HS: Language and the Mind Prof. R. Hickey SS 2006First and Second Language Acquisition Tatiana Prozorova (HS/TN)Irina Novikava (HS/TN) Alexandra Wolek (HS/LN) Vanessa Hollands (HS/LN) Verena Scheulen (HS/LN) Nadiya Sowa (HS/LN) Kirsten Leicht (HS/TN)
Overview • Instruction and Second Language Acquisition • Variation in Child Language • Psychosocial Aspects of Language Acquisition • Social and Discourse Aspects of Interlanguage • Psycholinguistic Aspects of Interlanguage • Contrastive Linguistics
Instruction and Second Language Acquisition Tatiana Prozorova Irina Novikava
Structure • main theories dealing with instruction in L2 acquisition • effectiveness of instruction • key principles for an effective instruction • instructions appropriate to each acquisition stage • ten things the teacher can do to improve instruction for ELL students
Introduction • Grammar Translation Method • non-communicative approach that relies on reading and translation, mastery of grammatical rules and accurate writing • Audiolingual Method • non-communicative approach that involves heavy use of mimicry, imitations and drill. Speech, not writing is emphasised • Communicative Language Teaching • is based on the assumption that learners do not need to be taught grammar before they can communicate but will acquire it naturally as part of the process of learning to communicate
Basic theories of L2 acquisition • "Comprehensible Input" hypothesis (by Stephen Krashen) • learners acquire language by "intaking" and understanding language that is a "little beyond" their current level of competence • "Comprehensible Output" hypothesis (by Merrill Swain and others) • providing learners with opportunities to use the language and skills they have acquired, at a level in which they are competent, is almost as important as giving students the appropriate level of input • Affective Filter hypothesis (by Krashen and Terrell) • individual’s emotions can directly assist in the learning of a new language
Basic theories of L2 acquisition • Basic interpersonal communications skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) • Context-embedded communication • provides several communicative supports to the listener or reader(objects, gestures, vocal inflections) • Context-reduced communication • provides fewer communicative clues to support understanding • Cognitively undemanding communication • requires a minimal amount of abstract or critical thinking • Cognitively demanding communication • requires a learner to analyze and synthesize information quickly and contains abstract or specialized concepts
Four key principles for an effective instruction • Increase Comprehensibility • involves the ways in which teachers can make content more understandable to their students • Increase Interaction • language skills are used in real-life situations • Increase Thinking/Study Skills • advancedthinking skills are developed • Use a student’s native language to increase comprehensibility
Examples of Instructional Strategies • Silent/ Receptive Stage I • Use of visual aids and gestures • Slow speech emphasizing key words • Do not force oral production • Write key words on the board with students copying them as they are presented • Use pictures and manipulatives to help illustrate concepts • Use multimedia language role models • Use interactive dialogue journals • Encourage choral readings • Use Total Physical Response (TPR) techniques
Examples of Instructional Strategies • Early Production Stage II • Engage students in charades and linguistic guessing games • Do role-playing activities • Present open-ended sentences • Promote open dialogues • Conduct student interviews with the guidelines written out • Use charts, tables, graphs, and other conceptual visuals • Use newspaper ads and other mainstream materials to encourage language interaction • Encourage partner and trio readings
Examples of Instructional Strategies • Speech Emergence Stage III • Conduct group discussions • Use skits for dramatic interaction • Have student fill out forms and applications • Assign writing compositions • Have students write descriptions of visuals and props • Use music, TV, and radio with class activities • Show filmstrips and videos with cooperative groups scripting the visuals • Encourage solo readings with interactive comprehension checks
Examples of Instructional Strategies • Intermediate /Advanced Proficiency Stages IV & V • Sponsor student panel discussions on the thematic topics • Have students identify a social issue and defend their position • Promote critical analysis and evaluation of pertinent issues • Assign writing tasks that involve writing, rewriting, editing, critiquing written examples • Encourage critical interpretation of stories, legends, and poetry • Have students design questions, directions, and activities for others to follow • Encourage appropriate story telling
Ten Things the Teacher Can Do To Improve Instruction • Enunciate clearly, but do not raise your voice. Add gestures, point directly to objects, or draw pictures when appropriate • Write clearly, legibly, and in print—many ELL students have difficulty reading cursive • Develop and maintain routines. Use clear and consistent signals for classroom instructions • Repeat information and review frequently. If a student does not understand, try rephrasing or paraphrasing in shorter sentences and simpler syntax. Check often for understanding, but do not ask "Do you understand?" Instead, have students demonstrate their learning in order to show comprehension
Ten Things the Teacher Can Do To Improve Instruction • Try to avoid idioms and slang words • Present new information in the context of known information • Announce the lesson’s objectives and activities, and list instructions step-by-step • Present information in a variety of ways • Provide frequent summations of the salient points of a lesson, and always emphasize key vocabulary words • Recognize student success overtly and frequently. But, also be aware that in some cultures overt, individual praise is considered inappropriate and can therefore be embarrassing or confusing to the student
Conclusion • The main theories dealing with instructions in L2 acquisition have been considered • Instruction can be both successful and non-successful • Four key principles for an effective instruction have been pointed out • Examples of concrete instructions appropriate to each acquisition stage have been introduced
http://www.nwrel.org/request/2003may/general.html • Rod Ellis Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press • Thank you for your attention!
Language and the BrainProf. R. Hickey SS 2006Variation in child language Aleksandra Wolek (Hauptstudium LN)
Content: • Characteristics considering first language acquisition • Basic requirements for first language acquisition • Variation in child language • Variation in rate • Variation in route • Types of variation • Direct & indirect influences • Summary • Conclusion
Characteristics considering first language acquisition : • It is remarkable for its speed • In normal conditions language acquisition generally occurs • Small differences in a range of social and cultural factors have, according to various studies, no meaning • Belief that there is some “innate” predisposition of human child to acquire language exists • TRUTH: each human child posses a language -faculty
Basic requirements for first language acquisition • Biological aspects must be fulfilled • This process requires interaction • Language must be culturally trasmitted
Variation in child language • Variation in rate • Variation in route
Types of variation: Inherited attributes: Sex, intelligence, personality and learning style Social background: Family structure, cultural environment, social group affiliation Situation: setting, activity, number of participants Child's linguistic behaviour Style of linguisticinteraction: interpersonal relations etc.
Direct & indirect influences • Indirect influence: • Social background • Direct influences: • Inherited attributes • Situation • Style of linguistic interaction
Inherited attributes: • Sex no genetic superiority of girls • Intelligence correlation between language and intelligence strongly related to environmental variation • Personality and learning style no strong evidence for such relationship, still demands researching
Situation: • Setting • Activity • Number of participants all factors are very significant for child's linguistic behaviour
Style of linguistic interaction : • Interpersonal relations • Parental child-rearing methods relationship between experience of linguistic interaction and patters of language learning is very complex and variable
Social background: • Family structure • cultural environment • social group affiliation child's linguistic behaviour depends, for sure, on all these factors, however, the size and nature of this variation is unknown
Summary: • Characteristics considering first language acquisition • Basic requirements • Review of the major dimensions of variation in child's language behaviour • Evaluation of significance of these factors
Conclusion: • It is still a “young” discipline • There is a need for further research • There is a need for a theory or theories integrating all observations and results
References: • Wells, Gordon , “Variation in child language”, In: Fletcher, Paul and Garman, Michael 1997. Language Acquisition. Cambridge: University Press. • Yule, George 1996. The study of language. Cambridge: University Press.
THE END!!! Thank you for your attention!
Language and the MindProf. R. HickeySS 2006Psychosocial Aspects of Language Acquisition Vanessa Hollands (Hs/LN)
Psychosocial Aspects of Language Acquisition Content • Introduction • Piaget‘s Theory • Vygotsky‘s Theory • Conclusion
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionIntroduction Language acquisition does not take place in a vacuum. As children acquire language, theyacquire a sign system which bears important relationships to both cognitive and social aspects of their life.
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionIntroduction Psychosocial aspects of language acquisition are mainly concerned about how language, thought and social interaction interrelate in the child‘s development. Does social interaction influence the child’s language acquisition?
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionPiaget’s Theory Piaget focuses on the child’s cognitive development, which he describes as resulting from the internalization of the means-ends organization of the sensorimotor activity achieved in early development.
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionPiaget’s Theory He sees the children’s use of language as one among many behavoirs following principles of organization and mechanisms of development which are themselves autonomous . autonomy and causal priority cognitive development is in principle both autonomous from language development and causal prior to it
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionPiaget’s Theory The nature of children’s language at any particular time is explained as being merely one of the many symptoms which reflect a particular stage in their underlying cognitive structure. language as one phenomena among others, which can be explained in biological principles
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionPiaget’s Theory The child’s cognitive development is relatively autonomous, not only independent from language, but also from social interaction. social interaction as secondary social interaction explained in logico- mathematical principles
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionPiaget’s Theory Critique • Adult-child interaction can affect children’s reasoning about social or nonsocial objects. • There are reasoning processes in adult-child interaction, which cannot be reduced to individual units.
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionPiaget’s Theory Egocentricity The child’s egocentricity results from his lack of decentering. His language, having private characteristics, is at first not adapted to social communicative situations. It becomes socialized at a later point in development as in decentering the child’s cognitive organization allows him to participate in social interaction. child talks about what he does and is not concerned about being understood speech does not seem to have a real function
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionVygotsky’s Theory Vygotsky’s approach to the inter-relations of language, thought and social interaction is to view language as a multifunctional and context- dependent system mediating simultaneously cognitive and social development.
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionVygotsky’s Theory Vygotsky defines language as primary, context- dependent and social natured. Language development is the principal motor of development, as it mediates the child’s participation in both the intellectual and social life surrounding him. cognitive development is not independent from signs
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionVygotsky’s Theory He sees a constant interaction between language development and cognitive development, such that thought is neither autonomous from language nor causally prior To it. The use of a sign system such as language are necessary for the development of uniquely higher mental functions.
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionVygotsky’s Theory The cognitive development is necessary dependent on the fact that language is multifunctional: • It’s a sign system which is simultaneously used for abstract representation • and for social interactive contexts. The context-dependent indicatory aspects of communication in social interaction are primary and constitute the foundation for the development of abstract reference-and-predication.
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionVygotsky’s Theory Zone of proximal development It can be generally described in terms of the processes of social interaction between adults and children which allow children to organize complex series of actions in problem-solving situations before they have the mental capacities to decide on the actions on their own. shift from interpsychological to intrapsychological function
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionVygotsky’s Theory How does this shift in function take place? • According to Vygotsky’s principle of semiotic mediation, there are specifically communicative processes, and most importantly the processes that involve language, which make this shift possible.
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionVygotsky’s Theory Egocentricity At first, speech accompanies ongoing actions in the context of utterance, serving as a means of social contact with others. At a later point, when speech has been differentiated it forms a system which is multifunctional for the adult: • used externally - social function • used internally – mental function change in different functions
Psychosocial Aspects of Language AcquisitionConclusion Contrast between Piaget and Vygotsky: • Whether or not they give language development a special status in relation to other aspects of developments • Whether or not they see language as inherently social or more precisely as multifunctional