" (Collier, 1995) Academic work through the progression of each grade brings expansion to the vocabulary, sociolinguistic, and discourse dimensions to the language higher cognition. Academic knowledge and development "transfer from the first language to the second language" (Collier, 1994) making it more efficient that academic work is developed through the first language of the student with teaching of the second language occurring during other times of the school day and through "meaningful academic content." (Collier, 1994) the fourth component in Collier's model is the component of cognition which, according to the work of Collier "has been mostly neglected by second language educators in the U.S. " (1994) These four components are so closely inter-dependent that "if one is developed to the neglect of another, this may be detrimental to a student's overall growth and future success." (Collier, 1994) Research has shown that development, both in terms of cognition and academic development in the first language has a profound effect upon second language acquisition as the "academic skills, literacy development, concept formation, subject knowledge, and learning strategies...will all transfer to the second language." (Collier, 1994) the work of Cynthia Brock relates that the work of Erickson and Shult (1981) suggests that "competence within social contexts can vary due to factors such as participants' cultural backgrounds and developmental levels." (1998)
III. EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE PRESENTED
Mondada and Doehler (2004) in the work entitled: "Second Language Acquisition as Situated Practice: Task Accomplishment in the French Second Language Classroom" states that research has provided empirical evidence "...suggesting that the social realm cannot be reduced to a mere background factor in relation to which activities, including cognitive processes, take place, but is an integral part of cognitive development itself." (2004) it is related in the work of Beverly Clark entitled: "First- and Second-Language Acquisition in Early Childhood that "Being exposed to a second language is obviously not enough, wanting to communicate with people who speak that language is crucial if acquisition is to occur." (Clark, nd) Furthermore, the social skills of the child who is acquiring a second language is important in learning that language. Children who are "naturally social and communicative seek out opportunities to engage others. If these children are given lots of opportunity…… [Read More]
While I understand why non-literal meanings are particularly difficult for speakers to comprehend, it seems to me that interlanguage would be easier for people learning second languages, because they can draw from examples of interlanguage from their native language. After all, even elementary school children have difficulty understanding the existence of idioms, homonyms, and other examples of words and phrases that have alternate definitions.
I appreciated the description of the developmental stages for language acquisition in Chapter 4; the progression from subject to direct object, indirect object, object of preposition, possessive, and object of comparison provided a useful classification of the progression of language acquisition. However, I was confused by the author's contention that "Developmental stages are not like closed rooms. Learners do not leave one behind when they enter another" (Lightbown and Spada, 92). While it is true that different people absorb material at different rates, it seems very difficult for someone to understand more difficult stages before comprehending earlier ones. For example, I do not understand how someone could understand objects of preposition without having a strong understanding of direct and indirect objects.
Chapter 5 was particularly useful in that it closely examined the activity that occurs within the classroom. In particular, I agree with the belief that substantial time should be granted for students to answer questions. I feel repetition and recasts are more useful than explicit correction or techniques that occur in more instruction-based classes. Students should learn from their mistakes in a manner that does not punish them but instead works with them to transmit the material. I also feel that asking more informational questions are more productive than display questions as they resonate more closely with the student's personal experience.
Chapter 2 (the stages of second language acquisition) and Chapter 3 (Setting objectives and providing feedback), Hill and Flynn
The material presented in chapters 2 and 3 was reminiscent of that from How Languages are Learned. For example, Hill and Flynn are similar to Lightbown and Spada in stressing the immense difficulty in learning a language, regardless of whether it is a person's first or second language. They also raise the interesting observation that just because someone sounds fluent, this does not necessarily mean that they are fluent in the language. I was also interested in the fact that there are also…… [Read More]
The Natural Order hypothesis posits that there is a "natural order" that is predictable when it comes to acquiring grammatical structures. The Input hypothesis is completely in relation to the Acquisition hypothesis and it is especially vital to the understanding of how one learns a second language. Krashen (1997) believes that "if a learner is at a stage 'i', then acquisition takes place when he/she is exposed to 'Comprehensible Input' that belongs to level 'i' plus 1" (1997). This means that if students are at different levels, they can learn, essentially, from those who are more proficient.
The fifth and final hypothesis, Affective Filter, has to do with Krashen's belief that a number of "affective variables" play a role, though not a fundamental one, in second language acquisition. Some of these variables, according to Krashen, could be positive self-image, confidence or lack of confidence, low or high motivation, etc. The positive factors can lead to better second language acquisition while the negative ones can raise the "affective filter," creating a sort of "mental block" that can inhibit second language acquisition (1997).
Krashen's theory of second language acquisition has been proven to work in a classroom setting with high school juniors and seniors. The classroom interaction has been successful as there is not recitation or lecturing involved and many of the older students enjoy the feeling of being more relaxed while they learn at the same time. Krashen's last hypothesis, the affective filter, illustrated that when learners are free of anxiety and feel confident, it is easier for them to acquire a second language. Using a very conversational style of teaching as well as being in an interactive environment has transformed the level of speaking with the students.… [Read More]
This then helps the teacher to appropriately adjust their approach and teaching skills to address the particular weak points that the students or particular student might have.
There is need to incorporate computers in class as well particularly in some particular topics in teaching second language. This applies especially when it comes to the use of language in creating formal documents or such like formal types of writing which can best the imbibed by the students.
With the availability of the computers, there will need also to have language systems used to help the students especially in the independent learning process. This will help the students grow some level of independence and self-reliance in learning more details of language as they can easily look up the meaning and use of words and phrases even in the absence of the teacher.
LCD projector is yet another technology that can be used in a class setting to aid in the teaching of English. The instructor can use it for the daily teaching but more significantly it can be used by the students in their presentations in class while engaging in class activities that will enable them learn faster.
Sound systems are also instrumental in settings like the lecture theatres where the number of students is high. In teaching language, there is need for clear articulation of the words and pronunciation since the learners pick it as spoken by the instructor. This means clarity and audibility is paramount in an English class hence technology can aid in achieving this.
Recording devices like the cassette player are also important technologies that should be included in a class of second language. This will make it easier for the students to have recordings of the lessons to use later on for their references as well as to be able to record themselves as a way of putting in practice what they learned.
It is also important to have DVD players with overhead projectors and the projection screen in the…… [Read More]
These people are also, reportedly, more creative, and also excellent at problem solving. One Moroccan individual was injured in an accident, she was a bi-lingual, and she could speak both French and Arabic before the accident. During her recovery, she found to her amazement, tat she could speak French one day but not Arabic, and one day, Arabic and not French. After three months, she could speak both fluently.
Today, with the increasing advent of globalization in every sphere of life, it must be stated that almost everyone has something to say about it. While a businessman may feel that the world markets would open up as a direct consequence of globalization, some others may feel that since globalization would only serve to, eventually, widen the already wide gap between the rich and the poor of the world, it may not be such a nice thing, after all. However, the implications of the phenomenon for educators are extremely significant; people can now move freely from one country to another, for any number of reasons, including, for example, a desire for better economic conditions, a need for labor, refugee who move form the country of their birth to another country, oppression of one group of people by another, and also when a natural disaster strikes.
When multitudes of people are mobile, it can only mean that it would directly affect the linguistic, cultural, racial, and religious diversity within schools and between the children of the school. For example in Toronto in Canada almost fifty eight percent of children is from homes where Standard English is not spoken; nor is it the means of communication within the family. It must be mentioned that this is a common enough phenomenon in many schools in North America, and in Europe, but at the same time, it is indeed a controversial issue, wherein educational policies and methodologies vary vastly between these kinds of diverse population. Many students, for whom English is not their mother tongue, were punished previously, but today, however, they would not be punished. At the same time, however, the subtle message that if the child does not speak English, he will not be completely accepted by the school is omnipresent,…… [Read More]
Second Language Acquisition
Advantages and Disadvantages of Bringing up Children Bilingually
Much of the debate on bilingual education is wasteful, ironic, hypocritical, and regressive. It is wasteful because instead of directing attention to sound educational practices, it has led to advocating specific "models" based solely on what language should be used for what purpose. It is ironic because most attacks on bilingual education arise from an unfounded apprehension that English will be abandoned in the United Kingdom, whereas, in fact, the rest of the world doubts the opposite; the lure of English and attention in European traditions are seen by non-English-speaking countries as a danger to their own languages and traditions. It is hypocritical for the reason that most challengers of using languages other than English for teaching furthermore want to endorse foreign language requirements for high school commencement. Additionally, it is regressive and xenophobic since the rest of the world regards ability in at least two languages to be the sign of good education. We shall expound on the debate about the advantages and disadvantages of bringing up children born to cross-national and cross-cultural parents.
The political struggle to defend the existence of bilingual education in schools has wasted much energy in the search for a "perfect" model. The recent history of bilingual education is replete with various models, all posing as panaceas. Overreliance on particular models often detracts from scrutiny of what really happens in schools. When proponents of bilingual education let themselves are drawn into the battle over language choice, they too often lose sight of what should be their central goal: providing quality education to such students in ways that integrate them into both their own and the majority culture. If educators could ignore their particular biases about language use they would discover sufficient evidence to orient them toward providing effective education in any language. They would recognize that the mission of schools is to educate students so that they have choices when they graduate. Educating bilingual students has to go beyond merely teaching them English or merely maintaining their local language. The world of professional work understands that graduates reach not only high-level literacy abilities in English, and…… [Read More]
The illustrations found within the pages of Dr. Seuss stories are also an attention grabber which help keep students focused and tie into the lessons of prepositions and vocabulary.
Another simple yet effective method of teaching English to ESL students is to utilize game playing strategies. Games are used in learning since birth, and for adults and kids alike, it is the best way to incorporate all the students together in the learning process. All students are encouraged t participate, which therefore raises the level of success for each individual student. Many studies have shown that students have the greatest success rate when they are more active in the learning process. Through game playing, the teacher gets the students motivated and interested in learning a second language. Tons of games can be turned into language teachers and be used to help instruct the vital lessons of the English language. Students can also have fun while laying games in class, which then places a positive memory on the English lessons and keeps them fresh in student's minds. Teachers want to play games which call for the most student participation possible, ad also encourage students to work together in teams in order to collectively come to conclusions about syntax and semantics.
Reading Dr. Seuss and playing games are most associated with children's activities. However, they do serve a vital role in the learning process of ESL students. These strategies make learning a second language fun and entertaining, which then ensures that each student will hold on to those lessons longer and with more positive memories than simple charts and writing exercises. Participation and understanding is key to using these strategies; these are how we all learn our native language and therefore are already proven methods in teaching and improving language skill sets.… [Read More]
He is 37 years old, born in France, of Senegalese descent. His native language is French, but he also speaks Wolof, Fulani, and American English. He was from a middle class background and was educated in the French school system. He knew virtually no English when he arrived in 1997. he took a job as a factory line worker in the plant and learned English rapidly, using his skills to move up in the company.
The methodology for the study of this worker was an ethnographic case study intended to understand the individual dynamics of this individual at his place of employment, using theory-based or operational construct sampling. In this approach, the sample becomes representative of the phenomenon of interest, with the interest in this case being the subject's social identity in his second language. The two methods of data collection used are observation and interviews. The observations covered a period of six months from August 2000 through the end of January 2001. The subject was shadowed during working hours over this period, observing how he communicates within the speech communities of the cultures and contexts on the site. This provides a more complete picture of the influences exerted by the site on the subject or by the subject on the site.
This was followed by four interviews conducted during the observations in order to get data on a more personal level. The type of interview is one in which the subject can generate talk and select the conversational path he chooses, using what is fundamentally a narrative approach.
Analysis of this data was achieved using coding, first by constructing a descriptive reality of general codes existing at the site, and second by using the interview data to look more closely at the themes that emerge from the observations. The theme of language and identity was prominent through the coding process for both sets of data, and two general themes of identity surfaced, namely social awareness and the construction of relationships. Miles divides these themes into subcategories, noting first four distinct ways in which Mamadou built relationships though the building of trust, developing roles, the issue of respect, and through community involvement.
Interactions with others are noted. Mamadou gains a place in the community by first speaking French with the…… [Read More]
The sociocultural perspective is based on the work of Vygotsky who asserted that the mechanism underlying development, including linguistic development, occurs through social interaction (Eun and Lim 17). Learning occurs when "an individual interacts with an interlocutor within his or her zone of proximal development (ZPD) -- that is, in a situation in which the learner is capable of performing at a higher level because there is support from an interlocutor" (Lightbown and Spada 47). Eun and Lim add that the developmental process is always initiated between people and only gradually moves into the individual's psychological plane (17). In other words, people develop through interactions with others that are conducted primarily be means of the linguistic system. According to Eun and Lim, the two key concepts of Vygotsky's theory are mediation and meaning (15). "Mediation refers to the process by which socially meaningful activities transform impulsive, unmediated, and natural behavior into higher mental processes through the use of instruments or tools," (Eun and Lim 15). The three major categories of mediation, according to Eun and Lim, are material tools (such as picture cards), symbolic systems (such as silently rehearsing words to be remembered), and mediation through another human being (such as an adult helping a child) (15). Meaning is the second of Vygotsky's key concepts. Eun and Lim explain that humans develop the ability to acquire meaningful speech in their interactions with others (16). In fact, in the initial stages of language acquisition, people first focus on the meaning of words and only later focus on the forms. Eun and Lim assert that "mutual understanding of the meaning contained in the speech of interlocutors is what makes linguistic development possible" (17).
The focus on meaning is perhaps the greatest advantage of the sociocultural perspective. According to Eun and Lim, "One of the best ways to structure instruction in a form that is meaningful for learners is to connect it to their real lives in the real world" (22). There are potential disadvantages to this perspective as well. First of all, language acquisition depends on exposure and, as Eun and Lim explain, not all types of oral interaction have equal potential to enhance the second language acquisition process (22). Additionally, for some recent immigrants who live in communities where mostly their original…… [Read More]
Theoretically, CLIL draws on research that situates the integration of language and content as the relationship between form and meaning. An understanding of the theory and practice related to the content-based classroom is essential to the present study. In this section of the chapter, I outline the underlying theory and rationale commonly cited as a basis for CLIL, review empirical research that has evaluated CLIL in the classroom, and outline various approaches designed to integrate language and content.
CLIL is an umbrella term that captures a wide range of classroom models that include attention to content and language. CLIL is premised on the belief that language and content are inseparable in SLA, and that language is "a system that relates what is being talked about (content) and the means used to talk about it (expression)" (Mohan, p. 1). As a pedagogical framework, CLIL has been widely adopted as an alternative to traditional models of teaching that separated language and content. These models promoted teaching of language as the subject of classroom instruction and have been criticized as consisting of "piecemeal, bottom-up approaches" (Stryker & Leaver, 6). In adult and school-based education, it "aims at eliminating the artificial separation between language instruction and subject matter classes" (Brinton. 2) and offers a two for one approach. Theoretically, CLIL draws on research that situates the integration of language and content as the relationship between form and meaning. An understanding of the theory and practice related to the content-based classroom is essential to the present study. In this section of the chapter, I outline the underlying theory and rationale commonly cited as a basis for CLIL, review empirical research that has evaluated CLIL in the classroom, and outline various approaches designed to integrate language and content
Selinker pointed out that context may affect L2 learners' inter-language (IL) development and performance. The term content area literacy has recently come to be associated with emergent term
In the professional and research literature, support for the integration of language and content draws largely on research situated in…… [Read More]
Second Language Learning
To What Extent May L1 Affect Second Language Learning
Linguistic and Metalinguistic Knowledge
This category includes variables that are effective in both reading and listening comprehension and that involve knowledge about the structure of language, such as its syntax and morphology. Two questions guide the discussion here: How does linguistic knowledge in L2 develop, and how does linguistic knowledge in L1 affect L2 linguistic knowledge, indicating cross-language transfer?
Syntactic Knowledge. The development of syntactic knowledge has been one of the most productive research areas in applied linguistics, especially in the field of second language acquisition. A typical study involves selecting a linguistic dimension (for example, relative clause formation strategies) and then comparing groups of bilinguals who have different ways of representing that parameter in their L1 (Robert & Williams, 2009). These studies tend to emphasize the Universal Grammar underlying all languages and suggest that second language acquisition involves setting new values for the universal parameters. Initially, L1 parameters are used in interpreting L2 but, with experience, new values are set for L2. For example, Jackson, (1981) focused on the adjacency conditions in English and French. In English, the adjacency requirement is much stricter than in French. That is, a verb and its direct object need to be next to each other. In White's study, English and French speakers made grammaticality judgments to French and English sentences that did or did not violate the adjacency assumption. French speakers judged adjacency requirements more flexibly, even with English sentences, whereas the English speakers judged the adjacency requirement more strictly for both French and English sentences. In short, L1 strategies were used to interpret L2 sentences. However, some researchers suggest that L2 learning is different from L1 acquisition, and that Universal Grammar plays a minimal role in L2 learning, especially for adults (Dodson, 1985). Also note the distinction made between acquisition vs. learning in this discussion, where the former, but not the latter, implies innate, nondeliberate processes). A defining moment for the field was in the late 70s / early 80s when it became evident that L2 learners follow a fairly rigid developmental route, in the same way as children learning their L1 do, and not dissimilar in many respects from the L1 route (Myles, 2002).
The competition model (Anton & DiCamilla, 1998) has been the most systematic way of describing how the specific L1 syntactic strategies affect sentence comprehension in…… [Read More]
A child who has been exposed to English as part of the curriculum of his or her native school will likely have an advantage over a child who has not. The processes of learning a new language are themselves helpful, even if the child has not previously been exposed to English. Being prepared for learning irregular verbs, understanding how to diagram a sentence, and figuring out unfamiliar words in context are all skills that are essential to becoming fluent. Never having thought about a language in a critical fashion is an additional obstacle for non-English speakers who have never had formal language training. "This helps explain why foreign exchange students tend to be successful in American high school classes: They already have high school level proficiency in their native language," and often an additional language (Walqui 2000).
The psychological motivation for learning a new language cannot be discounted. A child from a high-achieving background who is happy to be in the United States and wishes to assimilate quickly will have fewer internal obstacles than a child who is more ambivalent about doing so because he or she fears a loss of ties to his or her own culture. "Feeling they have to give up their own linguistic and cultural background to join the more prestigious society associated with the target language," can cause the child an identity conflict that does not facilitate ease of learning (Walqui 2000). Parents who view speaking the new language as a betrayal of the child's native culture and parents who do not allow English to be spoken at home can increase the learner's anxiety. Even if parents are not fluent, encouraging and supporting the child's English language studies is vitally important. Peer support from the child's native language group of friends, and of friends who are native speakers in the child's second language can also facilitate the child's conscious or unconscious motivation when learning.
Walqui, Aida. (2000, September). Contextual factors…… [Read More]
Stated to be indentified in this framework are three categories of knowledge that represent "key components in the process of cognitive appraisal" which are those of:
1) Person knowledge;
2) Task knowledge; and 3) Strategy knowledge.
Task knowledge is stated to "acknowledge the successes or failures in one's learning. Person knowledge is related to one's learning abilities and knowledge about internal and external factors that affect the success of failure in one's learning." (Vandergrift, et al., 2006) Finally, strategy knowledge "is useful for achieving learning goals and appears to have the greatest impact on learning by helping learners to choose the strategies that they use." (Vandergrift, et al., 2006) the following figure lists the three factor of metacognitive knowledge and examples from listening.
Metacognitive Knowledge and Examples from Listening
Source: Vandergrift, et al. (2006)
The work of Vandergrift, et al. (2006) states that metacognitive knowledge is "in essence...both self-reflection and self-direction." As the individual reflects on their thinking and as the individual engages in the learning of a language, there are methods that can be adopted for more appropriate and effective learning. In fact, "there is extensive evidence that learners' metacognition can directly affect the process and the outcome of their learning." (Vandergrift, et al., 2006) Additionally, metacognition is also positively linked to motivation and self-efficacy. According to the work of Dornyei & Skehan, (2003); Paris & Winograd, (1990); Winne, (2001); and Zimmerman, (1990) as cited in the work of Vandergrift, et al. (2006). Nisbet and Shucksmith (1986) term metacognitive abilities as the 'seventh sense' and states that these abilities are a "mental characteristics shared by successful learners. Not only are these individuals aware of their own learning processes and perceptive of the demands of their learning tasks, they also have at their disposal a range of strategies that they apply and adapt in order to meet the requirements of different situations." (Vandergrift, et al., 2006)
III. LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES
The work of Andrew Cohen and Ernesto Macaro entitled: "Language Leaner Strategies: Thirty Years of Research…… [Read More]
The acculturation model developed by Schumann (1978) consists of a taxonomy of variables that were developed based on the concept that both social (group) and affective (individual) variables are the primary causative variables as shown in Table __ below. In this regard, the term "acculturation" is used to refer to the learner's positive identification with, and hence social and psychological integration with, the target language group. For instance, Schumann notes that, "[T]he learner will acquire the second language only to the degree that he acculturates" (1978, p. 29).
Taxonomy of variables influencing second-language acquisition
Dominance; Nondominance; Subordination; Assimilation; Acculturation; Preservation; Enclosure; Cohesiveness; Size; Attitude; Intended Length of Residence in Target Language Area.
Language Shock; Culture Shock; Motivation; Ego-permeability.
Tolerance for Ambiguity; Sensitivity to Rejection; Introversion/Extroversion; Self-esteem.
Cognitive Development; Cognitive Processes; Imitation; Analogy; Generalization; Rote memorization; Cognitive Style; Field Dependence; Category Width; Cognitive Interference; Monitoring.
Lateralization; Transfer; Infrasystems.
Modern Language Aptitude; IQ; Strephosymbolia.
Nesting Patterns; Transition Anxiety; Reaction to Teaching Methods; Choice of Learning Strategies.
Frequency; Salience; Complexity; Type of Interlocutor.
Goals; Teacher; Method; Text; Duration; Intesity.
Source: Schumann (1986), p. 380
Sociologists such as Geert Hofstede have been studying the effects of cross-cultural differences between countries, and his analysis of cultural dimensions for Canada and China make it clear that there are some similarities in terms of the masculinity dimension but some rather significant differences between these two countries in terms of the other four dimensions as shown in Figure __ below (see Appendix a for complete descriptions of these five cultural dimensions).
Figure __. Comparison of Geert Hofstede's Five Cultural Dimensions for Canada and China
Power Distance Index
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Source: Hofstede (2010) at http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_dimensions.php? culture1=14&culture2=18#compare
Clearly, there are some wide gaps between China and Canada in terms of cultural factors, but this does not necessarily mean that the adverse effects of acculturation will…… [Read More]
first language (L1) in the second language EFL classroom (L2). The study provides a brief historical background of the use of native or target language for a classroom teaching. The literatures are also reviewed to enhance to a greater understanding on the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis. Theoretical arguments are provided to support or against the use of monolingual or bilingual approach in a teaching environment. While some scholars believe that monolingual approach is the best to teaching, some scholars support bilingual approach.
There is a growing debate among scholars, academicians and professionals whether a classroom teaching of ELT (English language teaching) should exclude or include native language (LI) and the issue has led leading to a long-term controversy. (Brown, 2000). Supporters of monolingual approach argue that instructors should avoid using L1 in the classroom environment. At the end of the 19th century, supporters of the Direct Method banned the use native language. However the positive role of native language in classrooms has been recently acknowledged on the ground that native language is a rich resource in the classroom environment and if used judiciously can enhance a greater understanding of learning and teaching of a target language. (Cook, 2001). However, there is still no positive agreement on the exact role of both L1 and L2. The review of the literature provides the historical overview of the debate.
The idea of avoiding the native language or mother tongue in classroom language teaching dated back to several centuries. "The development of ELT as a casual career for young people visiting Europe encouraged teachers to make a virtue of the necessity of using only English." (Harbord, 1992 p 350). Moreover, the growth of the training movement of British-based teacher with the need to train teachers working in multilingual classes reinforces the avoidance of mother tongue. Over the years, the effect avoidance of mother tongue in classroom has made vast majority of non-native speakers, who constitute majority of language teachers to feel guilty in their ability to teach with their mother tongue or native language in an English classroom environment. Many non-native speakers have tried to switch to all and only English classroom, only to discover that…… [Read More]
Adult Second Language Learning: Chinese Semantics, Explicit Learning
The area of second language learning (Chinese) is explored in this work in view of the appropriateness of the methodologies expounded by literature on the subject. Specifically, the proper use of explicit teaching method by incorporating aids like cues, pairing, sequential affectations, and the timing of radical disposition has been attempted in this work. The knowledge of previous work has been used to evaluate the utility of explicit teaching methodology to adult learners of Chinese language. The outcome arrived at is that with certain restrictions (because of certain limitations of the study), explicit learning methodology can be a faster tool than implicit methods as displayed in longer retention of the learned concepts. Also, explicit teaching can aid expansion of vocabulary amongst learners if imbued with the right implements in shorter time compared to implicit teaching methodology.
According to Taft and Chung (1999) knowledge of radicals helps students grasp Chinese characters much better. They hold that students (children) of the language can grasp the language better through the method of explicit teaching of the radicals. The possible inspiration for such direction is the thought of relation between recall and stimulus proposed by Craik and Lockhart in 1972. According to their (Craik and Lockhart, 1972) contention, under the "levels of processing" theory that they put forth, students ingrain stimulus during their early learning phase better if the explanation of radicals is a part of language teaching. Such a relational correspondence and interactivity leads to better recall through amplified stimulus (Craik & Lockhart, 1972). The teaching of radicals, they believe, causes a heightened activity in the brain that makes it easier to recall than if radicals are not taught during the initial period of language learning. Their natural extension of the theory was that deeper involvement (with radicals and explanations in early…… [Read More]
Language and Thinking
Language is the one aspect, which distinguishes human beings from lower species of life (Faccone et al. 2000). Sternberg (1999 as qtd in Faccone et al.) lists its properties as including communication, arbitrary symbolism, regular structure, structure at multiple levels, generation and production and dynamism. Sternberg assumes that language is most likely acquired naturally from the environment where a person is raised as an infant. The stages seem universal. The first is the cooing stage at two to four months. At this initial stage, an infant seems able to produce and possible phonemes or basic speech sounds. An infant's need to distinguish between phonemes of different languages gradually disappears around 8 months. This is when he recognizes the relationship between sound and meaning in his native language. This is how language begins to have importance to him. The findings of Sternberg's study reveal that human beings are born with some kind of internal tool or system that facilitates their ability to learn language as infants. Sternberg's study also suggests that language does not influence thought, as an infant can recognize and utter phonemes different from those of the language of his native environment. The second stage if the babbling stage when the infant begins to connect consonants and vowels. Many of his learned consonants come from the language to which is exposed, often belonging to other languages or he himself constructs. His mouth cavity also begins to develop into that of the adult. The infant starts to control his speech muscles like the tongue, lips and palate. And following the second stage of babbling, the infant learns defined and clear one-word and two-word utterances (Faccone et al.).
It can be gleaned that a person learns language from infancy. He soon learns that language is important. It allows him to communicate with others (Stok 2012). Civilization came to be because of communication. He realizes that he needs language to express or transmit his thought to others. Human beings need and use language in speaking and writing in order to communicate and continue communicating. Thousands of languages have been devised to put one another's messages across. Although thoughts can be conjured without language, thinking requires language for cognitive thoughts. Again, cognition sets a human being apart from…… [Read More]
The language theory
According to Krashen 'communication' is the purpose of a language. Focusing on communicative abilities is just as important. The relevance of 'meaning' is also stressed upon. According to Terrell and Krashen, a language has its very own lexicon. The stress on vocabulary is apparent here and language is seen as a means to 'communicate meanings' as well as 'messages'. 'Acquisition' takes place in case where people understand messages in TL, according to Krashen. Natural Approach consists of 'messages', 'structures' and 'lexical items' in plain view. Production and perception are two lexicons on which clarification of messages and organization is dependent upon. According to Krashen, acquisition is a mere combination of rules of the language by employing language for communication. Linguistic competence is only attained by 'input' which contains structures at 'interlanguage+1' level (i+1). It is obtained by " comprehensible input'.
Learning theory of language
In his second theory of language acquisition (SLA), Krashen explains that adults develop competence in two ways in second languages: It is obtained by learning and acquisition. "The ability to learn second languages consists of two ways. 'Acquisition is the quintessential subconscious process which children employ during learning their first language…. [and] 'learning'…, [which is] is a cognitive process which results in acknowledging [rules of] a language" (Krashen 1985:1).
The fundamental hypothesis is nevertheless, Acquisition-Learning distinction in Krashen's theory. It is known widely in the language practitioners and linguists' groups.
In Krashen's own words, there are two systems for performance in second language. One is the 'the acquired system' and other is 'the learned system'. 'Acquisition' or 'acquired system' is a result of a cognitive process same as that observed in children when they learn their first language. Natural communication is needed for the meaningful interaction. The speakers are focused on not only their utterances but also bring in the communicative act.
Whereas the 'learned system' or the 'learning' is a result of formal instruction and it consists of a conscious process which produces meaning knowledge 'about' the language, for instance, the rules of the grammar are identified. In words…… [Read More]
English Language Learning (Native Speakers)
Implications on reading and writing
Birth -3 mo.
Cries, responds to tone, attentive to special sounds, and begins to vocalize.
Reflexive and diverse cries, coos and gurgles.
Verbal play, some consonants, laughing.
Sounds or intensity as opposed to meaning.
Music and talk to child
Double syllables, MAMA, tunefully vocalize
Vocalizes pleasure and pain; initiates speech, reproduces babbles.
Increased sounds and imitation
Very little understanding
Truck red; hungry eat, etc.
Use of words and instructi8ons, jargon and jabber before frequent
Imitates some words, asks questions using intonation, vast improvement in tone and sound.
Stage I morphemes; nomination,
Most language is noun based, finger pointing, usually sentences are 2 words.
Action + Agent, Agent + Object, etc. (Daddy is laughing, I push the truck)
Very imitative stage
Show pictures of nouns and ask questions
Talks to self, asks questions, begins using sentences, large amount of vocabulary acquisition
May omit some phrases or parts of phrases, uses final consonants most of the time fewer omissions and learns to blend.
Present, progressive, location, learning some articles
Learning word order, 1/3 of all spoken words are nouns, utterances have few grammatical markers (no an, the, that); grows to 2-4-word phrases
I am here; Cat on box
Beginning to look at symbols
Help child "trace" letters with hands, show how to hold pencil or chalk, encourage mimicry
Fluent speech, recognizes past, present and future
Masters most consonants and improves intonation.
Mastering articles; past tense, third person
5-6-word phrases, uses contractions, possessive, past tense, progressive verbs (jumping, running).
An apple, a book, my dog, she went away, he brought the puppy
Move now from symbols (letters) to words and word combinations.
Spend time with pronunciation; cat -- c -- ah -- t, expand to write cat using pictographs
Has learned to pronounce and sound out, more fluent and confident in speaking.
Voiceless (th, sh, ch) are mastered; v, s, and zh mastered…… [Read More]
native language is learnt successfully and naturally by children, without any difficulty (Rui, Van and Jin, 2014). Children of all cultures acquire native languages at some point in life, in a suitable linguistic environment having adequate language output and input. However, many children learning second languages reveal that they face difficulties with second language that didn't occur while learning first languages. They are perplexed regarding their inability to understand or accurately and fluently use second languages, despite striving for years to learn them. It is often speculated whether second or target language learners can duplicate how they learnt their first language. Thus, a contrastive study of second and first language learning is of great significance to those who teach, and learn, second languages (Rui, Van and Jin, 2014).
The main idea of contrastive analysis was construction of structural 'images' of two languages, followed by direct comparison between them (Ermira, 2013). Via 'mapping' a particular system on another, differences and similarities can be identified. Ascertaining the differences can facilitate a clearer understanding of problems faced by second language learners. Interference may arise from structurally- dissimilar areas of both languages. The above term denotes any native language influence that may impact second language acquisition. The word transfer originates from here, with a distinction between negative and positive transfer. The former occurs if there is any dissonance between first and second language, with second language acquisition becoming more challenging and taking longer due to 'newness' of second language's structure, while the latter occurs in case of concordance of first language with second language, with the acquisition process being much easier (Ermira, 2013).
The above concepts were crucial in contrastive analysis,…… [Read More]