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Formal Approaches to Second Language Acquisition. Kathleen B. Jones Clinton City Schools Innatism Approach. Noam Chomsky - Language is a natural biological process.

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Formal approaches to second language acquisition

Formal Approaches to Second Language Acquisition

Kathleen B. Jones

Clinton City Schools

Kathleen B. Jones

Innatism approach
Innatism Approach

Noam Chomsky -

  • Language is a natural

    biological process.

  • Although language rules may not be similar-the ability to identify correctly formed sentences is universal and independent of meaning.

  • LAD – Language Acquisition Device

  • Universal Grammar – a set of universal rules that govern language.

Kathleen B. Jones

Innatism approach1
Innatism Approach

Myles (2008)

  • If humans have LAD, this

    could place constraints on

    second language acquisition.

  • Innate language learning during L1 could hinder L2 learning.

  • Explains why young learners learn L1 easier than L2

Kathleen B. Jones

Interactionist approach
Interactionist Approach

  • Emphasis on learner interaction and the social aspects of language learning

  • Studies the nature of interactions that take place in second language learning

Kathleen B. Jones

Interactionist approach cont
Interactionist Approach (Cont.)

  • Research shows that interactions and error corrections assist in promoting second language acquisition

  • Learning involves interactions between learners, teachers, and peers (Vygostky, 1986).

Kathleen B. Jones

Critical factors in sla
Critical Factors in SLA

  • Critical Period Hypothesis

    • Natural language takes place

      between the critical ages of two years to about age twelve (Lenneburg)

    • Before age two the brain is not developed enough and after age twelve the brain experiences loss of plasticity

    • Lateralization of the language function in the brain is complete around puberty

    • Critical period limits L1 and L2 acquisition

Kathleen B. Jones

Critical factors in sla1
Critical factors in SLA

  • Contextual factors

    • Language

      • L1 and L2 similarities and differences

      • L1 proficiency

      • Knowledge of L2

      • Attitudes

      • Dialect and register

    • Learner

      • Diversity in classroom

      • Support groups

      • Home environment

      • Goals for language learning

    • Learning Process

      • Learning style

      • Cultural influences

      • Motivation

      • Interactions

Kathleen B. Jones

Tips for teachers
Tips For Teachers

  • Respect student errors.

  • Address errors that students are capable of correcting.

  • Self-repair is preferable to other-repair.

  • Develop strategies to help students overcome avoidance.

  • Remember – student errors are a precious resource.

Kathleen B. Jones

Interactionist approach in clinton city schools
Interactionist Approach in Clinton City Schools

  • Be aware of the validity of components of innateness.

    (Can explain what we don’t understand about student learning.)

  • Interactionist approach used in CCS

    • High degree of interactions in the classroom

    • Curriculum requires us to use this approach

    • Assessment requires us to use this approach

    • Will help student learn English at a faster rate

    • Vocabulary instruction is enhanced

    • Our instruction of teaching reading, writing, speaking and listening is based on the interactionist approach.

Kathleen B. Jones

My personal approach
My Personal Approach

  • Credibility with innatist theories

  • Interactionist theory more useful in today’s classroom

    • Vocabulary instruction

    • Socialization

    • Reading and writing as well as speaking and listening

    • Interaction strong in classroom/society

    • Quicker acquisition of language

Kathleen B. Jones


  • ESL Mania- Ideas for teaching ESL

  • Instructional strategies - Instructional strategies for teachers

  • Classroom Instruction that Works - (Marzano)

  • Lanternfish -site with many useful ideas

  • TESOL – Resource page with many resources

Kathleen B. Jones


  • (n.d.) Retrieved online on 5/24/2010 at: http://. w

  • Craig, D.V. Formal approaches to second language acquisition. Department of Educational Leadership, Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved online on 5/20/2010 at: entURL=/lms/email/frame.d2l

  • Selinker, L. & Gass, S.(2008). Second language acquisition . New York, NY: Routeledge.

  • Myles, F. Second language acquisition research: Its significance for learning and teaching issues. Retrieved online on 5/21/2010 at:

  • Woozley, I.(n.d). Second language acquisition and the communicative approach. Retrieved online at:

Kathleen B. Jones