Theories of Language Learning (a set of proponents –written/rsch done – that are authorised in their own and widely accepted) Behavouristic Theory • It is believed that theory is vital for teachers because it provides insight into why studs respond to instruction in certain ways “How lg is learnt?” • Allwright “Why don’t lners learn what teachers teach?” • While lrng theory may not allow us to predict or explain all the variations in lners, it can provide a framework for u/standg commonalities among studs and possible reasons for ind’l variations. • Different Instructional approaches are based on explicit or implicit beliefs abt human lrng – hw lg is learnt. • Many systems of c/room management / tchg app are based on the behavioural theory that emphasizes the pairing of appropriate stimuli and rewards to desired responses…(what a tchr & trainer needs) • STIMULUS • RESPONSE CORRECT INCORRECT +ve reinforcement eg. Reward/ compliments -ve reinforcement eg.Punishment/ correction (immediately – bad habit isn’t formed) • Stimulus Response Reinforcement Repetitions (habit formation) * Lg lrng is a habit formation process Behaviouristic Theory of Learning • For decades, behaviouristic & Skinnerian lrng theory had a great impact on foreign & SL tchg methodology (mtdlogy). • It was believed that: – Human behaviour could be predicted and controlled – Children come into this world with TABULA RASA, a clean slate bearing no pre-conceived notions abt the world / lg. – They are then shaped by their environment, slowly conditioned through various schedules of reinforcement – Lg – a form of behaviour – Lg lrng - a habit formation Learning Model (SRR) • Stimulus • Repetitions – habit formation & lrng • Reinforcement or rewards is : response reinforcement – Very important in the early stages of lrng – Should be given frequently • Each step in the lrng process should be as small as possible so that correct behaviour is reinforced with rewards. • Mistakes are corrected immediately, eg. Audio-Lingual Method (50’s & 60’s) • It was claimed that a carefully designed programme of step by step reinforcement could teach virtually any sbjct matter effectively & successfully. • Lg lrng, often in the form of lg stimuli, provided the first input. Lners were expected to adapt to this ‘input’. • As a result, most rschers concentrated on app or methods of tchg or instruction, which would bring abt effective lg acquisition. Paradigm Shift • Now, the change is from: – Teacher to lner – Teaching to learning – Tchg methods to lrng methods • Since the early seventies, the focus of foreign and 2nd lg studies has shifted from methods of tchg to: – Lrng process – Lner characteristics – Their influence on 2nd lg acquisition • Gardner and Lambert (1972). Seminal research on attitude and motivation, pointed to the importance of affective factors. • Schumann (1976) have found that social factors could determine the extent to which a non-native group may remain socially distant from the culture of the target lg group. • Since then, other personal chrcteristics of the lner such as intelligence, aptitude, personality, innovation and attitude, lrng styles and age, as well as the structures of the native and target lg and interaction opportunities with native speakers have all been found to affect 2nd lg lrng (Light Brown & Spada, 1993). • Besides the factors, cognitive science has offered some answers to how lners learn a 2nd lg and the lrng process. • Approaches that call for higher level thinking and studs autonomy, such as LHTL model are based on cognitive lrng theory. Lrng Theories Supporting the Use & Development of Lrng Strategies • A) Cognitive lrng models which focus on lners’ mental process • B) Social – Cognitive models which investigate the roles of interaction between individuals and group processes in lrng Cognitive Model of Lrng • So far, linguistic theories have assumed that lg is lrned separately from cognitive skills. • However, O’Malley & Chamot (1990:16), who are responsible for advancing a cognitive – based theory in 2nd lg acqstn (SLA), have concluded that SLA cannot be u/stood without adressg the interaction btwn lg & cognition. • According to Steven, – LEARNING – is the act of obtaining k/ledge in a formal context. (eg. c/room – lrng in class) – ACQUISITION – is the act of obtaining k/ledge through natural setting. Cognitive Learning Theories • Anderson’s Information Processing Theory K/ledge / Informatn Static Info Declarative K/ledge (eg. Facts/rules (gmmr) Dynamic Info Procedural K/ledge (eg. Lrng strategies) • Anderson’s informtn processg theory of cognition and memory, was reviewed and it is found that this theory could be used for explaining SLA. • It is also found that cognitive theory could be extended to describe lrng strategies as complex cognitive skills. More over, viewing lg acquisition as a cognitive skills provides how lg is lrnt. • Anderson (1983-1985) in O’ Malley & Chamot (1990:20) distinguishes btwn linguistic informtn stored as – “What we know abt somethg”, or static informatn in memory know as “Declarative k/ledge” – “What we know how to do smthg” or dynamic informtn in memory known as “Procedural k/ledge” • The two types of k/ledge have diff roles in lg lrng: – Declarative K/ledge – consists of internalised 2nd lg (L2) rules and memorised chunks of lg. it is stored in the form of schemata, framework or as meaningful informtn of facts abt lg forms and functions. – Procedural K/ledge – on the other hand, consists of the strategies and procedures employed by the lner to process L@ data for acquisition and for use. It serves as an informtn and processor to acquire bodies of informtn/ k/ledge in their environment. • Whereas, declarative k/ledge or factual informtn may be acquired quickly, procedural k/ledge such as lg acquisition is acquired gradually and only with extensive opportunities for practise. • Therefore, to attain procedural k/ledge or complex cognitive skills, lners, need to develop their skills in thinkg and learn how to use strategies specific to lrng. • Lners use lrng strategies when they are involved in mental actvts such as ‘analysing data to form abstractions, concepts, generalisation and theories abt the lg they are lrng. • Hence, it is logical to assume that lrng cannot take place without procedural k/ledge which plays a vital role in the lrng process. By employing and developing lrng strategies or procedural k/ledge, lners will ultimately “Learn How To Learn”. • Cognitivism, emphasizes on the lners & their lrng process (How they organise their k/ledge). Lrng is an Active Mental Process. Cognitive Lrng Theory • Teaches how lners to analyse problems, how to think for themselves & how to employ and develop lrng strategies to learn. • Aspects related to this theory: – – – – – – – Lner-centred Discovery lrng Inductive & Deductive lrng Errors as integral part of lrng Lg awareness Consciousness-raising Strategy training Social – Cognitive Models of Learning • Lrng does not take place in a vacuum. Factors other than the lner’s thoughts or cognitions can effect lrng. • Social – cognitive models focus not only on the individual lner, but also on the social nature of lrng and other factors. Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory • Lrng is based on complex, reciprocal interactions among behaviour, environment and personal factors. • The theory emphasizes on the role of personal motivation – when a lner experiences success at a valued task, he or she develops a sense of self efficacy – a belief that one that one has the capability to succeed at the kind of task. Motivation Employing Lrng Strategies Success Self-efficacy Employ Lrng Strategies • Self efficacy can in turn, affect whether the student is willing to try a task, as well as the stud’s persistence at the task, thoughts during the task and eventual performance (Bandura, 1997) • Using appropriate strategies can help build self-efficacy by creating success experiences and by giving studs the tools for future successes. • Research by Chamot, found that foreign lg studs with high self-efficacy use more lrng strategies than do foreign lg studs with low self-efficacy. Success, Self-efficacy, Strategy (to improve performance) • During strategies instruction, it is critical that tchrs ensure that studs see how each strategy help them experience success. This success will, in turn develop their feelings of self-efficacy. Humanistic Psychology in Language Learning • Krashen says “Affective Filter Theory” – When lners are happy and like the teachg, the affective filter goes down. – Affective Theory Factors Emotions / Feelings – Besides Cognitive lrng theory, Carl Rogers’ Humanistic psychology has a significant impact on our u/stdg of lg lrng, particularly in pedagogical context. • He focused on the development of an individual’s self-concept and of his or her personal sense of reality, which causes a person to act. • Given a non-threatening environment, he believed that human beings are able to adapt and grow in the direction that enhances their existence. • The focus of humanistic psychology is away from “teaching” and towards “learning”. • According to Rogers, tchrs should only be facilitators of lrng. • LHTL is more important than being ‘taught’ something from the ‘superior advantage point of a tchr who unilaterally decides what shall be taught’. • Paolo Freira (1970 in Brown,1994:86) an educational theorist also argued that stus shld not be ‘spoon-fed’. • They shld instead be allowed to ‘negotiate lrng outcomes, to cooperate with tchr and other lners in a process of discovery, to engage in critical thinking and to relate everything they do in school to their reality (outside the c/room). • Our present system of education in prescribing lrng goals and dictating tchg content, actually denies our stus’ both “freedom and dignity” and prevents them from taking responsibility for their own lrng. Humanistic Tchg Model • Stus’ attitude must be positive • Tchr’s role – create conducive, non – threatening environment and develop stus’selfesteem • materials – take into acc stus’ affective domain • Stus – set own goals and follow own pace • Experiental lrng / lrng by doing • Reasonable involvement / stimulation of feelings and thinking / self-initiation / self-evaluation Language learning Not knowg how to lrn – Negative behavior Syndromes. • Through LHTL or processing informtn using lrng strategies, man develops abstractions, learns a new skill and acquire a lg. • If this is the case, according to Ng (1992:4), it is inherent in man to want to be involved in acts that bring the intellectual faculty to play, to use the mind to arrive at conclusion and draw inferences and to perform any mental operation to reason. • Thus it is important to nurture this use of the lrng strategies in human beings otherwise, not knowg HTL will result in -ve behaviour syndrome as identified by Ruth (1967 in Ng:1992:4). • Firstly, claimed Ruth, et all, one of the syndromes caused by a habitual disregard for the applictn of lrng strategies is “implusiveness”. • Lners who are implusive do not think before acting or deliberate on the tasks at hand, nor do they “consider the problems and their alternatives”. • Secondly, these lners are overdependent on their tchr – Inability to plan and to execute certain tasks • Another syndrome identified is the inability of lners to concentrate or pay attention to the task at hand and hence meetg failure in their work. • Lastly, Dogmatic and assertive behaviour is yet another syndromw which results in the lners making assertions that cannot stand up to critical examine or is not supported by evidence. The end wt main theories!!!