Second Language Acquisition Teaching the ESOL Student in the Mainstream Classroom Module 2 – Part 1 Contents: Language Acquisition Theory Noam Chomsky Stephen Krashen Jim Cummins Language Acquisition Theory: The linguists who have had the most influence in language acquisition theory are Noam Chomsky, Stephen Krashen, and Jim Cummins. Chomsky’s theories involve the idea that some language learning ability is innate – a part of the human mind. Krashen emphasizes the social and interpersonal aspects of language. The distinction between interpersonal and academic language are the basis of Cummins’ work. In this segment, we will learn more about these three linguists and their contributions to language acquisition theory. Language Acquisition Theory: Noam Chomsky PhD in Linguistics from University of Pennsylvania (1955) Joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1955 Writes and lectures on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs and U.S. foreign policy. Noam Chomsky Most influential linguist of the 20th century Some aspects of language are innate – a certain “Universal Grammar” for language learning exists within the brain Universal Grammar guides language development in any language Universal Grammar is supported by observations including: – – – – All human cultures have complex language Children learn language without formal teaching Children not exposed to language create their own Results of traumatic brain injuries Summary - Chomsky Key Points: Some language ability is innate. Universal Grammar exists in all languages. Language Acquisition Theory: Stephen Krashen Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California Linguist specializing in theories of language acquisition and development Research involving non-English and bilingual language acquisition Widely accepted theory of second language acquisition Stephen Krashen Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition includes five main hypotheses: Acquisition-Learning Monitor Hypothesis Hypothesis Natural Order Hypothesis Input Hypothesis Affective Filter Hypothesis Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis Addresses two ways of gaining knowledge of a second language Learning is knowing about a language. It involves a traditional approach of rules of grammar, lists of new vocabulary words, etc. which requires a conscious effort. Acquisition is equivalent to using language for real communication. It is more like absorbing – an unconscious effort similar to the process seen in an infant and young child. . Monitor Hypothesis Language fluency comes from what we have acquired in natural communication situations. Formal knowledge of language (rules) does not create fluency. Formal knowledge allows language learners to plan and monitor (check and make corrections) language use when speaking. Natural Order Hypothesis Acquisition of grammar follows a “natural order” that is predictable. Natural order seems to be independent of age, first language, culture, etc. Krashen does not recommend a programmed approach when acquisition in the goal. Input Hypothesis Relates to acquisition, not learning. Learner makes progress along the natural order when exposed to “input” a step beyond the current stage. Comprehensible Input = i+1 = acquisition Affective Filter Hypothesis The emotions of a language learner can interfere or assist with language acquisition. Public speaking can create anxiety, anger, and embarrassment. Negative emotions can create a “filter” that blocks new information. Classrooms need to be engaging and nonthreatening to increase motivation and encourage risk taking. Summary - Krashen Key Points: Difference between language acquisition and language learning Study of grammar not effective in acquisition Language Acquisition Theory: Jim Cummins Born in Dublin, Ireland Student of bilingual education (Irish/English) PhD from University of Alberta in Edmonton focused on bilingualism, cognition, and bilingual education Currently professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto Research focused on bilingualism, educational barriers, language learning, and special education Jim Cummins Distinguishes between interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language Two – five years to develop interpersonal communication skills Four – seven years to develop cognitive academic language Jim Cummins Two types of communication – Contextembedded Communication and Contextreduced Communication Context-embedded: provides support through visuals, gestures, tone of voice Content-reduced: fewer clues, telephone, email, notes Jim Cummins Two types of cognitive demands – cognitively undemanding communication and cognitively demanding communication Cognitively undemanding – minimal abstract thinking, social conversation, yes/no questions Cognitively demanding – requires analyzing and synthesizing, abstract concepts, academic content, and lecture Summary - Cummins Key Points: Language acquisition involves many complex levels of usage and understanding Understanding these concepts can help teachers develop instructional strategies for a variety of language uses Bibliography Baker, Colin. (2003). An Advocate for Tolerance: A Biography of Jim Cummins. The Bilingual Family Newsletter. http://http://www.multilingual-matters.com/multi/pdf/family_newsletter.pdf. Online. Center for Applied Linguistics. (2000). Enhancing English Language Learning in Elementary Classrooms. Delta Publishing Company. Mason, T. (unknown). Didactics 10-Critique of Krashen VI. IUFM de Versailles. http://perso.clubinternet.fr/tmason/WebPages/LangTeach/Licence/CM/OldLectures/L10_Monitor.htm. Online. Reed, B. & Railsback, J. (2003). Strategies and Resources for Mainstream Teachers of English Language Learners. Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. http://www.nwrel.org/request/2003may/ell.pdf. Online. Schütz, Ricardo. (2002). Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition. English Made in Brazil http://www.sk.com.br/sk-krash.html. Online. Unknown. (2003). Bilingual Verbal Ability Tests – Author Biography. Riverside Publishing Company. http://riverpub.com/products/clinical/bvat/cumm.html. Online. Unknown. (2002). Noam Chomsky Biography. MIT Linguistics. http://web.mit.edu/linguistics/www/biography/noambio.html. Online.