  They are partially a reaction against the artificiality of “pattern-practice” and also against the belief that consciously learning the grammar rules of a language will necessarily result in an ability to use the language. Second Language Acquisition Communicative approaches
  8. 8. Focus on the learner  Just as children acquiring their L1 produce certain types of ungrammatical forms at times, so we might expect the L2 learner to produce similar forms at certain stages  means using sounds, expressions or structures from the L1 when performing in the L2.  If the L1 and L2 have similar features (e.g. marking plural on the ends of nouns), then the learner may be able to benefit from the positive transfer of L1 knowledge to the L2. negative transfer the use of a feature from the L1 (that is really different from the L2) while performing in the L2, in contrast to positive transfer Transfer Second Language Acquisition
  9. 9. Interlanguage  the interim system of L2 learners, which has some features of the L1and L2 plus some that are independent of the L1 and the L2.  fossilization: the process whereby an interlanguage, containing many non-L2 features, stops developing toward more accurate forms of the L2.  Discovering just what count as the appropriate conditions for successful L2 learning is an ongoing area of investigation. Second Language Acquisition
  10. 10. Input and output  describe the language that the learner is exposed to.  Input can be made comprehensible by being simpler in structure and vocabulary, as in the variety of speech called foreigner talk.  negotiated input: L2 material that an acquirer/ learner is exposed to when active attention I1 drawn to that material during interaction in the L2 Second Language Acquisition
  11. 11. Output  The opportunity to produce comprehensible output in meaningful interaction seems to be another important element in the learner’s development of.  the results of such task-based learning provide overwhelming evidence of more and better L2 use by learners. The goal of such activities is not that the learners will know more about the L2, but that they will develop communicative competence in the L2. Second Language Acquisition
  12. 12. Communicative competence  can be defined as the general ability to use language accurately, appropriately, and flexibly.  The first component is grammatical compe- tence, which involves the accurate use of words and structures. Concentration on grammatical competence only, however, will not provide the learner with the ability to interpret or produce L2 expressions appropriately.  socio-linguistic competence. It enables the learner to know when to say Can I have some water? versus Give me some water! according to the social context.
  13. 13.  The third component is called strategic competence. This is the ability to organize a message effectively and to compensate, via strategies, for any difficulties.  whereas others will try to express themselves using a communication strategy.  good idea). For example, a Dutch L1 speaker wanted to refer to een hoefijzer in English, but didn’t know the English word.
  14. 14. Applied linguistics  In attempting to investigate the complex nature of L2 learning, we have to appeal to ideas not only from linguistic analysis, but from other fields such as communication studies, education, psychology and sociology.  it represents an attempt to deal with a large range of practical issues involving language (not only L2 learning), applied linguistics has created connections with fields as diverse as anthropology, neurolinguistics, social psychology and sign language studies
  15. 15. Study questions  1 What do you think “the Joseph Conrad phenomenon” refers to? The ability of an adult L2 learner to master aspects of the written language, but to speak with a distinct L1 accent, as exemplified by the writer Joseph Conrad.  2 Why do we say that mathematics is learned, not acquired? Mathematics is learned through a conscious process of accumulating knowledge, typically in an institutional setting. It is not acquired, because ability doesn’t gradually develop without conscious effort, as in the development of an L1 by young children.
  16. 16.  3 What are four typical barriers to acquiring an L2 as an adult compared to L1 acquisition as a child? -Insufficient focus on the process (adults have a lot of other things to do and think about, unlike very young children). -insufficient incentive (adults already know a language and can use it for their communicative needs) -the “critical period” for language acquisition has passed -affective factors, such as self-consciousness  4 What is the difference between positive and negative transfer? Positive transfer is when the learner tries to use knowledge about a feature of the L1 that is similar to the L2. Negative transfer is when the learner tries to use an L1 feature that is really different from the L2.
  17. 17.  5 What happens when an interlanguage fossilizes? An interlanguage fossilizes when it contains many forms that do not match the target language and no further progress is being made.  6 What are the three components of communicative competence? Grammatical, sociolinguistic and strategic competence.
  18. 18. TASKS  A What is the difference between “input” and “intake” in L2 learning? The term “input” is used for language data that the learner is exposed to. However, input is only what is available, not what receives attention, and hence can only be treated as potential data that a learner might use. That is, there must be some active processing of part of the language data by learners in order to “take in” specific features of the data. It is this processing that changes input to intake. In an analogy made by Sharwood-Smith, “input is the goods that are presented to the customer ... intake is what is actually bought and taken away from the shop”
  19. 19.  B What arguments are presented in support of “the output hypothesis” in L2 studies? The output hypothesis Swain (2005) has argued that it is when they are producing language (output) that learners become much more likely to develop certain skills in the L2. When learners try to produce utterances in the L2, they are more likely to notice gaps in their knowledge and realize what it is they need to know, making them more active learners. In many ways, the need to produce language creates a stronger motivation to learn ways of accomplishing accurate production. It is only through output, for example, that learners can develop more fluency in using the L2.
  20. 20.  C What is meant by a “stylistic continuum” in the study of interlanguage? The stylistic continuum The idea of a stylistic continuum in interlanguage comes from the work of Elaine Tarone. She noted that there was a lot of variability in the way learners used their L2, sometimes having more accurate pronunciation and grammar than at other times.  D What is contrastive analysis and how might it help us understand the following types of L2 errors in English produced by students whose L1 is Spanish? (a) He must wear the tie black. (b) My study is modernes languages. (c) He no understand you. (d) It was the same size as a ball of golf. (e) We stayed at home because was raining. (f) I eat usually eggs for breakfast.
  21. 21. (a) *the tie black: English typically has adjectives before nouns (the black tie), but in Spanish, adjectives usually follow nouns, so *the tie black is a Spanish construction used with English words. (b) In English, only the noun has a plural inflection, not the accompanying adjective (e.g. modern languages), but in Spanish, adjectives also have plural inflections to match their nouns, so *modernes languages is another Spanish pattern, used with English words. (c) In Spanish, the negative form no can be placed before the verb, resulting in *no understand, but in English, the negative must be attached to an auxiliary verb (He doesn’t understand or He can’t understand). The auxiliary verb forms and uses in English are difficult for all learners.
  22. 22. (d) In English, it is common to create noun phrases with two nouns together in a compound, as in golf ball. Spanish expresses this relationship with a different type of structure, as illustrated by *ball of golf. A similar problem has been identified in the use of the Spanish possessive structure, as illustrated by the car of my friend, in contrast to the preferred structure in English my friend’s car. (e) In many Spanish expressions, the subject is not expressed (*was raining), whereas every English verb must have a subject, even a meaningless one, as in it was raining. (f) The word usually is an adverb and, in English, adverbs are not typically used between a verb (eat) and its object (eggs). That restriction doesn’t exist in Spanish, so the structure with usually between the verb and its object will not sound strange to Spanish ears. Adverbs can be used in several different positions in English, but just not between the verb and its object. (Usually I eat ..., I usually eat ..., ... for breakfast usually).
  23. 23.  E One feature of interlanguage grammars is the apparent existence of temporary rules that don’t match the rules of either the L1 or the L2, as described in Gass and Selinker (2001). The following examples are from a speaker whose L1 was Arabic. Can you describe the rule(s) he seems to be using for the use of plural -s in English? (a) How many brother you have? (b) The streets are very wide. (c) I finish in a few day. (d) Here is a lot of animal in the houses. (e) Many people live in villages. (f) There are two horses in the picture. (g) Both my friend from my town. (h) Seven days in a week. This speaker uses plural -s in these examples: the streets, the houses, villages, two horses, seven days. He doesn’t use plural -s in these examples: How many brother, a few day, a lot of animal, both my friend. It seems that when there is a quantifier expression (many, a few, a lot of, both) with the noun, the speaker doesn’t use plural -s. Mostly that results in L2 errors, except in the phrase many people, in example (e), where the noun is already plural and isn’t normally used with the -s inflection in the target L2.
  24. 24.  F Classroom activities in communicative language teaching create situations in which L2 learners produce different types of communication strategies. Can you match each type of strategy (1–6) with one of the examples (a–f)? How would you rank them from least to most effective? 1 appeal for assistance 4 message abandonment 2 approximation 5 mime or gesture 3 circumlocution 6 sound imitation (a) the color is dark and…the size is just asa hand…it is made of…la- leather (talking about a glove) (b) how do you say in English that word … we say in Spanish “bujı ´a” (talking about a candlestick) (c) the man he play a … you know … it makes a [whistles] like that (talking about a small musical pipe) (d) thefirst you…like put together and you…do the next step…I can’t…I’msorry (talking about a plunge coffee maker) (e) maybe is something like a rope (talking about an electrical cord) (f) the oval is the big one and the other part is what take to [demonstrates holding the handle of a brush] (talking about a Christmas tree stand)
  25. 25. Communication strategies 1(b), 2(e), 3(a), 4(d), 5(f), 6(c) Least effective is 4(d) because communication stops. The pair in 5(f) and 6(c) may also be ineffective sometimes because they make the listener guess the word or concept that the speaker has in mind. The form in 1(b) seems to be moving in the direction of better communication because it provides a more specific clue to what The speaker has in mind. It also tries to make the communication collaborative. The forms in 2(e) and 3(a) represent other ways of offering more specific information about what the speaker has in mind. In these cases, the speaker is taking more responsibility for the success of the communication.

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