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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 are 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 at:
  • Craig, V. Formal approaches to second language acquisition. Retrieved online on 5/20/2010 at:
  • Gass, S. & Selinker, L. Second language acquisition(2008). 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