The Critical Period Hypothesis. Definition.
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A maturational period during which some experience will have its peak effect on development or learning resulting in normal behaviour attuned to the particular environment the organism has been exposed to. If exposure to this experience happens after this time, it will only have reduced or no effect. (Newport)
The basic claim
- strong and weak versions
- feral children
- child aphasia
- deaf speakers and signers
- L2 learning and acquisition
- ethical experiments?
- teacher=researcher bias
- relation between lack of language and mental + social retardation
"Where is may I have a penny?"
"I where is graham cracker on top shelf?"
- Lenneberg: 2-puberty
- Krashen: 5
- Walsh & Diller:
different timetables for different
Obler (1981): strategies of acquisition, guessing meaning, formulaic utterances
- testing isolated utterances,
-depends on muscular plasticity, subject to CP
- the Henry Kissinger effect
- significance? ELF
- sharp change from concrete to formal operation at puberty
- a watched pot never boils?
egocentrism – decentration – defending ego
- face threat
- second identity
- language ego
- permeability of
acquisition order (Dulay and Burt, 1974)
transfer is rare, creative language acquisition
adults rely more on system of L1Strategies and processes in child L1 and L2 acquisition similar
- Accent (esp. with native speaker)
- Acquisition (if rooted in activity and ample
time and + atmosphere available)
- Low inhibition, communicating in L2:
- Natural curiosity
- Little L1 influence
- No preconceptions about language and culture
context in classroom