Language Acquisition

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Theories Concerning Language Acquisition

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Language Acquisition
  1. Input Hypothesis
    1. Stephen Krashen
      1. Believes everyone acquires language the same way We only acquire language when we understand the message
        1. 2 Lessons used as examples
          1. Lesson 1: Began speaking in German and then expect audience (students) to repeat language. This proves that language is not best acquired through repetition, volume of voice, putting it on a screen, or copying the words.
            1. Lesson 2: Speaks German but provides visual examples of words being spoken. This makes it easier to understand what is being said even though you may not know German.
            2. In this theory talking is not practicing, which is what most people believe is the best way to acquire a new language. The best application of this theory within the classroom is to provide appropriate opportunities for children to develop their ability to produce and experience the new language.
        2. Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills
          1. Dr. Jim Cummins
            1. Native speakers who are fluent and can communicate using their primary or native language. Education is used to expand the skilled use of language through communication
              1. These linguistics skills are learned fairly quickly and simply through social experiences with native speakers.
                1. In the classroom teachers can create an environment that encourages students to interact with each other. As a result of these interactions, they will be developing BICS.
              2. Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
                1. A second language learner's ability to interpret and produce complex text
                  1. Takes about 5 years for a student or adult to become proficient at this level
                    1. To promote linguistic development for students who are acquiring a new language it is important to get them engaged in reading and writing. This will help them expand their vocabulary as well as their overall cognitive development of the new language
                2. Discrete Language Skills
                  1. Focus on literacy skills such as phonics, letters, grammar, spelling, and conventions (basically the rules we follow when speaking)
                    1. The majority of these language skills are acquired through the teaching of these skills in the classroom.
              3. Universal Grammar
                1. Noam Chomsky
                  1. All human languages have grammar rules, nouns, ways to make things plural, past and present, and other fixed structural principles. This is because all humans have a mind that is meant to experience language in this manner.
                    1. Teachers should not treat children who are learning a second language as though they are incapable of learning the rules and structure of a new language. All children have the a basic grammatical knowledge of language; it just may not be in the preferred language.
                2. Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
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