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Comparative study of language and SLA research. By Yu Yuxing 04/20/03. Different linguistic schools and their views on LA and SLA. Structuralism: Bloomfield, form and structure Mentalist: Chomsky, TG and innativeness

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different linguistic schools and their views on la and sla
Different linguistic schools and their views on LA and SLA
  • Structuralism: Bloomfield, form and structure
  • Mentalist: Chomsky, TG and innativeness
  • Cognitive linguistics: language knowledge---the projection of the object world in human being’s cognition system.



the structuralist view on la
The structuralist view on LA
  • Children acquired their L1 by imitating their parents and receiving negative and positive reinforcements.
  • Language acquisition is environmentally determined.
  • L2 acquisition is shaped by manipulating the input to provide appropriate stimuli and by ensuring that adequate feedback is always available.
  • Acquisition--- controlled by external factors

the learner---a passive medium

the internal processing---ignored Back

the mentalist view
The mentalist view
  • Language is a human-specific faculty, separated from the general cognitive mechanisms for intellectual development
  • LAD---the language acquisition device---determines language acquisition
  • The learners are equipped with innate knowledge of the possible forms of any language and in SLA learners use the information supplied by the input to arrive at the forms in the target language
  • Thus, the input is indeterminate Back
the cognitive view
The cognitive view
  • There exists a kind of innate knowledge in children’s cognitive mechanism
  • But this innate knowledge is not confined to a specific language mechanism. Instead, it is a general learning mechanism responsible for all forms of cognitive development.
  • SLA is the product of the complex interaction of the linguistic environment and the learners’ internal mechanisms.
  • Input does have a determining function in LA, but only within the constraints imposed by the learner’s internal mechanism.
  • A theoretical framework: noticed input---comprehended input--- intake(explicit knowledge)---integration(implicit knowledge) (P349, Figure9.1) Back
  • 刘润清,1999,《论大学英语教学》,外语教学与研究出版社
  • 赵艳芳,2001,《认知语言学概论》,上海外语教育出版社
  • Rod Ellis, 1999, The Study of Second Language Acquisition, 上海外语教育出版社
research framework in sla
Research framework in SLA
  • Lerner language
  • Learner-external factors: social factors/input and interaction
  • Learner-internal mechanisms: L1 transfer/cognitive learning processes/communication strategies/ knowledge of linguistic universals
  • Language learner: motivation/affective factors/learning strategies

by Rod Ellis

sla research on learner language
SLA:Research on learner language
  • Error analysis
  • Developmental patterns: order and sequence
  • Variability in learner language
error analysis
Error analysis
  • Data collection
  • Identification
  • error and mistake
  • overt and covert errors
  • correctness (usage) and appropriateness (use) (Widdowson)
  • Corder: procedure of identifying errors (Rod Ellis, P53)
  • Description: omissions, additions, misinformations, misorderings.
  • Explanation: competence (transfer, intralingual and unique) errors and performance errors
  • Limitations: no analysis of what learners can do correctly/no developmental analysis/
development patterns order and sequence
Development patterns: order and sequence
  • Silent period
  • Formulaic speech (routines and patterns P84)
  • Structural and semantic simplification
  • Sequence and order
  • order: ing/plural copula---auxiliary article---irregular past---regular past/3rd person singular/possessive ‘s’(P94 table3.1)
  • sequence: (e.g.: the acquisition of negation) external negation---internal negation---negative attachment to modal verbs---negative attachment to auxiliary verb as in target language rule (P100 table3.6)
  • The L2=L1 hypothesis: the samefundamental principles and language acquisition device for L1 and L2? (P107table 3.10 )