Second Language Acquisition Developed by Dr. Laurie R. Weaver Dr. Judith A. Marquez University of Houston-Clear Lake Objectives The participant will be able to explain expected stages and patterns of language development as related to first and second language acquisition. explain how first language development affects development of English. Second Language Acquisition To Think About: Think about a baby acquiring his first language. Think about a person acquiring a second language. What similarities and differences are there in the two processes? Discuss your ideas with a partner then examine the next four slides. First and Second Language Acquisition Characteristics constructs language from prior conceptual knowledge L1 Learner L2 Learner x x is an active learner who tests and revises hypotheses x x requires interaction x x uses cognitive strategies (i.e., overgeneralization) x x First and Second Language Acquisition Characteristics L1 Learner L2 Learner understands more when input is modified (caretaker talk, foreigner talk) x x develops language in predictable stages x x makes developmental errors x x experiences a silent period x x First and Second Language Acquisition Characteristics is usually made cognitively developed L1 Learner L2 Learner x generally has a greater knowledge of the world x generally can learn and apply rules more easily x usually has more control over input x First and Second Language Acquisition Characteristics L1 Learner L2 Learner is familiar with one or more other cultures x may have a problem with attitude/motivation x is more likely to be inhibited or anxious x Adapted from: P. Richard-Amato. (1996). Making it happen: Interaction in the second language classroom. P.27 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 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 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 of Second Language Acquisition Intermediate Fluency Characteristics Appear orally fluent Errors are same errors native speakers make Struggle with content area reading and writing. Stages of 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. Stages of Second Language Acquisition Select a topic that you 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. 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? Dual Iceberg Representation Surface Features Surface Features of L1of 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 Examine the table on the next slide. What does this table mean? Threshold Hypothesis Level of Competence Above the threshold in L1 and L2 Above the threshold in one language Below the threshold in L1 and L2 Type of Bilingualism Additive Cognitive Effects Positive Neutral Positive Negative 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 from this presentation.