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Characteristics of Young Learners. 1. Involuntary attention. not pay attention to language system but to task, topic & situation form is acquired indirectly through peripheral learning language is a means for expressing meaning. 2. Limited attention. short attention & concentration span

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1 involuntary attention
1. Involuntary attention
  • not pay attention to language system but to task, topic & situation
  • form is acquired indirectly through peripheral learning
  • language is a means for expressing meaning
2 limited attention
2. Limited attention
  • short attention & concentration span
  • tend to focus on the end of words & add suffixes & postpositions before noticing the existence of & begin using prefixes & prepositions (e.g. goed, eated, whom with)
3 holistic skills
3. Holistic skills
  • approach language holistically  not analyzing it or breaking phrases into chunks but treating & learning it formulaically & integrated with other skills
  • language production does not depend on explicit knowledge, but must be developed implicitly
4 inability to observe regularities causal relations
4. Inability to observe regularities & causal relations
  • are neither cognitively nor psychologically mature to make comparisons between the L1 & the TL
  • require constant repetition to infer & generate grammar rules & to identify causal relations between various occurrences
5 undeveloped problem solving skills
5. Undeveloped problem-solving skills
  • can’t yet diagnose problems & generate solutions based on the information available
6 weak memory
6. Weak memory
  • cannot control what they are taught
  • the younger the learner, the patchier the storage & recall
  • need recycling activities
7 limited experience
7. Limited experience
  • have limited life & learning experience
  • do not bring in background knowledge
  • they are in the process of learning their L1
8 here now reasoning
8.  Here & now reasoning
  • concrete reasoning  concerned with physical here & now realia & observable situations in the immediate environment
  • abstract reasoning is tied to biological growth & does not develop until between 11 - 14 years old  abstract grammatical patterns are beyond children grasp
9 undeveloped ll aptitude
9. Undeveloped LL aptitude
  • influence the rate of development where formal classroom learning is concerned
  • 4 major components of LL aptitude:

(1) phonetic coding ability: an ability to identify distinct sounds, and to form associations between them and representative symbols

(2) grammatical sensitivity: the ability to recognize the grammatical functions of words (or other linguistic entities) in sentence structures

(3) rote learning ability: a memorization technique based on repetition

(4) inductive (language learning) ability: the ability to infer or induce the rules governing a set of language materials

10 mechanical memory
10. Mechanical memory
  • 2 kinds of memories:
    • mechanical memory (short-term memory)  predominant in children
    • logical memory (long-term memory)
      • develops very slowly between 11 - 14 years of age,
      • is related to abstract thinking
  • children under 12-13 can repeat & memorize long words & expressions, but are not able to analyze them because logical memory is not well developed yet
11 lower order functioning
11. Lower-order functioning

2 broad types of functioning:

  • lower-order functioning
    • responsible for the understanding & production of speech
    • involves basic syntactic processing & the motor operations employed in speaking & writing
    • a function of early maturing
  • higher-order functioning
    • involves semantic processing & verbal recognition
    • dependent upon late developing neural circuitry
    • available for use only in older learners
12 undeveloped interactional skills
12. Undeveloped interactional skills
  • young learners are prone to be less involved in sustaining a conversation
  • progress less rapidly than older learners
13 motivation
13. Motivation
  • rarely have clear motivation
  • be less able to:
    • assume responsibility for their learning
    • use the metacognitive strategies of focusing, arranging, planning, monitoring & evaluation
    • rule out any serious attempt at large-scale comparative assessment of their progress
14 literacy numeracy
14. Literacy (& numeracy)
  • children are far behind taking their first steps with the alphabet & numbers
  • a whole new code must be taught alongside the introduction of literacy & numeracy
15 ongoing categorization
15. Ongoing categorization
  • children still acquire L1
  • establish the range of reference of the lexical items
  • find out the boundaries of the relevant classes