Brief history of language learning theorise . Dr Gabriela Meier. Overview. Reading – discussion Presentations Brief history. Objectives for today. Critically evaluate and discuss research articles in our field. Critically engage with and reflect on different learning contexts
Dr Gabriela Meier
Key figure: BurrhusFrederic "B. F." Skinner
The process of learning a language is the same as for any
other skill. Learning entails a process of exposure, imitation,
practice, reinforcement and habit formation.
Learning is dependent on the stimulus provided by the
environment and is a response to this external stimulus.
Question: Is this true?
Find examples of
In learning the first language (L1) imitation and habit
formation are certainly important.
Children engage in language play (a form of creative drilling)
and pick up and imitate chunks of language (formulaic
expressions and routines).
BUT imitation and repetition is only part of what we do and is
not consistently applied – can be very context dependent.
Learning the L2 is complex as we already have a set of L1
habits and from a behaviourist perspective these need to be
replaced with L2 habits.
Child: My teacher holded the baby rabbits and we patted them.
Adult: Did you say your teacher held the baby rabbits?
Adult: What did you say she did?
Child: She holded the baby rabbits and we patted them.
Adult: Did you say she held them tightly?
Chlid: No, she holded them loosely.
Conclusion: Child has learned the English regular past tense rule. But her grammar does not admit exceptions to this rule.
Source: CHILDES (Child language data exchange system)
Chomsky’s formal response:
“One would naturally expect that prediction of the behavior of a complex organism (or machine) would require, in addition to information about external stimulation, knowledge of the internal structure of the organism, the ways in which it processes input information and organizes its own behavior.”
Key figure: Chomsky
Eg in English the order is as follows:
Eric Lenneberg (1960s)
EH Lenneberg（1921 — 1975 )
Key figure: Piaget
A Key Stage is a stage of the state education system in the UK. It sets the educational knowledge expected of students at various ages. The stages are as follows:
Key Stage 0: Nursery/reception (3-5 years old) (Foundation Stage)Key Stage 1: Years 1 to 2 (5-7 years old)Key Stage 2: Years 3 to 6 (7-11 years old) Key Stage 3: Years 7 to 9 (11-14 years old) Key Stage 4: Years 10 to 11 (14-16 years old). GCSElevel
Piaget also introduced two key concepts to describe the way a child learns from experience.
Less successful for second language acquisition
Many important figures:
Next week’s topic
According to the discussants,