LECTURE 3 FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION OBJECTIVES • Know the language system a child of the age 5 acquire. • List the issues that are related to 1L acquisition. • Explain the theories that interpret 1L acquisition. • List the requirements for L1 acquisition. • Explain the role of Caretaker speech (motherese) ( baby talk) in L1 acquisition. • Explain the stages of L1 acquisition. • Explain how children develop morphological, syntactic and semantic language systems. “The capacity to learn language is deeply ingrained in us as a species, just as the capacity to walk, to grasp objects, to recognize faces. We don’t find any serious difference in children growing up in congested urban slums, in isolated mountain villages, or in privileged suburban villas” Dan Slobin, The Human Language Series 2 (1994) FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION • Every language is complex. • Before the age of 5, the child knows most of the intricate system of grammar: • Use the syntactic, phonological, morphological and semantic rules of the language • Join sentences • Ask questions • Use appropriate pronouns • Negate sentences • Form relative clauses ISSUES IN FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION • How do children acquire such a complex system so quickly and effortlessly? • Does a child decide to consciously pursue certain skills? (e.g., walking) • Do babies make a conscious decision to start learning a language? • We correct children’s errors sometimes. Does it help? “Nobody don’t like me” THEORIES OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION • Nature vs. Nurture • Behaviorism (1950s) Children learn language through imitation, reinforcement and analogy - Look at these examples He go out. A my pencil What the boy hit? Nobody don’t like me THEORIES OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION • Innateness hypothesis Children are equipped with an innate template for language (Language Acquisition Device and Universal Grammar) Evidence: • we end up knowing more about language than what we hear around us. • The same stages in all cultures and languages BASIC REQUIREMENT • Environment and interaction to bring this capacity into operation- E.g. Genie • The child must be physically capable(being able to hear) • Interaction. All these requirements are related. THE ACQUISITION SCHEDULE • In spite of different backgrounds, different locations, and different upbringings, most children follow the very same milestones in acquiring language. • The biological schedule is related to the maturation of the infant’s brain to cope with the linguistic input • Young children acquire the language by identifying the regularities in what is heard and applying those regularities in what they say. CARETAKER SPEECH (MOTHERESE) – BABY TALK • A type of simplified speech adopts by someone who spends time with the child characterized by: • Frequent use of questions • Simplified lexicon • Phonological reduction • Higher pitch- extra loudness • Stressed intonation • Simple sentences • A lot of repetition • example: Oh, goody! Now Daddy will push choo choo! CARETAKER SPEECH (MOTHERESE) • • • • • • • • Assign interactive roles to young children MOTHER: Look! CHILD: (touches picture) MOTHER: what are those? CHILD: (vocalizes a babble string and smiles) MOTHER: yes, there are rabbits CHILD: Vocalizes and smiles MOTHER: (laughs) yes, rabbit L1 ACQUISITION Stage Typical Age Description cooing 3-5 months Vowel-like sounds babbling 6-10 months Repetitive CV patterns One-word stage 12-18 months Single open-class words or word stems Two-word stage 18- 20 months "mini-sentences" with simple semantic relations Telegraphic stage 24-30 months sentence structures of lexical words no functional or grammatical morphemes Later multiword stage 30+ months Grammatical or functional structures emerge COOING • Few weeks: cooing and gurgling, playing with sounds. Their abilities are constrained by physiological limitations • They seem to be discovering phonemes at this point. • Producing sequences of vowel-like sounds- high vowels [i] and [u]. • 4 months- sounds similar to velar consonants [k] & [g] • 5 months: distinguish between [a] and [i] and the syllables [ba] and [ga], so their perception skills are good. BABBLING • Different vowels and consonants ba-ba-ba and gagaga • 9-10 months- intonation patterns and combination of ba-ba-ba-da-da • Nasal sounds also appear ma-ma-ma • 10-11months use of vocalization to express emotions • Late stage- complex syllable combination (ma-dagaba) • Even deaf children babble • The most common cross-linguistic sounds and patterns babbled the most, but later on they babble less common sounds THE WORD STAGE (HOLOPHRASTIC) • Single terms are uttered for everyday objects ‘milk’, ‘cookie’, ‘cat’ • Produce utterance such as ‘Sara bed’ but not yet capable of producing a phrase. • Differ from adult language: • • • • [da] dog [sa] sock [aj] light [daw] down • Convey a more complex message TWO-WORD STAGE • Vocabulary moves beyond 50 words • By 2 years old, children produce utterances ‘baby chair’, ‘mommy eat’ • Interpretation depends on context • Adults behave as if communication is taking place. TELEGRAPHIC STAGE • By 2 years & a half, they produce multiple-word speech. • Developing sentence building capacity. E.g. ‘this shoe all wet’, ‘cat drink milk’, ‘daddy go bye-bye’ • Vocabulary continues to grow • Better pronunciation THE ACQUISITION PROCESS • The child does not acquire the language by imitating adults but really they are trying out constructions and testing them. • CHILD: my teacher holded the baby rabbit and we patted them • MOTHER: did you say your teacher held the baby rabbit? • CHILD: yes. she holded the baby rabbit and we patted them • MOTHER: Did you say she held them tightly? • CHILD: no, she holded them loosely DEVELOPING MORPHOLOGY • By 2-and-a-half years old- use of some inflectional morphemes to indicate the grammatical function of nouns and verbs. • The first inflection to appear is –ing after it comes the –s for plural. • Overgeneralization: the child applies –s to words like ‘foots’ ‘mans’ and later ‘feets’ and ‘mens’ DEVELOPING MORPHOLOGY • The use of possessive ‘s’ appears ‘mommy’s bag’ • Forms of verb to be appear ‘is’ and ‘are’ • The –ed for past tense appears and it is also overgeneralized as in ‘goed’ or holded’ • Finally –s marker for 3rd person singular • present tense appears with full verbs first • then with auxiliaries (does-has) DEVELOPING SYNTAX • A child was asked to say the owl who eats candy runs fast and she said The owl eat candy and he run fast. • The development of two syntactic structures- three stages • Forming questions • Forming negatives FORMING QUESTIONS 1st stage: • Insert where and who to the beginning of an expression with rising intonation E.g. sit chair? Where horse go? 2nd stage: • More complex expression E.g. why you smiling? You want eat? 3rd stage: • Inversion of subject and verb E.g. will you help me? What did I do? FORMING NEGATIVES Stage 1: • Putting not and no at the beginning e.g. not teddy bear, no sit here Stage 2: • Don’t and can’t appear but still use no and not before VERBS e.g. he no bite you, I don’t want it Stage 3: • didn’t and won’t appear e.g. I didn’t caught it, she won’t go DEVELOPING SEMANTICS • During the two-word stage children use their limited vocabulary to refer to a large number of unrelated objects. • Overextension: overextend the meaning of a word on the basis of similarities of shape, sound, and size. e.g. use ball to refer to an apple, and egg, a grape and a ball. • This is followed by a gradual process of narrowing DEVELOPING SEMANTICS • Antonymous relations are acquired late • The distinction between more/less, before/after seem to be later acquired. Lecture 4 Second Language Acquisition Objectives • explain expected stages and patterns of language development as related to first and second language acquisition (critical period hypothesis– Proficiency levels). • explain how first language development affects development of English (Transferability TheoryThreshold Hypothesis). Age and Second Language Acquisition To Think About: Is it better to learn a second language when one is young or when one is older? Why? Discuss your ideas with a partner. Age and Second Language Acquisition The Critical Period Hypothesis (Eric Lenneberg (1967) Lenneberg stated that: L2 is best learned between age 2 and puberty Ability to learn language is negatively affected by the completion of process of lateralization Age and Second Language Acquisition • Critical Period Hypothesis • Laterialization is when each side of the brain develops its own specialized functions • Young learners use the same part of the brain for learning both languages • Older learners use different parts of the brain Age and Second Language Acquisition • Lenneberg stated that • Lateralization is completed by puberty • Therefore, an L2 should be learned between age 2 and puberty (according to Lenneberg) • More recent research has indicated that lateralization actually is completed by age 5 Age and Second Language Acquisition Therefore, young learners (before age 5) are actually native speakers of both languages They learn both L1 and L2 the way a native speaker does J. Lessow-Hurley. (2005). The foundations of dual language instruction Age and Second Language Acquisition • Advantages to being a younger learner • More likely to develop a native-like accent • Less to learn to be considered proficient • More likely to receive comprehensible input Age and Second Language Acquisition • Advantages to being an older learner • Can consciously use strategies to aid learning • Has knowledge from L1 to draw from • Has greater control over input Proficiency: What is it? To Think About: When is a person proficient in a second language? How do you know a person is proficient? Discuss your ideas with a partner. Proficiency • Proficiency includes grammatical, sociolinguistic, discourse and strategic competence • Age appropriate competence in each of these areas needs to be developed to be considered proficient in a second language Proficiency Grammatical Competence •Mastery of language code Lexicon (vocabulary) Word formation rules Sentence formation rules Pronunciation rules Spelling Proficiency Sociolinguistic Competence •Mastery of appropriate language use in different contexts • How to speak to a friend • How to speak to someone in authority • How to speak socially vs. professionally Proficiency Discourse Competence Mastery of how to combine meanings and forms to create a text in different modes Examples: Telephone inquiry Narrative text Oral report Proficiency Strategic Competence Mastery of verbal and non-verbal strategies to compensate for breakdowns in communication Examples: How to ask for help How to rephrase a statement Proficiency: How long does it take? To Think About: If you wanted to learn another language, how long do you think it would take you to speak and understand that language? How long would it take you to read and write? Discuss your ideas with a partner. Proficiency: How long does it take? BICS ( Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) 2 to 3 years Ability to converse and understand every day discussions Proficiency: How long does it take? CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) 4 to 10 years Ability to read, write, speak, and listen at an academic level Stages in Second Language Acquisition • How can you identify a learner’s language acquisition level? • Discuss with a partner how the language acquisition level can be determined. In other words, how do you know if a learner is a beginner, an intermediate, or advanced learner of the L2? Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Instead of using beginner, intermediate and advanced, a more specific classification system can be used. • A learner can be at the preproduction, early speech, speech emergence or intermediate fluency stage Stages in Second Language Acquisition Preproduction/Comprehension Stage Characteristics • Silent period • Can respond non-verbally • Will be able to understand more than they can produce Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Preproduction/Comprehension Stage • The teacher should NOT force the learner to talk • The teacher should ask the learner to draw, point, act out, label Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Early Speech Production • Characteristics -Can understand more than can produce -Can produce one or two words at a time -Will pick up phrases (He cutted.) Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Early Speech Production • The teacher should ask the learner yes/no questions • The teacher should ask the learner choice questions (Is this a ___ or a ___?) Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Speech Emergence • Characteristics -Speaks in phrases -Makes lots of errors -Interlanguage occurs (a mixture of vocabulary and structures from both languages) Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Speech Emergence • The teacher should ask the learner questions such as What is this? What does ___ do? Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Intermediate Fluency • Characteristics -Appear orally fluent -Errors are same errors native speakers make -Struggle with content area reading and writing. Stages in Second Language Acquisition • Intermediate Fluency • The teacher should modify higher level questions. For example, instead of asking a student to compare two items, the teacher should ask the student how two items are the same. Then the teacher should ask how they are different. First Language Development To Think About: Do you think the child’s first language is a hindrance or a help in terms of learning a second language? Why? Discuss your ideas with a partner. Common Underlying Proficiency/Transferability Theory Look at the next slide which illustrates a Dual Iceberg Representation of first and second language development. What does this illustration mean? Common Underlying Proficiency/Transferability Theory Dual Iceberg Representation surface features L1 surface features L2 common underlying proficiency Common Underlying Proficiency/Transferability Theory • Many skills and concepts are common or interdependent across languages. • A skill or concept learned in one language transfers to another language when the requisite vocabulary is acquired Common Underlying Proficiency/Transferability Theory • For example, a learner only learns to read once. If a learner can read, he/she can read in another language, once the vocabulary is learned. • What needs to be explicitly taught in the other language are the features that are different. What Literacy Skills Transfer? Directionality Sequencing Ability to distinguish shapes and sounds Knowledge that written symbols correspond to sounds and can be decoded in order and direction What Literacy Skills Transfer? Activation of semantic and syntactic knowledge Knowledge of text structure Learning to use cues to predict meaning Awareness of the variety of purposes for reading and writing Confidence in oneself as a reader and writer What Skills Do Not Transfer? Critical and Cultural Literacy (interpretation of text given a specific cultural world view) From: C. Roberts. (1994). Transferring literacy skills from L1 to L2: From theory to practice. In The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, v. p. 209-221 Threshold Hypothesis • The threshold hypothesis states there is a threshold level of ability that needs to be reached in one language in order for a learner to be successful in another language • The threshold hypothesis also states that high levels of bilingualism have positive cognitive effects Threshold Hypothesis • The better developed the L1, the better developed the L2 can be. • High level of proficiency in L1-high level of proficiency in L2 is possible • A low level of proficiency in L1-lower level of proficiency in L2 What have you learned? •With a partner, list three new things you have learned today. Assignment 1 1. Compare between first language learner and second language learner in terms of the following characteristics: -constructs language from prior conceptual knowledge -is an active learner who tests and revises hypotheses -requires interaction -uses cognitive strategies (i.e., overgeneralization) -understands more when input is modified (caretaker talk, foreigner talk) -develops language in predictable stages - makes developmental errors - experiences a silent period -is familiar with one or more other cultures - may have a problem with attitude/motivation - is more likely to be inhibited or Anxious Assignment 1 2. Select a topic that you will teach (for example, fairy tales, plant life, animals, etc.). Then, think of how you would involve a learner at each language proficiency level in the lesson. For example, you might think of questions that you could ask learners at each proficiency level. Or, you might think of an activity in which learners at each proficiency level could participate. Lecture 5 Guidelines for Language Classroom Instruction 1. Introduction When a second language is taught a number of major steps must be taken. First , elements of the language or its use, or skills such as learning strategies, must be brought into the classroom and presented or highlighted. Second , that which has been selected and present must be learned :the teacher has to arrange matters and events to bring this about Third, the teacher must provide knowledge of results ,that is, correction or feedback, to the students. 2. Language Presentation 2.1 Meta-Planning for Lesson Objectives-depends on the objectives a teacher has in mind for lesson 2.2 Modalities (Materials, AV) 2.3 Rule Presentations and Explanations. 2. Language Presentation Many teachers’ understanding of lesson planning is the traditional sequence of “ present- practice- evaluate” 2.1 Meta-Planning for Lesson Objectives-depends on the objectives a teacher has in mind for lesson “Using knowledge about planning.” Things to consider when planning: 1. Physical characters of the presentation( materials- audiovisual equipment…) 2. Deductive- inductive procedures the learners will be engaging in in order to acquire rules of the target language. 2.2 Modalities (Materials, AV) SL learning is a process of skill acquisition which implies the importance of practice.( students do most of the talking) ESL Vs. EFL ( which one needs more practice?) The major resource of materials is the textbook. Technical aids – non technical aids 2.3 Rules presentation and explanations When to present explicit second language grammar rules to student? Deductive- inductive grammar teaching. Steps of teaching G: 1. 2. 3. 4. Problem-formation Students opinion Teacher rule formation examples 3.Tasks Activity: specific goal and steps ( more control- general term) Task: no specific steps ( less control- produce more realistic use of SL) 3.1 Subsections of a Lesson: Information and Motivation Phase Input/control phase • Focus /working Phase • Transfer/application Phase • Borderline Activity ( testing). 3.Tasks 3.2 Task types and parameters The smallest unit of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language. They might contain some form of data or input. 3.2.1 Relevant Characteristics 4.Faccilitation 4.1 Class Organization ( teacher centered- students centered- materials- students groupings) Most appropriate ( pair- group work) What are the benefits of student-centered class? 4.2 Aspects of the Teacher – Fronted Class 4.2.1 Question Types ( display /close ended Qreferential/ open ended Q) 4.2.2 Wait-Time ( 3-5 seconds) 5.Correction and Feedback Needed for the confirmation of reception of comprehension of the message. Feedback is needed to inform the learners of the accuracy of the language production. 6.Conclusion. In class activity Prepare a mini- lesson. Select a specific point of language form or function, rule of conversation, or other social use of English. Develop a sequence of activities that you might use to present, develop, and evaluate this point.