Secondary Language Acquisition Theories - Digital Mind Map

Lauren Santarell
Mind Map by Lauren Santarell, updated more than 1 year ago
Lauren Santarell
Created by Lauren Santarell over 5 years ago


Culturally Responsive Teaching - English Language Learners

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Secondary Language Acquisition Theories - Digital Mind Map
1 Behaviorist Learning Theory


  • The behaviorist learning theory developed by B.F. Skinner argues that language is learned like any other behavior. Children are able to learn language when they receive either positive or negative reinforcement when they use the acceptable or unacceptable language. Children need repetition and practice to reinforce what they learned. In this theory children are seen as passive recipients of external influences such as learning the new language. Children are often corrected when incorrectly using the language.  - In the classroom, children may receive stickers or stars when using the expected language correctly.  - A teacher also may want to try have children constantly repeat and practice new vocabulary in order to learn.  _ Also in the classroom, this model can be used by correcting the mistakes of the child as they happen frequently.  - This model however has many limits. One such limit is that students become passive recipients of knowledge instead of active constructionists and "create beings"  who generate language and use it to express their own thoughts and opinions.  The image i have selected for this theory is one of Pavlov's Dog. Pavlov's Dog embodies this theory because his behaviors are rewarded when he correctly executes the expected behavior. 
1.1 B.F. Skinner
1.1.1 Please see note on the theory bubble for more information
1.2 Pavlov's Dog Image
2 Psycho-Lingusitic Theory


  • The Psycho-Lingusitic Model, also called the Universal Grammar Theory was developed by Noam Chomsky on the believe that all children were born of prewired to learn language and that we all poses these language acquisition requirements or LAD's that predispose use to learn language. LAD consists of basic grammatical requirements, categories, and rules that are common in every language. This theory believes that children only need to be exposed for LAD's to take over. However, this theory has one limitation. This theory limits a child's focus on grammar and not on the other language elements such as communication.  - In the classroom, teachers can apply this theory by pointing out the similarities between a students native or first language with the similarities found with in their second language.  - The picture I decided to attach to this theory is the logo to Universal Studios. I have decided to incorporate this image because the Universal logo correlates with the beliefs of the theory stating that all languages share common or "universal" grammatical elements. 
2.1 Universal Grammar Picture
2.2 Noam Chomsky
2.2.1 Please see note on the theory bubble for more information
3 Cognitive Learning Theory


  • The cognitive theory of language acquisition is based on a lot of the ideas of the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget, however, over many years multiple scholars have contributed to the cognitive learning theory especially as it pertains to language acquisition. The cognitive learning theory advocates that children talk because they have something to talk about. Syntax is developed later so that a child knows which word structures or grammar fits within certain places. Advocates of this theory believe that language development is secondary to cognitive development. The idea is that if children are exposed to multiple experiences that will have something to talk about. Experiences would then come first followed by language. This theory thereby pays close attention to the meanings of things instead of strict syntax. Syntax developed only as the result to talk about more and more things. This theory additionally outlines a sequences fro languages development that all children should follow. However, this theory has some limitations. Cirtics to he cognitive language theory believe that children only develop congnitive pre-requisites but never language.  - In the classroom teachers can use this model by introducing children to a number of beliefs and concepts to encourage them to talk and also encourage communication with out correcting them excessively on their syntax.  - The picture that I chose to attach to this theory is one of a student whose brain is a collection of experiences that the student could talk about.  
3.1 Piaget & Others
3.1.1 Please see note on the theory bubble for more information Experience// Exposure to different things gives students something to talk about picture
4 Social Interaction Theory


  • The social interaction model pays close attention to pragmatics or language use. This theory places great emphasis on the communicative functions of language. In this model, there is 7 categories of language used in the classroom.  1.) Instrumental language 2.) Regulatory language  3.) Interactional language 4.) Personal language  5.) Imagenative language  6.) Heuristic language 7.) Informative language In this theory, the responsibility of the teacher is to develop each language function in thier students to help them develop in their own social structures. This theory also has some limitations, in that it children who have limited opportunities to interaction with adults and other children will have difficulty acquiring language.  In the classroom, teachers can implement this theory by exposing students to the various levels of language that are acceptable for their students.  The picture that I decided to chose is one where there is a lot of social interaction between different types of people is occurring. 
4.1 Vygotsky
4.2 Please see the note attached to the theory bubble for more information
4.3 7 Categories of language used in the classroom in the social interaction model
5 Krashen's Theory


  • Stephen Krashen's theory proposes the idea that acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language. In order to achieve language acquisition, Krashen proposes five main hypotheses.  1.) The Acquisition-learning Hypothesis 2.) The Monitor Hypothesis  3.) The Natural Order Hypothesis 4.) The Impact Hypothesis  5.) The Affective Filter Hypothesis  However, the acquisition-learning distinction is the most fundamental of all the hypotheses. The acquisition process is similar to the process of when children begin speaking their first language. During the process, children are or should be exposed to meaningful interaction in the target language or to natural communication. The learning system on the other hand is the product of formal instruction and it requires a conscious knowledge about the language.  - In order to put this theory into practice with in the classroom, teachers should focus on providing instruction that is meaningful to students and that focuses on communicative skills rather than a strict correction of grammar.  - The picture that I provided is one of the creator of this theory Stephen Krashen.  
5.1 Stephen Krashen
5.2 Please see the note attached to the theory bubble for more information
5.3 Picture of Stephen Krashen
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