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Linguistics and Second Language Teaching. Phil Hubbard Linguistics/English for Foreign Students Linguistics 1 November 30, 2011. Who am I?. Outline. Overview of linguistics in language t eaching Key points from Rothman (2010) Communicative language teaching model

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linguistics and second language teaching

Linguistics and Second Language Teaching

Phil Hubbard

Linguistics/English for Foreign Students

Linguistics 1

November 30, 2011

outline
Outline
  • Overview of linguistics in language teaching
  • Key points from Rothman (2010)
  • Communicative language teaching model
  • Some examples of linguistics in action
linguistics in language teaching
Linguistics in Language Teaching
  • Structuralist influence (1950s-60s)
    • Audio lingual method
    • Contrastive analysis
  • Transformational grammar I (1970s)
    • Innatism; Critical Period Hypothesis
    • Interlanguage – learner’s language as a system
    • Cognitive code approach
linguistics in language teaching1
Linguistics in Language Teaching
  • Communicative approaches (1970s-80s+)
    • Influence of sociolinguists (Hymes)
    • Focus on communicative competence
  • Transformational grammar II (1980s)
    • Innatism; Krashen’s Input Hypothesis; Natural Order
    • Critical period replaced by affective filter
    • UG approaches (e.g., parameter setting)
linguistics in language teaching2
Linguistics in Language Teaching
  • Interactionist approaches (1990s)
    • Both input and output necessary
    • Noticing hypothesis
    • Processability theory
  • Sociocultural approaches (1990s)
    • Collaboration & scaffolding
    • Closer links to sociolinguistics
rothman 2010
Rothman (2010)
  • Relation of linguistics and teaching
  • Types of grammars
    • Prescriptive – tells NS’s what is “right”
    • Pedagogical – tells NNS’s what is “right” and how to learn it (often by contrast with L1)
    • Descriptive – systematizes NS intuitions and data from language use
rothman 20101
Rothman (2010)
  • Example: pronominal subjects in Spanish
    • Grammatical distinctions
      • John believes that we/*Ø are good people
      • Juan creequenosotros/Ø are good people
    • Pragmatics in “optional” use
      • Who spoke to Roberto yesterday? I/*Ø spoke to him
      • ¿Quienhablócon Roberto ayer? Yo/*Ø le hablé
linguistics in perspective a standard communicative model
Linguistics in perspective: a “standard” communicative model

Learning goal: develop “communicative competence”: (Savignon, 2001) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicative_competence

  • Grammatical competence
  • Sociocultural competence
  • Discourse competence
  • Strategic competence
useful knowledge for teachers
Useful knowledge for teachers
  • Phonetics and phonology
  • Teaching lexical items: challenges
    • Idioms
    • Synonyms, antonyms, and items in the same semantic fields
  • Speech acts (English is more indirect than students believe)
  • Verb subcategorization
verb subcategorization
Verb subcategorization
  • The woman boiled the water/*cried the baby.
  • I am studying/*knowing French.
  • Fred called his friend up/*ran his friend into.
  • She told/*explained me the schedule.
  • They didn’t allow/*let him to come
examples
Examples
  • For each set of sentences in the handout, try to determine the nature of the problem (if any) and what you might do to help ESL learners understand it.
  • Work in groups of 2-3—feel free to link to outside sources if you have the means.
group 1 examples
Group 1 Examples
  • Infinitive vs. gerund
  • Gerund after a preposition
  • Test for preposition: can you replace the verb form with a noun phrase while maintaining the basic meaning?
    • I look forward to the party.
    • I’m not accustomed to such treatment.
    • We were used to his complaints.
group 2 examples
Group 2 Examples

Bolinger Principle (from The Grammar Book):

  • To-infinitive = hypothetical, future, unfulfilled relative to the main verb time
  • Gerund = real, vivid, fulfilled relative to the main verb time
group 3 examples
Group 3 Examples

All the verbs are unaccusative. That is, they have a single argument that is semantically more like what we expect to see as a direct object in a transitive verb (e.g., a patient). Such verbs behave differently in many languages, and thus language learners often produce passive-like structures with these verbs, but not with agentive intransitives: “John was spoke first.”

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Knowledge of linguistics is quite helpful for language teaching
  • However, being a linguist doesn’t automatically make you a better language teacher
  • If interested, consider Linguistics 191/291 next quarter (shameless plug): www.stanford.edu/~efs/ling291