Developments in Second Language Acquisition Pedagogy with Emphasis in Speaking

Timeline created by herrdjones
In History
  • Period: to

    Audio-Lingual Method 1940s-1960s

    This method emphasized structure over meaning and the teacher was the role model and lead most of the exercises. The method was largely drill based and offered little creativity and student-centered/relevant content. Memorization of passages was a common activity and emphasis was put on habit formation.
  • Chomsky's "Syntactic Structures"

    Chomsky's "Syntactic Structures"
    Chomsky claims that language has a "deep structure" and a "surface structure," resulting in two sets of rules, "phrase structure" and "transformational" which convert deep structure into surface structure. This idea emphasized the creative nature of human language and was considered a paradigm shift that affected linguistic studies for decades. Chomsky worked to distinguish between "competence" and "performance," where by generative theory helped to explain competence.
  • Skinner's "Verbal Behavior"

    Skinner's "Verbal Behavior"
    Skinner, a proponent of "behaviorist theory," established principles that explained human behavior that he based on observed animal responses to stimuli. In short, language learning was a response to stimuli and reinforced through conditioning and positive reactions to correct responses. "Imitation and Practice" were major factors in this process. Chomsky (1959) countered behaviorism by saying children internalize the underlying language rules (competence) at an early age with a "LAD."
  • Period: to

    Cognitve Code in the 1960s

    A reaction to the Audio-Lingual Method and lead largely by Chomsky, the Cognitive Code emphasized the understanding of rules that governed language rather than habit formation. The cognitive-code approach emphasizes the study of language as a complex system with the goal of obtaining conscious control of the grammatical, lexical (vocabulary), and auditory patterns.
  • Hymes' "On Communicative Competence"

    Hymes' "On Communicative Competence"
    Hymes expanded on Chomsky's "Competence" in claiming that contextual and social factors also play a vital role in language acquisition, not just a set of syntactic rules and structures. Hymes' work led to numerous follow-up studies, which helped to highlight the importance of social and cultural context in the acquisition process.
  • Selinker and "Interlanguage Theory"

    Selinker and "Interlanguage Theory"
    Interlanguage, or "language of the learner, " is a continually evolving language singular to the learner that is the result of five cognitive processes according to Selinker: interference from the native language, effect of instruction, overgeneralization of TL rules, strategies involved in SLA and the combined use of gestures, appeal for assistance and circumlocution.
  • Period: to

    The "Natural Approach"

    During the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, the "Natural Approach" became predominant, thanks to the works of researchers like Krashen. The emphasis here was low-anxiety, natural approach to language learning - similar to that of a child learning its L1. Students communicated often and learned a great deal of vocabulary.
  • Canale and Swain

    Canale and Swain
    Canale and Swain were among the first to use the Hymes model to identify four components: grammatic, sociolinguistic, strategic and discourse competences. Sociolinguistic/sociocultural competence, is how people communicate in a social/cultural setting. Central to this model is discourse competence, which helps to codify an effective message regarding a given topic. Linguistic/grammatical competence is the ability to create meaning. Strategic competence helps to compensate for deficiencies.
  • Krashen's "Input Hypothesis"

    Krashen's "Input Hypothesis"
    Based on the "Monitor Model," Krashen's acquisition-based hypothesis allowed for students to not speak until ready; all the while, emphasizing vocabulary through binding. The i+1 concept meant students need input at a higher level than they are at. Krashen's work also lead to increased visual association with words and phrases. Critics claimed his model was undefined, difficult to test, and put the onus on the teacher to be the main source of input; it also didn't emphasize "learning."
  • Swain's "Output Hypothesis"

    Swain's "Output Hypothesis"
    Swain stated that although the Input is important, it's not enough for proper acquisition. She states learners must have opportunities to produce output, meaning they have to practice speaking the language. Swain promotes "pushed output," which leads students to what they want to say to how they would like to express it. Such output opportunities must be meaningful, purposeful and motivational. Teachers need to provide opportunities for authentic and age-appropriate discussion.
  • Vygotsky's "Zone of Proximal Development"

    Vygotsky's "Zone of Proximal Development"
    Decades after Vygotsky's death, his work on social interaction and mediation to learning/development became the socialcultural theory that gained traction in the 1990s. His ZPD allows for learners to be in an environment where the assistance they receive, coupled with prior knowledge, will best produce language acquisition. ZPD allows for continuous scaffolding, which is often the best pedagogical approach, as long as proper mediation provides the necessary tools for every learning environment.
  • Hall and "Interactional Competence"

    Hall and "Interactional Competence"
    Hall states that Krashen's i + 1 concept doesn't go for enough, as input is most effective if it's relevant to the students and/or if it's contained within real communication - which is more motivating for students, especially if they help in the development phases. In other words, if students are utilizing language useful or applicable to their lives, they are likely to acquire that language faster. Hall calls for framing conversations and drawing distinctions between old and new information.
  • Long, cited in Gass (1998)

    Long, cited in Gass (1998)
    Long (1996 "The role of the linguistic environment SLA") claims that interaction isn't a cause of L2 input, merely a scene or vessel in which a variety of inputs affect learners. Interaction, therefore, should be facilitative and encompass the necessary inputs that disparate learners need.