Language learning

Clay - Second Language Acquisition

By dclay
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    Environmentalist / Behaviorist Approaches

    "Up to the end of the 1960s, the field of language learning was influenced by environmentalist ideas that paid attention to the learning process as being conditioned by the external environment rather than by human internal mental processes."
  • Bloomfield - Behaviorist Language Acquisition

    Bloomfield - Behaviorist Language Acquisition
    "The target of langauge learning was to master all the elements of the system and to learn the rules by which these elements were combined." It was believed that language was primarily an oral phenomenon. Language first takes place through imitation and practice; language teachers must focus on the more difficult to master structures.
  • Skinner - Behaviorism & Operant Conditioning

    Skinner - Behaviorism & Operant Conditioning
    Skinner believed that language was acquired through reinforcement, that they associated words with meanings. Instances of correct pronunciation and grammatical production are met with reassurance and approval and the speaker realizes the communicative value of what they have said. He believed that language was acquired naturally through interactions with the environment. "Imitation, practice, and positive reinforcement" were key components to language acquisition to him.
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    Innatist / Cognitive Approaches

    "The mental and cognitive processes involved in generating language began to gain importance."
  • Chomsky - Universal Grammar

    Chomsky - Universal Grammar
    "Chomsky proposed that humans are born with an innate 'language acquisition device' (LAD) that enables them to process language." He supposed that there are certain principles universal to all languages that a person's brain is hard-wired to learn naturally. He observed that "children use elements of language they know to say something they have never heard before."
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    Interactionist / Communicativist Approaches

    "Interactionist ideas emphasized the role of the linguistic environment in interaction with the innate capacity for language development."
  • Hymes - Communicative Competence

    Hymes - Communicative Competence
    Hymes expanded upon Chomsky's idea of "Universal Grammar" to become the broader notion of "Communicative Competence." This new term accounted for the role of "context and social factors involved in language use and interpretation." Hymes's concept was based upon "communication within a socially and culturally meaningful context."
  • Selinker - Interlanguage Theory

    Selinker - Interlanguage Theory
    Selinker defines the "developing 'language of the learner' as interlanguage." Interlanguages are "continually evolving as learners receive more input and revise their hypothesises about the second language." These are a result of five cognitive processes: interference from native language, effectiveness of instruction, overgeneralization of language rules, strategies involved in learning, and strategies involved in communication.
  • Halliday - Functional Language

    Halliday - Functional Language
    "According to Halliday, it could be theorized that, like children who learned to talk because language served a function for them, speakers learned to use language in order to fulfill a number of functions given a particular cultural and social context." Speaking was contextualized: context of culture and context of situation. Thus genre was introduced to language learning.
  • Vygotsky - Zone of Proximal Development

    Vygotsky - Zone of Proximal Development
    Vygotsky "highlighted the consequential role of social interaction and mediation to learning and development." Vygotsky suggested that a learner has two levels of development: actual development (what they can do without assistance) and potential development (what they can do with assistance). Vygotsky coined the term zone of proximal development as the distance between these two developmental stages. "ZPD results in opportunities for individuals to develope the cognitive abilities."
  • Wagner-Gough & Hatch - Comprehensible Input

    Wagner-Gough & Hatch - Comprehensible Input
    Wagner-Gough and Hatch "illustrated how learners' participation in conversational interaction provided them with opportunities to hear and produce language in ways that went beyond its role as simply a forum for practice." They emphasized a need for 'comprehensible input.' They proposed that syntax might "develop out of conversation, rather than simply feed into it."
  • Canale & Swain - Model of L2 Communicative Competence

    Canale & Swain - Model of L2 Communicative Competence
    Canale and Swain used Hymes's work to design a model for second language acquisition of communicative competence. This model identified four components of communicative competence: grammatical, sociolinguistic, strategic, and discourse competences. This served as the primary framework for the meaning of communicative language proficiency and implications for teaching.
  • Sato - Longitudinal Study

    Sato - Longitudinal Study
    Sato initiated a longitudinal research on the interaction in development and internalization of language learning knowledge. It was concluded that language development was selective and indirect. This research has helped to develop a greater understanding of ways in which certain aspects of conversational interaction are more influential than others.
  • Krashen - Input Hypothesis

    Krashen - Input Hypothesis
    Krashen proposed further explanations upon Chomsky's work of how language is acquired. He suggested that language was acquired subconciously and naturally. Concious knowledge then prompts the internal 'monitor' that checks and corrects language use. He then proposed that learners acquire the rules of language in a predictable sequence when they receive adequate comprehensible input that is "interesting and a little beyond their current level of competence (i + 1)."
  • Long - Interaction Hypothesis

    Long - Interaction Hypothesis
    Long proposed that "input comes to the individual from a variety of sources, including others." Long's hypothesis accounts "for ways in which input is modified and contributes to comprehension and acquisition." Language learners 'negotiate meaning' when they interact as they "attempt to resolve communication breakdown and to work toward mutual comprehension."
  • Lightbown - Restructuring

    Lightbown - Restructuring
    Lightbown proposed that "consistent and repeated practice changes the knowledge representation by making the stored knowledge become more specific or more analyzed through a process called restructuring." Restructuring often results in U-shaped patterns of learning: error-free use, use with mistakes, correct error-free use once again. As learners acquire new language skills they make mistakes in skill previously learned, but they quickly correct those as they recognize them.
  • Savignon - Communicative Competence

    Savignon - Communicative Competence
    In addition to the knowledge of grammar rules, the ability to negotiate meaning ("to successfully combine a knowledge of linguistic, sociolinguistic, and discourse rules") is of great importance.
  • Chomsky - Performance vs. Competence

    Chomsky - Performance vs. Competence
    Chomsky observed the creative use of language based on meaningful input and it lead him to distinguish between competence and performance. He viewed competence as the "intuitive knowledge of rules of grammar and syntax and of how the linguistic system of a language operates." He thought of performance as an "individual's ability to produce language."
  • Swain - Output Hypothesis

    Swain - Output Hypothesis
    Swain maintains that "input is a necessary but insufficient condition for language development. She argues that learners also need opportunities to produce output." She suggested that learners need opportunities to produce / speak language in order to acheive higher competence through collaborative dialogue.
  • Bachman - Model of Communicative Language Ability

    Bachman - Model of Communicative Language Ability
    Lyle Bachman "developed a model of communicative language ability in which three components were included: language competence, strategic competence, and psychomotor skills." He then defined language competence even further by breaking it into two categories: organization and pragmatic competence.
  • Brown & Levinson - Politeness Theory

    Brown & Levinson - Politeness Theory
    Brown & Levinson developed the 'politeness theory' that "described three sociopragmatic factors": social distance, power, and degree of imposition. "The focus in pragmatics concerned speakers' appropriate use of utterances within various situational contexts that affected their level of appropriacy." The focus of teaching langauge was preparing speakers to perform every day tasks appropriately in the target language and with native speakers.
  • Gass & Varonis - Interaction & Comprehension

    Gass & Varonis - Interaction & Comprehension
    They found that "both the negotiated and modified input positively affected comprehension. Their research looked at the relationships among interaction, comprehension, and language acquisition. The focus was primarily on the role of negative feedback received through conversational interaction.
  • Levelt - Planned Speech

    Levelt - Planned Speech
    "Drawing on the discipline of cognitive psychology, Levelt proposed a model of speech production whose basic assumption concerned the fact that messages were 'planned.'" This plan involved the four major processes: conceptualization, formulation, articulation, and monitoring. Speakers need to automize these processes as simultaneously interjecting all at was took a tremendous amount of attention and planning.
  • Donato - Collective Scaffolding

    Donato - Collective Scaffolding
    Donato proposed that classroom discourse "can mediate language development by facilitating a range of communicative and cognitive functions of talk." Scaffolding, providing assistance to further development of language acquisition, is a mediational tool best learned and practiced in a group to allow for negotiation of meaning and to assist in learning.
  • Celce-Murcia, Dornyei, & Thurrell - Revised Canale-Swain Model

    Celce-Murcia, Dornyei, & Thurrell - Revised Canale-Swain Model
    Celce-Murcia, Dornyei, and Thurrell revised the Canale-Swain model to "expand it and to illustrate the interrelatedness of the various components of the model." This was again another expansion of the model, but not the final working model that we have today. Celce-Murcia refined the model further in 2007.
  • Hall - Interactional Competence

    Hall - Interactional Competence
    Kira Hall expanded on Krashen's i + 1 concept by "illustrating that input is a necessary but insufficient condition for acquisition to occur." It was proposed that input must also be meaningful, relevant, and experienced in real communication to be beneficial to language acquisition. Hall put forth characterizations of "real" conversational models: opening, ellipsis, discourse, expressive reactions.
  • Firth & Wagner - L2 as Social Accomplishment

    Firth & Wagner - L2 as Social Accomplishment
    Firth & Wagner propose a reconceptualized theory of 'second language acquisition (SLA).' They focus on describing various aspects of learning-in-action.
  • Alcon - Discourse Competence

    Alcon - Discourse Competence
    Alcon "also proposes a model of communicative competence, which is a hybrid of the models proposed by Bachman and Celce-Murcia, Dornyei, and Thurrell. His communicative competence "consists of three main subcompetencies": discourse competence, psychomotor skills and competencies, and strategic competence. Discourse is the core of his model.
  • Paradis - Procedural vs. Declarative Memory

    Paradis - Procedural vs. Declarative Memory
    Paradis believed that processing is either automatic or controlled, and "there is no continuum between the two to the extent that declarative knowledge changes into procedural competence over time." Procedural memory is implicit linguistic competence that occurs automatically. Declarative memory is explicit knowledge that is typically learned in a formal classroom situation and accessed through controlled processing.
  • Celce-Murcie - Refined Communicative Competence Model

    Celce-Murcie - Refined Communicative Competence Model
    Celce-Murcia refined the Communicative Competence Model further to "expand it and to illustrate the interrelatedness of the various components in the model." Her revisions have created a visual model to identify the connectedness and dependence of each component upon the others. "An implication of the current model of communicative competence for language learners is that students need more than grammatical or linguistic knowledge alone to function in a communicative setting."
  • Ellis - Sociocultural SLA

    Ellis - Sociocultural SLA
    Ellis proposes that language acquisition is a socicultural experience meaning that learning and cognitive development occurs as a result of social interactions. Interactions with others stimulate developmental processes and foster corrective delelopment of language.