Language Learning Model Research Paper

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Communication - Language Type: Research Paper Paper: #30535107 Related Topics: Second Language, Languages, Cognitive Dissonance, Linguistics
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … 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).

Contrastive analysis

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...


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, reflecting a fundamentally behaviorist language learning model, which described language acquisition in habit formation terms. Language acquisition (most certainly first language acquisition) was explained identical to Skinner's 1957 interpretation of lab tests on rats, wherein negative and positive stimuli prompted specific 'learned' behaviors. The widespread acceptance of these views in the 1950s- 60s inspired the Audio-lingual teaching method, involving extensive drilling to inculcate the necessary 'habits'. Errors represented undesirable digressions from the standard and a flawed output of a flawless input. Chomsky (1959) challenged Skinner's behaviorist learning, proposing a more cognitive language learning approach incorporating a language acquisition device, which was reserved solely for producing and processing language, and not connected to other cognitive activity. Furthermore, Chomsky postulated that…

Sources Used in Documents:

1. The Greenbergian approach

The first employs the universal grammar concept that could describe classes of every language. Universal properties were asserted as innate, meaning, for instance, that children are capable of quickly constructing grammars. The second, Greenbergian approach (1966), seeks regularities in language differences and in principles and constraints underlying these differences (Hawkins, 1983: 6; Ermira, 2013; Powell, 1998).


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