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ESOL Theories and Hypotheses in Language Acquisition
Terms in this set (23)
Critical Period Hypothesis
Eric Lenneberg (1967)--language acquisition drops at puberty. No empirical evidence to support this theory. Others believe language acquisition slowly declines with age. Also assumes a minimal role for environmental factors (see Affective Filter Hypothesis) (Chomsky).
Posits that second language learners go through similar processes and make similar errors when learning another language, regardless of the differences between L1 and L2. A contrasting theory posits that L2s more closely related to L1s are easier to learn.
Krashen's theory that we acquire language by receiving input one level above our competence (i+1).
Affective Filter Hypothesis
Krashen's theory that environmental factors affect language acquisition (see Critical Period Hypothesis). Criticized for being immeasurable.
The Behaviorist View
LLs imitate what they hear and develop habits in the L2 by routine practice. Habits in L1 more easily transfer to L2 if languages are similar, i.e., English to Spanish rather than English to Chinese. Criticized for not being practical in real-life situations. (Skinner, Pavlov, Watson, Saussure, Bloomfield, Lado)
The Cognitive View
LLs use creative skills of cognition to figure out the L2 on their own. LLs learn from making their own mistakes and from playing an active role in the process. Takes problem solving skills and memory into account. (Chompsky, Piaget, Lenneberg))
The Natural Order Hypothesis
Krashen's theory that language acquisition occurs in a predictable, universal order. Same in L1 and L2. LLs make similar errors regardless of linguistic background. (See L2=L1 Hypothesis)
Contrastive Analysis Theory (CA)
Audiolingual method. Fries and Lado.
Analysis of L1 enables us to predict problems that LLs will encounter in L2, i.e., Spanish speakers do not have words that begin with s clusters: sp-, sk-, sm-, spr-, st-, sn-, sl-.
Error Analysis Theory (EA)
Developed to compensate for flaws in Contrastive Analysis Theory (CA). Takes inconsistent and developmental features of the L2 into account, including errors of native speakers.
Chompsky. Language acquisition is a mental process using innate mechanisms=the Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
GT school=language composed of a finite set of universal rules that children acquire and apply to create language.
Lateralization of the Brain
See Critical Period Hypothesis. Neurons transmit impulses to produce sounds. Begins at birth. Peaks at puberty. (Chompsky, Lenneberg)
Meeting basic emotional and physical needs enhances and facilitates learning. Self-esteem huge factor. (Maslow, Rogers)
The view that certain skills or abilities are 'native' or hard wired into the brain at birth. In contrast to Skinner's behaviorism or "blank slate" theories.
All things that organisms do—including acting, thinking, and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors, and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behavior patterns or modifying the environment. In contrast to Chompskys' nativism.
Children understand that writing symbolizes speech. Combine drawings and letters and possess some awareness of phonetics.
Children begin to spell phonetically and follow rules of capitalization and punctuation. Writing is comprehensible.
Newly Fluent Writers
Consistently use conventional grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Use prewriting strategies. Produce simple plots and essays.
Social Interactionist Theory
Asserts that individuals will model their syntax after the people they observe early in life.
Continuum of Learning Theory
Outlines predictable steps when learning a new language. No matter what the age and intelligence of the person or the subject matter being presented, teachers will encounter the same general levels of mastery: Preproduction (Silent/Receptive), Early Production, Speech Emergence, Intermediate Language Proficiency, Advanced Language Proficiency.
Two Different Style of Basic interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)
1. Context-Embedded Communication
2. Context-Reduced Communication
(BICS) Uses visual and vocal props to help the student understand what is being said.
(BICS) Doesn't have visual cues so the student must rely on competency and fluency to understand.
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