SLA Content

Mind Map by adamcpiper, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by adamcpiper almost 5 years ago


This is a mind map that lays out some of the general theories and concepts that have contributed to the development of an effective method for promoting secondary language acquisition over the years.

Resource summary

SLA Content
1 Theories
1.1 Behaviorism
1.1.1 Typified by B.F. Skinner; states that behavior is learned through S-R-R, a replicable process of stimulus, response, and positive or negative reinforcement. Applies to language acquisition because it can turn any desired behavior into a spontaneously performed habit.
1.2 Information Processing
1.2.1 Developed by R.C. Anderson; centered around idea that all knowledge falls into 2 categories: declarative and procedural. Declarative: rapidly learned; information is stored in schemas. Procedural: gradual process; teaches how to do something successfully step by step. Applies to language acquisition because once the correct language is modeled, the learner may mirror the correct language, store that knowledge in a schema, and repeatedly use it to enhance their language acquisition.
1.3 Social Interaction
1.3.1 Developed by Gass, Vygotsky, and Swain; focused on the context of learning a language and how learners may use conversational interactions to build their knowledge. Emphasizes that language can be enhanced by conversing with a partner. The learner will notice a "gap" in what they say and what they want to say, then they will actively work with grammar and structure to close that gap.
2 Processes
2.1 Audiolingual Approach
2.1.1 Adapted by North American linguists in the 1900s; stemmed from oral tradition of Native Americans. Utilized vocal repetition of proper grammatical patterns by the learner; correct reproductions were rewarded, while incorrect reproductions were punished.
2.2 Natural Approach
2.2.1 Developed by Chomsky, Krashen, and Cummins; emphasizes a "natural order" of language learning which follows the process of acquisition, editing, and application. Describes the presence of an "affective filter" in learning a second language; in short, if any process causes fear or anxiety in the learner, then less of the target language will be acquired or learned.
2.3 Communicative Approach
2.3.1 Developed as a way of teaching designed around the following classroom principles. Emphasis is placed on interacting in the target language as communication. Authentic texts written in the target language are introduced into the lesson. The student's classroom learning is enhanced by their own personal experiences. An attempt is made to link classroom learning with language activities outside the classroom.
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