Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Last time I posted was June 9th??? Ok, I really don't have time to write anything because we have a "mini exam" every day and I still have to review for it. So... I'll give you something really long and boring! MY NOTES! HAHAHA

Characteristics of Language

Languages are systematic:

  • Recurrent elements
  • Patterns of relationships
  • Infinite # of sentences can be created
  • Created - rules and principles - we're usually unconscious of these

Languages are symbolic:

  • Connection between the symbol and the meaning is arbitrary

Languages are social:

  • Express culture
  • Adequate for communication
  • Interaction is required for L1 acquisition

Levels of Language:

  • Lexicon - vocabulary
  • Phonology - sound systems
  • Morphology - word structure
  • Syntax - grammar
  • Discourse:
    • Continuous speech, whether spoken or written, longer than the sentence, e.g. paragraphs, conversations, texts
    • Ways to connect sentences and organize info across sentence boundaries
    • Structures for telling stories, engaging in conversation
    • Scripts for interacting and for events

Contrastive Analysis (CA)

  • Lado 1950s
  • Based on Structural Linguistics and Behaviorism
  • Structural Linguists
  • Comparing L1 and L2 one level at a time:
    • Phonology (how are they the same, how are they different)
    • Morphology (compare word structure)
    • Syntax (compare sentence structure)
  • "Structure before meaning" -- need to understand the structure first in order to learn a language
  • Behaviorist Psychology:
    • SRR as habit formation
  • SLA includes transfer
    • Positive transfer
    • Negative --interference--habits to be replaced by new habits
  • Lado's (1957) Contrastive Analysis Hypotheses:
    • L2 structures that are similar to L1 structures will be easier to learn
    • L2 structures that are different from L1 will be harder to learn.
    • Errors are the result of interference or negative transfer from L1.
  • CA was used to predict errors and areas of difficulty
  • Behaviorism 1940s-1960s

Teaching implications

  1. Practice and drill new structures

Imitate and repeat the same structures over and over

Need to replace L1 habits with L2 habits

  1. Focus teaching on "difficult" L2 structures-- those different from L1

  • Predictions made by CA were shown to be unreliable:
    • Many predicted errors did not occur
    • Many errors could not be traced to interference or transfer from L1
    • Much predicted positive transfer didn't happen

Error Analysis (EA)

  • Replaced CA in 1970s
  • EA didn’t predict errors based on comparisons of L1 and L2
  • In EA, L2 learner errors were:
    • Analyzed
    • Classified
    • Compared to children's L1 acquisition errors

1970s Changes in SLA Focus

  • From structural descriptions of language -> underlying rules
  • From behaviorism -> mentalism
  • From external (language use, behaviorist idea) -> internal/innate (what goes on in mind, some kind of innate ability)
  • From pedagogical focus -> more theoretical SLA research

Transformational-Generative Grammar

  • Noam Chomsky
  • A relatively small number of "rules" account for the basic sentence structures of a language
  • A limited set of transformational rules allow modifications (transformations) of the sentences
  • From these finite sets of rules and "transformations" an infinite number of sentences can be "generated"

Changing views of L1 Acquisition

  • Not S-R-R but instead Inner forces interacting with the environment
  • Child not a passive recipient of "stimuli" but instead seen as an active and creative participant in language acquisition
  • Structures of child language production not just deficient versions of adult language but analyzed as grammar systems in their own right

CA -> EA -> Interlanguage Studies (page 40)

CA focused on contrasting L1 and L2 (inaccurately) predicting L2 errors

EA focused on analyzing L2 learner "errors" -- those features of L2 learner language (interlanguage) that were different form the target language

Interlanguage studies focused on the learner's interlanguage as a whole, studying the stages and changes that characterize learner language

Interlanguage (IL)

  • Selinker (1972)
  • Intermediate states of a learner's language
  • Development of a learner's IL:
    • A creative process
    • Inner forces interacting with environment
    • Influenced by L1 and by L2 input
  • IL differs from both L1 and L2
  • Interlanguage = learner language
  • Systematic -- it makes sense, there are rules
    • Rule governed
    • Learners work through similar developmental stages, though at differing rates
  • Variable
    • Learners switch between a range of correct and incorrect forms over lengthy periods of time
    • Context affects patterns of language use
  • Dynamic
    • Evolves over time
    • Changes frequently, in a state of flux
    • A succession of interim grammars
  • A reduced system
    • Form is less complex grammatical structures
    • Reduced function: serves a smaller range of communicative needs (I can't do anything with interlanguage that I can do when I reach proficiency)
  • Interlanguage and Success
    • Relative success = the level of IL development reached before learning stops
      • Beginning of IL -- when a learner first attempts to convey meaning in L2
      • End of IL-- when development "permanently" stops
      • Boundaries unclear
  • Controversial Issues Re: IL
    • Label of "fossilization"
    • Goal of target language -- "native-like" production not always an appropriate or realistic goal
    • Should "progress" be measured against native-speaker norms?

Morpheme Order Studies

  • Roger Brown (1973) -- children's L1
  • Dulay and Burt (1974) -- children's L2
  • L1 and L2 morpheme acquisition order similar
  • L2 morpheme acquisition by children from different L1s was virtually the same
  • Creative Construction
    • Dulay and Burt
    • Internally driven acquisition processes
    • Learners subconsciously create a mental grammar for interpreting and producing newly encountered L2 language
  • Bailey et al, 1974
    • Studied adult's L2 (ESL) acquisition of the same morphemes
    • Studied 73 adult ESL learners from 12 different L1s
    • Results were similar to study on children's ESL acquisition
  • L2 Morpheme Studies
    • Both child and adult ESL learners (from various L1s) acquire a number of grammatical morphemes
      • In a set order
      • In a variety of contexts:
        • Formal classroom
        • Naturalistic settings
        • A mixture of formal and naturalistic
  • Order of Acquisition of Negatives:
    • Similar stages in
      • English as L1
      • English as L2
      • German as L2
  • Natural Order
    • Important concept for SLA studies
      • Suggests innate capacity may not be limited to early childhood

1970s L2 Development Studies

  • L2 language development is:
    • Systematic
    • Largely independent of the learner's L1
    • Similar in many ways to L1 acquisition
    • Follows similar acquisition patterns across different L2s (though different patterns from those of L1 acquisition)

Krashen's Monitor Model

  • Applies innatist (Chomskian) principle to L2 acquisition
  • 5 Hypotheses (guesses)
    • Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
      • Two ways of developing competence in L2:
        • Language acquisition:
          • The "natural" way to develop linguistic ability
          • Subconscious
          • Results in acquired linguistic competence-- a "feel" for correctness not awareness of rules
          • Implicit knowledge
        • Language learning:
          • Knowing about language
          • Formal knowledge of a language
          • Conscious
          • Explicit knowledge of rules (aware of them and able to talk about them)
    • Monitor Hypothesis
      • Conscious learning functions as a monitor, or an editor, to self-correct speech
      • Our formal "learned" knowledge serves only to check and correct what we produce by the acquired system
      • Criticism of Monitor Hypothesis
        • Impossible to test or verify
        • No way to know when a learner is consciously applying a rule or not or whether the rule is applied from the acquired system or the "learned" rules
    • Natural Order Hypothesis
      • Grammatical structures/rules are acquired in a predictable order
      • Criticism:
        • Too strong a statement
        • Doesn't take into account
          • Language transfer
          • Individual variability
        • Based almost exclusively on morpheme studies
        • A weak version of the hypothesis is supported by EA and morpheme studies
    • Input Hypothesis
      • We acquire (not learn) language by understanding input that is a little beyond our current level of (acquired) competence
      • Comprehensible input = language that is heard and understood
      • I + 1
        • I = the acquirer's current level of competence
        • Stage I + 1 = the stage immediately following I along some natural order
        • Acquirers progress (from a stage I to stage I + 1) by understanding input that includes a structure (+1) that is part of the next stage (I + 1)
      • Criticism:
        • Vague and imprecise:
          • How to determine level I and I + 1
        • Circular argument:
          • Comprehensible input -> acquisition; Acquisition verifies that input was comprehensible (and I + 1)
        • Impossible to test or verify
    • Affective Filter Hypothesis
      • Affective [emotional] factors, including motivation, self-confidence and anxiety, can positively or negatively affect second language acquisition
      • Affective filter blocks acquisition
      • Low affective filter
        • More open to input
        • Acquisition easier, quicker
        • Right attitudes aid acquisition in 2 ways
          • Confidence to interact with native speakers; acquirers seek out interaction, hence more input
          • More receptive to input received
      • Implications for classroom:
        • Supply comprehensible input (I + 1)
        • Create an atmosphere that promotes a low filter
      • Criticism
        • Vague
        • Impossible to test or verify
        • How does the affective filter work?
  • Influence of Krashen's Monitor Model on Research and Teaching
    • Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
      • Emphasis on importance of meaningful communication in L2 in the classroom
    • Natural Order Hypothesis:
      • Has influenced teachers and curriculum writers to adapt the order of presentation of new grammar points to the "natural order" of acquisition when feasible
    • Input hypothesis:
      • Has stimluated continuing research on input and interaction
      • Has led teachers to consider whether they are presenting material that is too simple (just I, no + 1) or too overwhelming (I + 2,3,4…)
      • Has led some teachers to allow their students a "silent period" before expecting them to speak in L2
    • Affective Filter Hypothesis
      • Raised awareness of the influence -- positive and negative -- of affective factors on L2 learning
      • Influenced teachers in trying to make the atmosphere in their classrooms non-threatening and affirming

Widespread Consensus going into the 1980s

Re: What the L2 learner comes to know IL is:

  • Rule governed
  • Dynamic
  • Differs significantly from both L1 and L2
  • Final state of L2 differs from native speaker's language system

Re: How the learner acquires knowledge

  • SLA involves creative mental processes
  • Development of both L1 and L2 follow predictable sequences, suggesting that L1 and L2 acquisition processes are similar in significant ways

Re: Why some L2 learners are more successful than others

  • Relates primarily to the age of the learner

The 1980s: Chomsky's Universal Grammar

  • Continued emphasis on:
    • Linguistic competence-- speaker-hearers underlying knowledge of language
    • Poverty-of-the-stimulus argument-- knowledge is beyond what input provides
  • Humans have innate knowledge of what all languages have in common, i.e. UG
  • LAD + UG (Principles and Parameters) + Input = LA
    • Children are born:
      • With a hard-wired Language Acquisition Device (LAD) in their brains
      • With the major principles of language in place (UG)
      • But with parameters to set, based on the input they receive in their particular language
      • Language input is not sufficient to account for language acquisition (Poverty of the Stimulus)
  • Principles and Parameters
    • Universal principles:
      • The core grammar of all human languages
      • An innate faculty that specifies the limits of language
      • Invariable
    • Parameters
      • Language-specific grammar variations
      • Variable but limited
      • Limited parameters:
        • Example:
          • Head-initial or Head-final
          • English has a head-initial parameter setting
            • John kicked the ball
            • Verb "kicked" comes at the head of the verb phrase
          • Japanese has a head-final parameter setting
            • John ball kicked (lit. translation)
  • From Transformational Grammar to Principles and Parameters
    • TG-LA involves a language-specific set of rules based on input and guided by UG
    • P&P-LA involves extremely general principles of UG and options (parameters) to be selected
  • Vocabulary important -- provides data for parameter setting and interpretation of meaning
  • UG in L1 Acquisition
    • Initial state: UG and innate learning principles in the language faculty of the brain
    • What is acquired: info from input (esp. vocab) that the learner matches with UG options (parameters)
    • Final state: adult grammar/ "stable state"
    • How L1 acquisition occurs:
      • "natural," "instinctive," internal"
  • UG and SLA
    • Initial state:
      • Knowledge of L1
      • Same parameter settings -> positive transfer
      • Different parameter settings -> negative transfer
      • Access to UG?
        • 4 options:
          • Full access
          • Partial access
          • Indirect access through L1 knowledge
          • No access
    • L2 Interlanguage in UG Theory
      • Intermediate states of L2 development
      • If access to UG, then IL involves parameter resetting
  • Chomsky's Minimalist Program (1990s)
    • Core of human language: the lexicon (the word store) made up of lexical categories (content words) and functional categories
    • Language faculty consists of:
      • A computational module
        • Invariable
        • Specifying universal abstract principles of language
      • A lexicon
        • Variable across languages
        • LA involves learning the lexicon
  • Errors Analysis (EA)
  • Corder (1967) "The significance of learners' errors"
  • Positive view of learner errors

Corder's view of Errors:

  • Sources of insight into the learning process
  • Evidence of a learner's language system at any point in language development
  • Evidence of learner strategies and hypothesis testing
  • Windows into learner's minds

Error Analysis:

  • Collecting a data sample
  • Identifying errors
    • Language which deviates from target L2
    • Look for "systematic errors" -- due to lack of L2 knowledge
    • Exclude "mistakes" (p. 39)
  • Describe and classify errors
    • Language level-- phonological, morphological, syntactical, etc
    • General linguistic category -- passive, negative…
    • More specific linguistic forms-- articles, prepositions, verb forms
  • Explain errors
    • Interlingual-- negative transfer/ interference from L1
    • Intralingual -- developmental, e.g. overgeneralization
  • Evaluate errors -- how serious (if it affects the understanding)
  • Ambiguity in classification
    • Can't always distinguish transfer from developmental errors
  • Lack of positive data -- focus only on errors, not what a learner has acquired
  • Possibility of avoidance of difficult structures


  • Approach to SLA within Chomsky's Minimalist Program
  • IL development = progressive mastery of L2 vocabulary and related morphological features
  • Lexical acquisition provides info for parameter resetting

Evidence for at least some access to UG in SLA

  • IL doesn't violate the constraints of UG -- doesn't create grammar that is incompatible with UG principles
  • IL can't be accounted for by only L1 transfer and L2 input

Final State in SLA in UG Theory

  • Why some learners are more successful:
    • Varying degrees of access to UG
    • Different relationships between L1s and L2s-> different transfer or interference
    • Quality of L2 input
    • Learner perception of mismatches between L1 parameter settings and L2 input
    • Different degrees of lexical acquisition

Total Physical Response

  • Approach
    • Uses the senses --> stimulus-response
    • Language is a natural process and human brain has a bio-program for learning language
    • Built around coordination of speech and action
    • Alleviates stress in classroom setting
    • Grammar based view of language
    • Verb is key
  • Design
    • Begins with oral proficiency
    • Goal: teach basics that a native speaker could understand
    • Grammar is taught inductively
    • Learner = performer and listener
    • Teacher = modeler and facilitator who provides opportunity for learning
    • Allows mistakes at beginning
  • Initiator of TPR: ASHER

Silent Way

  • Approach
    • Caleb Gattegno
    • Child state of mind when learning

  • Lots of input from teacher
  • Silence aids in concentration
  • Throughout process learner learns to correct themselves
  • Inductive process of learning
  • Vocabulary is important
  • How language is said is vital
  • Teacher isn't really the model of language -- more of a guide
  • Design
    • Goal is near-native fluency
    • Much learning revolves around visual elements (color charts, rods, etc)
    • Independent learning for the most part
    • Student explores and makes generalizations
    • Lessons are built grammatically based on what is previously taught


  • Approach
    • Lozanov -- used yoga
    • Music and musical rhythm is central to learning
    • Memorize vocab pairs L1-L2
    • Learn best when info is from authoritative source
    • Child to parent = student to teacher
    • Environment is as important as instruction
    • Rhythm and intonation is part of instruction
  • Design
    • Organized plan
    • Activities: imitation, Q & A, role play
    • Absorb material in a pseudo-passive state
    • Goal: conversational proficiency
  • Problems
    • Teacher is absolute authority -- weird and scary
    • Students aren't supposed to understand things but let it roll over and through them

Community Language Approach

  • Approach
    • Charles Curran
    • Modeled after counseling techniques
    • Focused on "how" the person learns
    • Interaction is key
    • Humanistic perspective
    • SARD = Security, Attention/Agression, Retention/Reflection, Discrimination
  • Design
    • Progression is topic-based
    • Class decides what's going to be studied
    • Teacher functions like a counselor
    • Learning is a community
    • The role of the students is being community members

Whole Language

  • Approach
    • Teaches language as a whole
    • Emphasis on authenticity
    • Interactional perspective
    • Humanistic and constructivist Background
    • Language is thinking. New language = new way of thinking
    • Connects to real life experience
    • Oral language communication
    • Emphasis on using literature and process writing
    • Cooperative learning
    • Concern for student's attitude
  • Design
    • No curriculum, focus on learners' needs
    • Taught to apply outside of class
    • Teacher is facilitator
    • Learner is evaluator and completely self directed

Multiple Intelligences

  • Approach
    • Gardner (cognitive science)
    • 8 total; all of them are used collectively
    • More than just linguistics
    • Armstrong applied it
  • Design
    • Four stages:
      • Awaken the intelligence
      • Amplify the intelligence
      • Teach with/for the intelligence
      • Transfer of the intelligence
    • Based on multi-sensory activities
    • Teach the student to better their own learning experience
    • Environment should be one that encourages the development of the whole person

Neurolinguistic Programming

  • Approach
    • Grinder and Bandler -- developed this as a form of therapy, not for SLA
    • Study of the brain and communication -- more about beliefs about how the brain functions
    • "program" people to learn the language
    • Language reflects and shapes our experiences
    • Humanistic philosophy
  • Design
    • Four principles:
      • Thinking about the outcome and what you want
      • Having good communication with others
      • Using your sense to decipher between feeling vs. real
      • Being flexible so that others understand
    • Modeling is essential
    • How you think directs how you learn

Lexical Approach

  • Approach
    • Memorize patterns
    • Language built on words and words only
    • Language input is an effective approach to learning languages
    • Set word combos that are reused
    • Memorized commonly used phrases and expressions
  • Design
    • Lexical rather than grammatical
    • Instruction based on data analysis
    • A lot of technology
    • Major source of input is teacher talk
    • Learner makes generalizations after analyzing data provided
    • Teacher's role: create an environment where learners can learn effectively and manage their own learning
  • Corpus = body of lexical items

Competency-Based Language Teaching

  • Approach
    • Focus on the output of language
    • Language is seen as a medium through interaction
    • Social context
    • Based on functional and interactional
    • Teaches what one needs to know for certain situations
  • Design
    • Teaches real world content
    • Focus on the use of the language rather than knowledge of grammar
    • What is to be learned is very specific and useful
    • Standards-based



Silent Way? GOTTAGNA

Community-Language Learning? CURRAN

Suggestopedia? LOZANOV

Multiple-Intelligences? GARDNER

SLA chapter 3 thru p. 52

-- Key terms

-- Self-study questions

-- CA, EA, Interlanguage -- what they're about

-- Morpheme order -- L1 and L2 -- general understandings (people acquire the order in similar ways across different languages)

-- Krahen's 5 hypotheses

-- Chomsky's TG, UG, P&P

-- (Matching, multiple choice)

-- Approaches 5-13

Distinctives of each approach

Matching or multiple choice