Second Language Acquisition Theories

Kristen C
Mind Map by Kristen C, updated more than 1 year ago
Kristen C
Created by Kristen C almost 2 years ago


This mind map details the Second Language Acquisition theories of 5 experts.

Resource summary

Second Language Acquisition Theories
1 Language as a System
1.1 Ferdinand de Saussure
1.1.1 "Founding father of modern linguistics"
1.1.2 1857 - 1913
1.2 Structuralism, structural linguistics (each language is a system of its own)
1.2.1 Ordered, consists of units and their mutual relationship. Parts of language are ordered sequentially in a rule-goverened way.
1.2.2 The idea that we have symbols in mind that we associate with words, the sign theory the referent is the actual item the words we choose for symbols are arbitrary, thus different in many languages
1.3 Application in classroom: When we teach other language learners about a new language, we have to understand the way that their own language system works. We can use the comparisons of these language systems to help us guide them. We must also remember that the symbols students associate with words may vary by culture. Lastly, this allows us to better understand how we need to relate words to each other and work with teaching students sequencing.
1.3.1 What a Mexican student might associate with the word "house"
1.3.2 What a Japanese student might associate with the word "house"
2 Universal Grammar
2.1 Application: If we think of different language sort of like different houses, we can better help our students. Houses might be made with the same building materials, but different blueprints and floor plans. Different languages work like this. By understanding this theory, we can better make comparisons between English and our students' first language, or in the case of FL, we can better link English to the second language. It also helps us understand what is missing for our students who speak different languages so that we can adapt what we need to explain to them.
2.2 Noam Chomsky
2.2.1 1928 - today
2.2.2 debate over if HE is the "father of modern linguistics"
2.3 Universal grammar is the idea that all languages have the same fundamentals (nouns, verbs and adjectives) but that it is how they interact that varies. The ability to learn grammar is considered natural.
3 Communicative Language Ability
3.1 Lyle Bachman
3.1.1 1944 - today
3.1.2 the core of my SLA beliefs
3.2 Bachman's describes proficiency as Communicative Language Ability. His model describes how language involves a person's World Knowledge, Linguistic Competence, Strategic competence, and how all of these are filtered through psychophysiological mechanisms and context.
3.3 Application: For the FL classroom, this model is EVERYTHING. We have to ensure that we not only include ALL aspects of linguistic competence, but also that we provide our students opportunities to access and learn how to use the other parts of Bachman's model as well. An example is the world knowledge. This involves events and schemata, so we must use role play to allow our students to experience realistic situations that might occur within the cultures of our target language. We must also consider how cultural perspectives factor in and use authentic resources of language input so that students may learn the pragmatics of the language in addition to the organizational competences. We must also teach them how to navigate unknown language territory through gestures, circumlocution and more. This is the strategic competence factor. These are only a few examples of how this applies, but there are many more.
4 Input Hypothesis
4.1 Stephen Krashen
4.1.1 1941 - today
4.1.2 another person at the core of my teaching beliefs
4.2 Application: Krashen's idea about comprehensible input is SO important. As a French teacher this applies to everything I do. I scaffold all of my teaching with gestures, drawings, and more. We teach 90% or more in the target language, so we must use the i+1 theory to teach. IN an ELL class, there is only one language that can be used, so understanding comprehensible input is extremely important as well. Within my classroom, we introduce new vocabulary with images and questioning. We build up the questioning so that it gets more and more complex answers from the students. Anytime I am talking with them, I am using language that is just above their own level because they should be able to understand most of what I say, and they should be able to infer the rest from the context to learn new words.
4.3 The input hypothesis states that while we might learn things differently, all people acquire language the same way, and that is through hearing messages that are understandable to them.
4.3.1 i+1 is a part of CI. i+1 is teaching students at a level just above where they are so that they can learn new information while still understanding the majority of the message given.
5.1 Jim Cummins
5.1.1 1949 - today
5.2 BICS - Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills: This is what a student can do orally in a non-academic, survival setting. This would include things like interacting with other students, getting through a lunch line, and more.
5.3 This idea insists that consideration must be given to the fact that what a student appears to be capable of doing linguistically in a low-stakes social situation may not be equal to what the student is capable of doing in a higher-stakes, academic situation. This is important because many students are mistaken as disabled because of their language ability level when in reality, they have a higher level of cognition but cannot achieve it in their second language as they would in their first.
5.4 CALP - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency: This is what a student is linguistically capable of in an academic environment. The student has a certain ability to learn the linguistics of their academic content.
5.5 Application: This is important when considering a student's need for resources and services in the real world. An ELL student in an American school may need more help than is evident and must be tested for placement. Also, this may explain the unexpectedly low test scores of a student who is in an ELL program, because their deficiency might be linguistic and not cognitive.
6 Input Processing
6.1 Bill VanPatten
6.1.1 1950 - today
6.2 theory about how language input is processed and output
6.3 Application: When we plan our lessons, this is the order in which we should expect to teach a lesson so that our students can appropriately process the language. If we do not include enough input and intake time into our class, the students will fail when it comes time to produce language (output). This can apply to all four modes of communication, as the reading and listening modes are the input phase, and the writing and speaking modes are the output phase. For the foreign language classroom, this means that for each unit, we must input multiple times before assigning the students output activities. We also use a lot of formative assessments to check the developing system before we output.
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