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second language acquisition 二语习得


Preface: In the past 30–40 years, the field of second language acquisition has developed into an independent and autonomous discipline, complete with its own research agenda. What is particularly noteworthy about the field of second language acquisition is its interdisciplinary character. Second language research is concerned with the general question: How are second languages learned? Scholars approach the field from a wide range of backgrounds: sociology, psychology, education, and linguistics, to name a few. This has both positive and negative effects on the field. The advantage is that through the multiplicity of perspectives, we are able to see a richer picture of acquisition, a picture that appears to be more representative of the phenomenon of acquisition in that learning a second language undoubtedly involves factors relating to sociology, psychology, education, and linguistics. On the other hand, multiple perspectives on what purports to be a single discipline bring confusion, because it is frequently the case that scholars approaching second language acquisition from different (often opposing and seemingly incompatible) frameworks are not able to talk to one another. This is so because each perspective brings with it its own way of approaching data and its own research methodology. 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 The study of second language acquisition

What is the scope of SLA? What does the study of SLA consist of? It is the study of how second languages are learned. In other words, it is the study of the acquisition of a non-primary language; that is, the acquisition of a language beyond the native language. It is the study of how learners create a new language system with only limited exposure to a second language. It is the study of what is learned of a second language and what is not learned; it is the study of why most second language learners do not achieve the same degree of knowledge and proficiency in a second language as they do in their native language; it is also the study of why only some learners appear to achieve native-like proficiency in more than one language. Additionally, second language acquisition is concerned with the nature of the hypotheses (whether conscious or unconscious) that learners come up with regarding the rules of the second language. Second language acquisition is not about pedagogy unless the pedagogy affects the course of acquisition. Linguistics When we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the human essence, the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to [humans]. (Chomsky, 1968, p. 100) The study of how second languages are learned is part of the broader study of language and language behavior. It is not more central or

peripheral than any other part of linguistic study, which in turn has as its larger goal the study of the nature of the human mind. Language pedagogy People have come to realize that if one is to develop language-teaching methodologies, there has to be a firm basis for those methodologies in language learning. It would be counterproductive to base language teaching methodologies on something other than an understanding of how language learning does and does not take place. Studies in second language acquisition have made language teachers and curriculum designers aware that language learning consists of more than rule memorization. More important, perhaps, it involves learning to express communicative needs. The details of this new conceptualization of language learning have resulted in methodologies that emphasize communication.

A second, perhaps equally important but less assuming, rationale related to language pedagogy has to do with the expectations that teachers have of their students.

Cross-cultural communication and language use In interactions with speakers of another language/culture, we have certain expectations and we often produce stereotyped reactions. For

example, we may find ourselves making judgments about other people based on their language. It turns out that many stereotypes of people from other cultures (e.g., rudeness, unassertiveness) are based on patterns of nonnative speech. These judgments in many instances are not justified, because many of the speech patterns that nonnative speakers use reflect their nonnativeness rather than characteristics of their personality. Language policy and language planning It is important to reemphasize that the study of second language acquisition is separate from the study of language pedagogy although this does not imply that there are not implications that can be drawn from second language acquisition to the related discipline of language teaching. SLA is part of the humanities, in the sense that it is part of the branch of ―learning (as philosophy, arts, or languages) that investigate[s] human constructs and concerns as opposed to natural processes (as in physics or chemistry) and social relations (as in anthropology or economics)‖ (from Merriam-Webster online dictionary), although clearly there are areas of the field that do consider social relations as an integral part of learning. Second language acquisition, while rightfully part of the humanities, is also part of the social sciences, defined (Merriam-Webster online) as ―a branch of science that deals with the institutions and functioning of human society and with the interpersonal relationships of individuals as

members of society.‖ 1.2 Definition Native Language (NL): This refers to the first language that a child learns. It is also known as the primary language, the mother tongue, or the L1 (first language). Target Language (TL): This refers to the language being learned. Second Language Acquisition (SLA): SLA refers to the process of learning another language after the native language has been learned. Sometimes the term refers to the learning of a third or fourth language. The important aspect is that SLA refers to the learning of a nonnative language after the learning of the native language. As with the phrase ―second language,‖ L2 can refer to any language learned after learning the L1, regardless of whether it is the second, third, fourth, or fifth language. By this term, we mean both the acquisition of a second language in a classroom situation, as well as in more ―natural‖ exposure situations. Second Language Studies (SLS) as it is a term that refers to anything dealing with using or acquiring a second/foreign language. Foreign Language Learning: Foreign language learning is generally differentiated from second language acquisition in that the former refers to the learning of a nonnative language in the environment of one‘s native language (e.g., French speakers learning English in France). This is most commonly done within the context of the classroom.

Second language acquisition, on the other hand, generally refers to the learning of a nonnative language in the environment in which that language is spoken (e.g., German speakers learning Japanese in Japan). This may or may not take place in a classroom setting. 1.3 The nature of language All normal humans acquire a language in the first few years of life. The knowledge acquired is largely of an unconscious sort. Sound systems Knowledge of the sound system (phonology) of our native language is complex. Minimally, it entails knowing what sounds are possible and what sounds are not possible in the language. Phonological knowledge also involves knowing what happens to words in fast speech as opposed to more carefully articulated speech. Syntax This is what is frequently known as grammar, referring primarily to the knowledge we have of the order of elements in a sentence. We point out briefly that there are two kinds of grammar that are generally referred to: (a) prescriptive grammar and (b) descriptive grammar. By prescriptive grammar, we mean such rules as are generally taught in school, often without regard to the way native speakers of a language actually use language. On the other hand, linguists are concerned with descriptive grammars:

they attempt to describe languages as they are actually used. Thus, when talking about knowledge of syntax, we are referring to descriptive grammars Morphology and the lexicon The study of morphology is the study of word formation. In many cases, words are made up of more than one part. For example, the word unforeseen is made up of three parts: un, which has a negative function; fore, which means earlier in time; and seen, which means visualized. Each part is referred to as a morpheme, which can be defined as the minimal unit of meaning. There are two classes of morphemes that we can identify: bound and free. A bound morpheme is one that can never be a word by itself, A free morpheme is one that is a word in and of itself. Semantics The study of semantics refers to the study of meaning. This, of course, does not necessarily correspond to grammaticality because many ungrammatical sentences are meaningful, or at least interpretable. Knowledge of the semantics of a language entails knowledge of the reference of words. It is important to note that the limits of a word are not always clear. Referential meanings are clearly not the only way of expressing meaning. As native speakers of a language, we know that the way we combine elements in sentences affects their meaning.

Pragmatics Yet another area of language that we consider and that is part of what second language learners need to learn has to do with pragmatics, or the way in which we use language in context. Similarly, word order, as discussed earlier, may have an effect on meaning in some grammatical contexts, but in others it does not. 1.4 The nature of nonnative speaker knowledge The basic assumption in SLA research is that learners create a language system, known as an interlanguage (IL). This concept validates learners‘ speech, not as a deficit system, that is, a language filled with random errors, but as a system of its own with its own structure. This system is composed of numerous elements, not the least of which are elements from the NL and the TL. There are also elements in the IL that do not have their origin in either the NL or the TL. These latter are called new forms and are the empirical essence of interlanguage. What is important is that the learners themselves impose structure on the available linguistic data and formulate an internalized system (IL). Central to the concept of interlanguage is the concept of fossilization, which generally refers to the cessation of learning. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (Flexner and Hanck, 1988, p. 755) defines fossilization of a linguistic form, feature, rule, and so forth in the following way: ―to become permanently established in the interlanguage of a second

language learner in a form that is deviant from the target-language norm and that continues to appear in performance regardless of further exposure to the target language.‖ In SLA, one often notes that learners reach plateaus that are far from the TL norms. Furthermore, it appears to be the case that fossilized or stabilized interlanguages exist no matter what learners do in terms of further exposure to the TL. Unfortunately, a solid explanation of permanent or temporary learning plateaus is lacking at present due, in part, to the lack of longitudinal studies that would be necessary to create databases necessary to come to conclusions regarding ―getting stuck‖ in another language. 2 RELATED DISCIPLINES 2.1 SLA and related disciplines While SLA is now an autonomous area of research, it had its roots and initial justification in other areas—for example, language teaching—and it has been strongly influenced by other disciplines, such as linguistics and psychology. However, it had a special relationship with child language acquisition in that child language acquisition formed the basis of research in second language acquisition, with many of the original second language research questions stemming from the same questions in child language acquisition. Other areas, such as third language acquisition or heritage language acquisition, are special

instances of second language acquisition and, particularly in the case of heritage language learning, have developed in recent years. Finally, bilingual acquisition blends issues related to second language acquisition and those related to first language acquisition. 2.2 Third language acquisition/multilingualism As noted by Cenoz and Genesee (1998, p. 16),

Multilingual acquisition and multilingualism are complex phenomena. They implicate all the factors and processes associated with second language acquisition and bilingualism as well as unique and potentially more complex factors and effects associated with the interactions that are possible among the multiple languages being learned and the processes of learning them.

There are many areas that impact third language acquisition, including sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, and cross-linguistic influences. With regard to sociolinguistic issues, there are a number of issues to consider, such as the purpose for learning a second or third language. For example, in many parts of the world, or in many industries or professions, English has become the virtual lingua franca, or language used for basic communication, as is the case for Spanish in some areas of the United States. This is quite different from a bilingual home situation. From a

psycholinguistic perspective, there are differences for multilingual speakers in how the lexicon is organized. With regard to cross-linguistic influences, we presented examples above that demonstrate how learners of a third language have multiple resources to draw on. Some of the determining variables might be proficiency in the languages known, as well as in the target language, age of user, and linguistic closeness of the languages in question, among others. 2.3 Heritage language acquisition Heritage language speakers are, broadly speaking, those who have been exposed to a language of personal connection (Fishman, 2001). Vald és (2001b) notes that “it is the historical and personal connection to the language that is salient and not the actual proficiency of individual speakers, and she characterizes a heritage language learner (living in an English speaking environment) as someone who is “raised in a home where a non-English language is spoken, who speaks or at least understands the language, and who is to some degree bilingual in that language and in English” (2001b, p. 38). For research into this type of second or foreign language acquisition, an important issue is the exposure and use of the language in childhood. Polinsky (in press) defines heritage language as the language “which was first for an individual with respect to the order of acquisition but has not been completely acquired because of the switch to another dominant

language. An individual may use the heritage language under certain conditions and understand it, but his/her primary language is a different one” (p. 1). Heritage language acquisition is a form of second language acquisition and a form of bilingualism. Heritage language learners have knowledge of two languages (the home language and the language of the environment/school), and they are usually dominant in the second language. There is a wide range of linguistic knowledge that heritage speakers have, including those who were born in the second language environment and those who came to the second language environment during their school years. Another consideration is the amount of input in the home, ranging from only the heritage language spoken in the home (with perhaps parents only speaking the heritage language) to those situations in which the heritage language is spoken only sporadically. Heritage learners often do not become bilingual speakers because they do not continue to speak the heritage language as much as they speak the language of the non-home environment. In some cases, they may not have heard or spoken the heritage language since they were very young because their families switched to the language of the environment. Heritage language learners form a heterogeneous group, since their experiences of the language may be very different. Some learners may have been raised by parents who only spoke the heritage language.

However, when they went to school, English may have become their dominant language. Other learners may have only received very limited input of the heritage language in the home while they were very young. Nonetheless, it is generally accepted that the nature of language learning for heritage language learners differs from language learning involving non-heritage language learners (Campbell and Rosenthal, 2000; Valdés, 1995, 2001b). Heritage speakers often possess a subtly different knowledge base of the heritage language than L2 learners of that language with no prior background. In addition, they often differ from monolingual speakers of their heritage language. Sometimes these differences may be subtle and sometimes they may be quite fundamental. 2.4 Bilingual acquisition Bhatia (2006) states that “the investigation of bilingualism is a broad and complex field, including the study of the nature of the individual bilingual’s knowledge and use of two (or more) languages” (emphasis ours) (p. 5). Bilingual is a difficult term. In its strict meaning, it refers to someone whose language is in a steady state and who has learned and now knows two languages. That is, bilingual refers to an end point; “someone is bilingual.” Given that bilingualism is seen as the end result and given that we know that native-like competence in a second language is rare, there is

some difficulty in discussing bilingualism in this way. Thus, Bhatia and Edwards are referring to two different phenomena. Edwards is saying that one is bilingual at any point in the SL learning process, whereas Bhatia is referring only to the end point and does not deal with whether or not that end point has to be “native” or not. In other words, the issues seem to be of degree—whether or not one is bilingual even if not a native speaker of the L2—and of end point—whether or not one is bilingual if still in the process of acquisition. SL researchers are more likely to require native competence and also to reserve use of the term for the end state. De Houwer (1995), who talks about bilingual first language acquisition, referring to situations when there is regular exposure to two languages within the first month of birth and bilingual second language acquisition, referring to situations where exposure begins later than one month after birth but before age two. One can think of advantages in a number of domains. Baker and Prys Jones (1998) discuss communicative advantages, cultural/economic advantages, and cognitive advantages. Bilinguals, living in a world of regular language monitoring, often show greater sensitivity to the communicative needs of others. Similarly, having experience in more than one culture provides an understanding to cultural differences among peoples. Further, it is obvious that economic advantages abound in all areas of work—from business to sales. Finally, there are cognitive

advantages, including divergent thinking, creative thinking, and metalinguistic awareness. Metalinguistic awareness is the ability to think about (and manipulate) language. In other words, metalinguistic ability allows one to think about language as an object of inquiry rather than as something we use to speak and understand language. Knowing two languages provides them with the skills to separate form from meaning, which in turn facilitates reading readiness. Maneva and Genesee (2002) noted that children exposed to two languages from birth show language-specific patterns in their babbling and, hence, can already differentiate between the two languages before their first birthday. Matching the appropriate language to speakers and/or context is found in children often as young as 2 (e.g., Genesee, Boivin, and Nicoladis, 1996). A common phenomenon among bilingual speakers is code-switching, which essentially refers to the use of more than one language in the course of a conversation. Sometimes this might happen because of the lack of a concept in one language and its presence in the other; sometimes it might be for humor; and sometimes it might happen simply because of the social context. Bilingualism, or at least some form of knowledge of more than one language, is so common throughout the world that Cook has proposed that the “normal” propensity is for humans to know more than one

language rather than taking monolingualism as the default position. He refers to this as multicompetence, which he defines as the “knowledge of two or more languages in one mind” (Cook, 2003, p. 2; cf. Cook, 1991, 1992). 2.5 First language acquisition We conclude this chapter with a brief discussion of child language acquisition. As we will see in later chapters, much SLA research parallels developments in child language acquisition research and over the years has drawn on concepts from this research area to understand second language phenomena. Learning a first language is an amazing accomplishment. It is a learning task perhaps like no other. At the onset of the language-learning odyssey, a child has much to determine about the language that she or he hears.3 At the end of the journey, every child who is not cognitively impaired has an intact linguistic system that allows him or her to interact with others and to express his or her needs. Language is a form of communication, but children communicate long before they have language—at least in the way we normally think of language. Anyone who has lived in a household with an infant is aware of the various means that infants have at their disposal to communicate their needs. The most efficient of these is crying, but there are other more pleasant means as well. Some of these include smiling and cooing.

2.5.1 Babbling At approximately six months of age, infants turn to more language-like sounds in what is called babbling. One device that children use fairly early to express meaning is intonation. Even before they have grammatical knowledge, they can use the appropriate stress and intonation contours of their language to distinguish among such things as statements, questions, and commands. 2.5.2 Words What function do words have for children? Words in early child language fulfill a number of functions. They can refer to objects, such as ba for bottle; they can indicate a wide range of grammatical functions, such as commands (I want my bottle); they can serve social functions, such as bye and hi. Children have to learn that words can serve each of these functions. Words in an adult‘s language do not always correspond to words in a child‘s language. There are other aspects of adult and child vocabulary that are not in a 1:1 correspondence. Children often overextend the meanings of words they know. In addition to overextension, children often underuse words. For example, one could imagine a child associating the word tree (in the dead of winter) with a leafless tree, but not using the word tree to refer to a tree with green leaves.

Among the earliest tasks that children face is figuring out the nature of the sounds they are hearing. Some sounds are distinguished quite early (e.g., the difference between the consonants in [ta] and [da]); others are of course learned later (wabbit for rabbit). Even when children start using words that more or less resemble adult words, at least in meaning, there are pronunciation differences. Common examples are substitutions, deletion of syllables, deletion of sounds, and simplification, such as fis for fish. 2.5.4 Syntax This initial stage is often referred to as the one-word stage because there is no word combination as of yet. After several months in the one-word stage, children start to combine words (usually at around two years of age). What is typical of this phase is that the words that are used are content words (i.e., nouns and verbs). Function words, such as articles, prepositions, and grammatical endings, are notably lacking. As children move beyond the twoword stage, speech becomes telegraphic. The utterances used are much like the ones commonly used when sending a telegram—only the bare minimum so as not to have to ―pay‖ for any more than is necessary. Important is the fact that there is a predictable development for all children. When we return to a discussion of second language acquisition in later chapters, we will see that adults learning a second language also

have predictable sequences in terms of the acquisition of certain structures. 2.5.5 Morphology Table 2.3 Mean order of acquisition of morphemes 1. Present progressive (-ing) 2/3. in, on 4. plural (-s) 5. Past irregular 6. Possessive (-’s) 7. Uncontractible copula (is, am, are) 8. Articles (a, the) 9. Past regular (-ed) 10. Third person regular (-s) 11. Third person irregular

There are certain conclusions that we can draw about children learning their first language. 1. Children go through the same developmental stages, although not necessarily at the same rate. 2. Children create systematicity in their language and develop rules to govern their language knowledge and language use. 3. The rules that are developed do not necessarily correspond to the

rules of the adult language. 4. There is overgeneralization of grammatical morphemes. 5. There are processing constraints that govern acquisition and use. 6. Correction does not always work. 7. ?Language acquisition is not determined by intelligence. 4 THE ROLE OF THE NATIVE LANGUAGE: AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW 4.1 Introduction It has always been assumed that, in a second language learning situation, learners rely extensively on their native language. Lado, in his early and influential book Linguistics Across Cultures (1957), stated this clearly:

individuals tend to transfer the forms and meanings, and the distribution of forms and meanings of their native language and culture to the foreign language and culture—both productively when attempting to speak the language and to act in the culture, and receptively when attempting to grasp and understand the language and the culture as practiced by natives. (p. 2)

Implicit in the use of these terms is that there are two different

underlying learning processes, one of positive transfer and another of negative transfer. But the actual determination of whether or not a learner has positively or negatively transferred is based on the output, as analyzed by the researcher, teacher, native speaker/hearer, when compared and contrasted with target language output. In other words, these terms refer to the product, although their use implies a process. There is a process of transfer; there is not a process of negative or positive transfer. Thus, one must be careful when using terminology of this sort because the terminology suggests a confusion between product and process. 4.2 Behaviorism 4.2.1 Linguistic background Bloomfield’s classic work, Language (1933), provides the most elaborate description of the behaviorist position with regard to language. The typical behaviorist position is that language is speech rather than writing. Furthermore, speech is a precondition for writing. The justification for this position came from the facts that (a) children without cognitive impairment learn to speak before they learn to write and (b) many societies have no written language, although all societies have oral language; there are no societies with only written but no spoken language systems. Bloomfield divides a situation like this into three parts:

1 Practical events before the act of speech (e.g., hungry feeling, sight of apple). 2 Speech event (making sound with larynx, tongue, and lips). 3 Hearer’s response (Jack’s leaping over the fence, fetching the apple, placing it in Jill’s hand). From a theoretical perspective, the child learns to make the stimulus –response connection. One such connection is the uttering of the word doll (response) when the child sees the object (stimulus). Another connection is the reverse: the child gets the doll (response) when he or she hears the word (stimulus). Thus, learning involves the establishment of a habit by means of which these stimulus–response sets become associated. 4.2.2 Psychological background The leading psychological school of thought of the time was behaviorism. One of the key concepts in behaviorist theory was the notion of transfer. The main claim with regard to transfer is that the learning of task A will affect the subsequent learning of task B. What is of interest is how fast and how well you learn something after having learned something else. A behaviorist notion underlying this expectation is that of habits and cumulative learning. According to behaviorist learning theory:

Learning is a cumulative process. The more knowledge and skills an individual acquires, the more likely it becomes that his new learning will be shaped by his past experiences and activities. An adult rarely, if ever, learns anything completely new; however unfamiliar the task that confronts him, the information and habits he has built up in the past will be his point of departure. Thus transfer of training from old to new situations is part and parcel of most, if not all, learning. In this sense the study of transfer is coextensive with the investigation of learning. (Postman, 1971, p. 1019) A distinction noted above that is commonly made in the literature is between positive transfer (also known as facilitation) and negative transfer (also known as interference). These terms refer respectively to whether transfer results in something correct or something incorrect, and, to repeat a point made earlier, do not imply two distinct cognitive processes. With regard to interference, there are two types noted in the literature: (a) retroactive inhibition—where learning acts back on previously learned material, causing someone to forget (language loss)—and (b) proactive inhibition—where a series of responses already learned tends to appear in situations where a new set is required. This is more akin to the phenomenon of second language learning because the first language in this framework influences/inhibits/modifies the learning of the L2.

Second language learning was seen as the development of a new set of habits. The role of the native language, then, took on great significance, because, in this view of language learning, it was the major cause for lack of success in learning the L2. The habits established in childhood interfered with the establishment of a different set of habits. From this framework emerged contrastive analysis, because if one is to talk about replacing a set of habits (let’s say, the habits of English) with another set of habits (let’s say, those of Italian), valid descriptions are needed comparing the “rules” of the two languages. It would be misleading, however, to consider contrastive analysis in a monolithic fashion. In fact, there are two distinct traditions of contrastive analysis that emerged. In the North American tradition, the emphasis was on language teaching and, by implication, language learning. Contrastive analyses were conducted with the ultimate goal of improving classroom materials. As Fisiak (1991) noted, this is more appropriately considered “applied contrastive analysis.” In the European tradition, the goal of contrastive analysis was not pedagogical. Rather, the goal of language comparison was to gain a greater understanding of language. In fact, within the European tradition, it is maintained that contrastive analysis is a subdiscipline of linguistics. Its goal, like the goal of linguistics, is to understand the nature of language. In this book, we focus on the North American tradition as it relates more directly to the field of second

language acquisition. 4.3 Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis Contrastive analysis is a way of comparing languages in order to determine potential errors for the ultimate purpose of isolating what needs to be learned and what does not need to be learned in a second-language-learning situation. As Lado detailed, one does a structure-by-structure comparison of the sound system, morphological system, syntactic system, and even the cultural system of two languages for the purpose of discovering similarities and differences. The ultimate goal is to predict areas that will be either easy or difficult for learners. The pedagogical materials that resulted from contrastive analyses were based on a number of assumptions, some of which have been discussed in detail earlier in this chapter: 1 Contrastive analysis is based on a theory of language that claims that language is habit and that language learning involves the establishment of a new set of habits. 2 The major source of error in the production and/or reception of a second language is the native language. 3 One can account for errors by considering differences between the L1 and the L2. 4 A corollary to item 3 is that the greater the differences, the more errors will occur.

5 What one has to do in learning a second language is learn the differences. Similarities can be safely ignored as no new learning is involved. In other words, what is dissimilar between two languages is what must be learned. 6 Difficulty and ease in learning is determined respectively by differences and similarities between the two languages in contrast. There were two positions that developed with regard to the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) framework. These were variously known as the a priori versus the a posteriori view, the strong versus weak view and the predictive versus explanatory view. In the strong view, it was maintained that one could make predictions about learning and hence about the success of language-teaching materials based on a comparison between two languages. The weak version starts with an analysis of learners’recurring errors. In other words, it begins with what learners do and then attempts to account for those errors on the basis of NL–TL differences. The weak version, which came to be part of error analysis, gained credence largely due to the failure of predictive contrastive analysis. The important contribution of the former approach to learner data (i.e., error analysis) was the emphasis it placed on learners themselves, the forms they produced, and the strategies they used to arrive at their IL forms. 4.4 Error analysis

What is error analysis? As the name suggests, it is a type of linguistic analysis that focuses on the errors learners make. Errors can be taken as red flags; they provide windows onto a system— that is, evidence of the state of a learner‘s knowledge of the L2. They are not to be viewed solely as a product of imperfect learning; hence, they are not something for teachers to throw their hands up in the air about. As with research on child language acquisition (see chapter 2), it has been found that second language errors are not a reflection of faulty imitation. Rather, they are to be viewed as indications of a learner‘s attempt to figure out some system, that is, to impose regularity on the language the learner is exposed to. In the same article, Corder was careful to distinguish between errors and mistakes. Mistakes are akin to slips of the tongue. That is, they are generally one-time-only events. The speaker who makes a mistake is able to recognize it as a mistake and correct it if necessary. An error, on the other hand, is systematic. That is, it is likely to occur repeatedly and is not recognized by the learner as an error. The learner in this case has incorporated a particular erroneous form (from the perspective of the TL) into his or her system. There are a number of steps taken in conducting an error analysis. 1 Collect data. Although this is typically done with written data oral data

can also serve as a base. 2 Identify errors. What is the error (e.g., incorrect sequence of tenses, wrong verb form, singular verb form with plural subject)? 3 Classify errors. Is it an error of agreement? Is it an error in irregular verbs? 4 Quantify errors. How many errors of agreement occur? How many irregular verb form errors occur? 5 Analyze source. See later discussion. 6 Remediate. Based on the kind and frequency of an error type, pedagogical intervention is carried out. 5 RECENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE ROLE OF PREVIOUSLY KNOWN LANGUAGES 5.1 Theories of learning Primarily coming from research on child language acquisition, during the 1950s and 1960s there were challenges to the behaviorist theory of language and language learning. Language came to be seen not as a set of automatic habits, but as a set of structured rules. These rules were claimed to be learned not by imitation, but by actively formulating them on the basis of innate principles as well as on the basis of exposure to the language being learned. It became commonplace in the 1960s to see children as actively involved in creating grammars of their language, as opposed to being

passive recipients imitating their surroundings. Children do not just soak in what goes on around them but actively try to make sense of the language they are exposed to. They construct grammars. In so doing they make generalizations, they test those generalizations or hypotheses, and they alter or reformulate them when necessary—or abandon them in favor of some other generalization. 5.2 Child second language acquisition Child second language acquisition refers to ―acquisition by individuals young enough to be within the critical period, but yet with a first language already learned‖ (Foster- Cohen, 1999, pp. 7–8), or ―successive acquisition of two languages in childhood‖ (McLaughlin, 1978a, p. 99). What is eliminated from this definition is simultaneous acquisition of two (or more) languages in childhood; this generally falls under the cover term of bilingualism. Within these two overall contexts of the presence and absence of native-speaking peers of the target language, McLaughlin (1978a) claimed that there is no language transfer in child second language acquisition unless the child is isolated from peers of the target language, the latter being the classic immersion setting. The idea is that if the child has target language peers, there is a greater social context where the child learns the L2 rules as if the L2 were an L1, with no language transfer occurring.

A general issue that is often a matter of discussion in the scholarly and lay literature is whether it is true that younger is better. McLaughlin concluded that it is not. In general, children have better phonology but older learners often achieve better L2 syntax (see also Long, 1990). As to be expected, more recent empirical work has shown that the picture is even more complex. Rocca (2007) presents evidence that, like first language learners and unlike adult second language learners, child language learners display morphological sensitivity. However, like adult second language learners and unlike first language learners, child second language learners are influenced by language transfer, where language transfer can involve grammatical lexical prototypical links. These studies, which are only the tip of the iceberg, show that the view ―the earlier, the better‖ cannot be taken as an absolute. 5.5.1 Avoidance The native language may influence which structures a learner produces and which structures are not produced (i.e., avoidance). The source of avoidance is in dispute. Whereas there is significant evidence that differences between the L1 and the L2 are the major source of avoidance, as was suggested in the preceding discussion, there is also evidence that the opposite occurs. That is, when great similarities exist between the L1 and the L2, the learner may doubt that these similarities are real.

Still another view holds that avoidance has less to do with NL–TL differences, but rather is based on the complexity of the L2 structures in question. 6 FORMAL APPROACHES TO SLA 6.1 Introduction As we stated in chapter 1, the field of SLA, a relatively young discipline, has been influenced in its formation by other disciplines. In turn, SLA has also exerted influence on these source disciplines. At present, some would conceptualize SLA as an independent field with its own research agenda and with a multidisciplinary focus, whereas others would conceptualize it as a subdiscipline of one source discipline or another. It is our view that because SLA has a substantial body of research and a strong research tradition, it is best thought of as an independent discipline with strong ties to other disciplines 6.2 Universal Grammar. The UG approach to second language acquisition begins from the perspective of learnability. The assumption of innate universal language properties is motivated by the need to explain the uniformly successful and speedy acquisition of language by children in spite of insufficient input. As Chomsky (1995, p. 167) noted: ―The theory of a particular language is its grammar. The theory of languages and the expressions

they generate is Universal Grammar (UG); UG is a theory of the initial state So of the relevant component of the language faculty.‖ Cook (1997, pp. 250–251) made an interesting analogy between driving a car and principles and parameters:

Overall there is a principle that drivers have to keep consistently to one side of the road, which is taken for granted by all drivers in all countries. Exceptions to this principle, such aspeople driving down motorways on the wrong side, rate stories in the media or car chases in action movies. The principle does not, however, say, which side of the road people should drive on. A parameter of driving allows the side to be the left in England and Japan, and the right in the USA and France. The parameter has two values or ―settings‖—left and right. Once a country has opted for one side or the other, it sticks to its choice: a change of setting is a massively complex operation, whether it happens for a whole country, as in Sweden, or for the individual travelling from England to France. So, a universal principle and a variable parameter together sum up the essence of driving. The principle states the universal requirement on driving; the parameter specifies the variation between countries.

How does UG relate to language acquisition? If children have to learn a complex set of abstractions, there must be something other than the

language input to which they are exposed that enables them to learn language with relative ease and speed. UG is postulated as an innate language facility that limits the extent to which languages can vary. That is, it specifies the limits of a possible language. The task for learning is greatly reduced if one is equipped with an innate mechanism that constrains possible grammar formation. Before relating the question of UG to SLA, we turn briefly to issues from child language acquisition to explain the basic argumentation of this theory. In most instances, the language-learning environment does not provide information to the child concerning the well-formedness of an utterance (Chomsky, 1981, 1986), or even when it does, it provides information only about the ungrammatical (or inappropriate) utterance, not about what needs to be done to modify a current hypothesis. ven with explicit correction, children‘s grammars are often impervious to change. Theoretically, there are two kinds of evidence available to learners as they make hypotheses about correct and incorrect language forms: positive evidence and negative evidence.2 Positive evidence comes from the speech learners hear/read and thus is composed of a limited set of well-formed utterances of the language being learned. When a particular sentence type is not heard, one does not know whether it is not heard because of its impossibility in the language or because of mere coincidence.

It is in this sense that the sentences of a language that provide the input to the learner are known as positive evidence. It is on the basis of positive evidence that linguistic hypotheses can be made. Negative evidence, on the other hand, is composed of information to a learner that his or her utterance is deviant with regard to the norms of the language being learned. We provide more detail on this in chapter 10. For now, suffice it to say that negative evidence can take many forms, including direct correction, such as That’s not right or indirect questions, such as What did you say? In sum, Universal Grammar is ―the system of principles, conditions, and rules that are elements or properties of all human languages‖ (Chomsky, 1975, p. 29). It ―is taken to be a characterization of the child‘s prelinguistic state‖ (Chomsky, 1981, p. 7). Thus, the necessity of positing an innate language faculty is due to the inadequate input, in terms of quantity and quality, to which a learner is exposed. Learning is mediated by UG and by the L1. How does this relate to second language acquisition? The question is generally posed as an access-to-UG problem. Does the innate language faculty that children use in constructing their native language grammars remain operative in second language acquisition? More recently, this question is formulated as an issue of initial state. What do second language learners start with?

6.2.1 Initial state Two broad views are discussed here: the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis (Bley-Vroman, 1989; Schachter, 1988), which argues that what happens in child language acquisition is not the same as what happens in adult second language acquisition, and the Access to UG Hypothesis, which argues that the innate language facility is alive and well in second language acquisition and constrains the grammars of second language learners as it does the grammars of child first language learners. 6.2.1.1 Fundamental Difference Hypothesis The Fundamental Difference Hypothesis starts from the belief that, with regard to language learning, children and adults are different in many important ways. For example, the ultimate attainment reached by children and adults differs. In normal situations, children always reach a state of ―complete‖ knowledge of their native language. In second language acquisition (at least, adult second language acquisition), not only is ―complete‖ knowledge not always attained, it is rarely, if ever, attained. Fossilization, representing a non-TL stage, is frequently observed (Han, 2004; Long, 2007). Another difference concerns the nature of the knowledge that these two groups of learners have at the outset of language learning. Second language learners have at their command knowledge of a full linguistic

system. They do not have to learn what language is all about at the same time that they are learning a specific language. For example, at the level of performance, adults know that there are social reasons for using different language varieties.3 What they have to learn in acquiring a second language system is the specific language forms that may be used in a given social setting. Children, on the other hand, have to learn not only the appropriate language forms, but also that there are different forms to be used in different situations. Related to the idea that adults have complete knowledge of a language system is the notion of equipotentiality, expressed by Schachter (1988). She pointed out that children are capable of learning any language. Given exposure to the data of a language (i.e., the input), a child will learn that language. No language is easier to learn than another; all languages are equally learnable by all children. This is not the case with second language learners. Spanish speakers have less difficulty learning Italian than they do Japanese. If language relatedness (perceived or actual) were not a determining factor in ultimate success, we would expect all learners to be equally able to learn any second language. One final difference to mention is that of motivation and attitude toward the target language and target language community. It is clear that, as in any learning situation, not all humans are equally motivated to learn languages, nor are they equally

motivated to learn a specific language. Differential motivation does not appear to impact a child‘s success or lack of success in learning language. All human beings without cognitive impairment learn a first language. 6.2.1.2 Access to UG Hypothesis The opposing view to the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis is the Access to UG Hypothesis. The common perspective is that ―UG is constant (that is, unchanged as a result of L1 acquisition); UG is distinct from the learner‘s L1 grammar; UG constrains the L2 learner‘s interlanguage grammars‖. UG-BASED 4 The Initial Hypothesis of Syntax (Platzack, 1996) This position maintains that, as in child language acquisition, the starting point for acquisition is UG. 5 Full Access/No Transfer This position maintains that, as in child language acquisition, the starting point for acquisition is UG (Epstein, Flynn, and Martohardjono, 1996, 1998; Flynn, 1996; Flynn and Martohardjono, 1994). There is a disconnection between the L1 and the developing L2 grammar. A prediction based on this position is that L1 and L2 acquisition will proceed in a similar fashion, will end up at the same point, and that all L2 acquisition (regardless of L1) would proceed along the same path. Learners should be able to reach the same level of competence as native

speakers. If there are differences, they are performance-related rather than competence-related. 6.4.3 Optimality Theory Optimality Theory is a relative newcomer to the theoretical scene in linguistics (see Prince and Smolensky, 1997) and an even later arrival in SLA. It had its beginnings in phonology but has more recently extended its domain to syntax and semantics, although this extension has yet to be seen in the pages of second language journals. Optimality Theory does not avail itself of the concept of rules per se, but rather, the basic concept is one of universal constraints and the rankings of those constraints. Constraints are innate and apply across all languages. There are two types of constraints: faithfulness constraints and markedness constraints. The former match the input with the output and the latter ensure the well formedness of the output. There are at times conflicts among constraints, but these conflicts are resolved by a language-specific ordering of constraints. 6.4.4 Ontogeny Phylogeny Model This model is intended to capture the basic patterns of interlanguage and captures phonological relationships between L1 and L2 as well as universals. Major (2001) states these relationships as follows: ―L2 increases, L1 decreases, and U [universals] increases and then decreases‖ (p. 82). At the early stage, the learner only has a first language and a

―dormant‖ U (except those parts of U that are operational in the L1). It is important to note that U refers to the ―universals of language that are not already part of the L1 or L2 system‖

7 TYPOLOGICAL AND FUNCTIONAL APPROACHES Why is an understanding of language universals important to the study of second language acquisition? One of the early questions regarding the nature of second language systems was the extent to which they could be considered a ―natural language.‖ underlying the IL hypothesis is the unwritten assumption that ILs are linguistic systems in the same way that Natural Languages are. (By ―natural language‖ I mean any human language shared by a community of speakers and developed over time by a general process of evolution.) That is, ILs are natural languages. (Adjemian, 1976, p. 298) There are many ways in which universals can be expected to affect the development of second language grammars: (a) They could absolutely affect the shape of a learner‘s grammar at any point in time. If this is correct, there would never be any instance of a violation of a given universal evident in second language grammars. (b) They could affect acquisition order, whereby more marked forms would be the last to be acquired, or, in the case of implicational universals, one could expect

fewer errors in the less marked forms. (c) They could be one of many interacting forces in determining the shape of learners‘ grammars. 7.3.1 Tense and aspect: the Aspect Hypothesis The Aspect Hypothesis claims that ―first and second language learners will initially be influenced by the inherent semantic aspect of verbs or predicates in the acquisition of tense and aspect markers associated with or affixed to these verbs‖ (Andersen and Shirai, 1994, p. 133). 7.3.2 The Discourse Hypothesis Another way of looking at the acquisition of tense/aspect is not to consider lexical meaning, as with the Aspect Hypothesis, but to look at the structure of the discourse in which utterances appear. In general, there are two parts to discourse structure: background and foreground. Foreground information is generally new information that moves time forward. Background information is supporting information. Unlike foregrounded material, it does not provide new information but might serve the purpose of elaborating on the information revealed through the foregrounded material. Within the context of the Discourse Hypothesis, it is claimed that ―learners use emerging verbal morphology to distinguish foreground from background in narratives‖ (Bardovi-Harlig, 1994, p. 43).

8 LOOKING AT INTERLANGUAGE PROCESSING

8.1 Introduction In linguistics the emphasis is on constraints on grammar formation, whereas in psychology the emphasis is on the actual processing mechanisms involved in SLA as well as on issues (e.g. working memory capacity) that affect those mechanisms. This is not to say that there is no overlap, only that each approach has its own particular emphasis. 8.2 Connectionist/emergentist models In this approach to language learning, also referred to as constructivist approaches, the emphasis is on usage. Learning does not rely on an innate module, but rather it takes place based on the extraction of regularities from the input. As these regularities or patterns are used over and over again, they are strengthened. Frequency accounts (N. Ellis, 2002) are an example. Frequency accounts of second language acquisition rely on the assumption that ―[h]umans are sensitive to the frequencies of events in their experience‖ (p. 145). Even though connectionist approaches have been around for a number of years, it is only recently that research within a second language context has begun to take place. Connectionism is a cover term that includes a number of network architectures. One such approach is parallel distributed processing (PDP). At the heart of PDP is a neural network that is generally biologically inspired in nature. The network consists of nodes that are connected by pathways. Within connectionism, pathways are

strengthened or weakened through activation or use. The basis for the Competition Model comes from work by Bates and MacWhinney (1982), although more recent research (e.g., MacWhinney, 2002, 2004) expands on the underlying concepts. The Competition Model was developed to account for the ways monolingual speakers interpret sentences. A fundamental difference between this model and what we have seen with a UG model (chapter 6) is that, whereas the latter separates the form of language from its function, the Competition Model is based on the assumption that form and function cannot be separated. According to MacWhinney, Bates, and Kliegl (1984, p. 128), ―the forms of natural languages are created, governed, constrained, acquired and used in the service of communicative functions.‖ It is important to understand that the Competition Model, similar to other psycholinguistic approaches to SLA, is concerned with how language is used (i.e., performance), as opposed to being concerned with a determination of the underlying structure of language (i.e., competence). In sum, the research conducted within the Competition Model suggests that learners are indeed faced with conflicts between native language and target language cues and cue strengths. The resolution of these conflicts is such that learners first resort to their NL interpretation strategies and, upon recognition of the incongruity between TL and NL systems, resort to a universal selection of meaning-based cues as opposed

to syntaxbased cues before gradually adopting the appropriate TL biases as their L2 proficiency increases. What then is involved in second language processing, at least with regard to comprehension, is a readjustment of which cues will be relevant to interpretation and a determination of the relative strengths of those cues. What is not known is how learners recognize which NL cues lead to the wrong interpretation and which cues lead to the correct interpretation. In fact, Bates and MacWhinney (1981) noted that one second language user, even after 25 years of living in the target language country, still did not respond to sentence interpretation tasks in the same way as native speakers of the target language. This latter result adds another bit of strong evidence to the proposed Fundamental Difference Hypothesis discussed in the previous chapter. 8.3 Processing approaches Processing approaches are characterized by a concern with the processing mechanisms and capacities of the human brain and how those mechanisms and capacities operate when dealing within the context ofsecond language learning. The first approach we deal with is known as Processability Theory. 9 INTERLANGUAGE IN CONTEXT 9.3.2 Social context relating to the native language Why should speakers accommodate their speech to that of others?

There are a number of reasons, all social in origin. Speaking like others (not unlike dressing in a manner similar to others) is intended to have the benefit of gaining the approval of others. It also identifies one as a member of the same social group, class, or ethnic background. 9.4.2 Sociocultural theory Sociocultural theory is grounded in the ontology of the social individual. This does not mean a divorce from psychological processes, for a sociocultural approach considers language and, by extension, second language acquisition as contextually situated and is concerned with situated language as it relates to internal processes. Within sociocultural theory, humans use symbols as tools to mediate psychological activity and to control our psychological processes. This control is voluntary and allows us to attend to certain things, to plan, and to think rationally. The primary tool that humans have available is language and it is a tool that allows us to connect to our environment (both physical and social). Language gives humans the power to go beyond the immediate environment and to think about and talk about events and objects that are far removed both physically and temporally. Regulation is a form of mediation. As children learn language, they also learn to regulate their activities linguistically. There are three stages of development on the way to self-regulation. The first stage involves the use of objects as a way of thinking (object-regulation). One can think of

parents using objects (e.g., pieces of candy) to help children with the abstract concept of counting. A second stage is known as otherregulation whereby learning is regulated by others rather than objects. Finally, self-regulation, the final stage occurs when activities can be performed with little or no external support. This occurs through internalization of information (addition without the use of pieces of candy, although some external support is required in the case of more complex mathematical manipulations). Another concept central to sociocultural theory is what is referred to as internalization. This is the process that allows us to move the relationship between an individual and his or her environment to later performance. One way internalization occurs is through imitation, which can be both immediate and intentional and delayed, as seen, for example, in early child language research by Weir (1962), in which imitation/practice was observed by children when they were alone in bed. This is also known as private speech and has been observed in L2 classrooms by Ohta (2001; see discussion in chapter 11) and by Lantolf and Yá ez (2003). The items focused on by learners in these ? imitation/private speech situations are controlled by the learner and not necessarily by the teacher‘s agenda. Another concept that is associated with sociocultural theory is known as the Zone of Proximal Development, defined by Vygotsky (1978, p. 86)

as: ―the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers.‖ What this means is that learning results from interpersonal activity; it is interpersonal activity that forms the basis for individual functioning. This clearly embodies the social nature of learning and underscores the importance of collaborative learning as it shapes what is learned (see chapter 11). 9.5 Communication strategies Many times learners are faced with a need to express a concept or an idea in the second language but find themselves without the linguistic resources to do so. A communication strategy must be employed. A communication strategy (to be differentiated from learning strategies, discussed in chapter 12, in section 12.9) is a deliberate attempt to express meaning when faced with difficulty in the second language. In dealing with the notion of communication strategies, most researchers have included three components in a definition of communication strategies: problematicity, consciousness, and

intentionality (see D? rnyei and Scott, 1997, for an overview). Problematicity means that the learner, in using a communication strategy, must have first recognized that there is a problem of communication that must be overcome. Inherent in the notion of consciousness is the idea that

learners must be aware that they have encountered a problem and be aware of the fact that they are, in fact, doing something to overcome that problem. Including intentionality as part of a definition of communication strategies implies that learners have control over various options and make choices about which option will have a particular effect (Bialystok, 1990a). 10 INPUT, INTERACTION, AND OUTPUT 10.2 Input Corder, in 1967, made an important distinction between what he called input and intake. Input refers to what is available to the learner, whereas intake refers to what is actually internalized (or, in Corder‘s terms, ―taken in‖) by the learner. Anyone who has been in a situation of learning a second/foreign language is familiar with the situation in which the language one hears is totally incomprehensible, to the extent that it may not even be possible to separate the stream of speech into words. Whereas this is input, because it is available to the learner, it is not intake, because it ―goes in one ear and out the other‖; it is not integrated into the current learner-language system. This sort of input appears to serve no greater purpose for the learner than does that language that is never heard. Conceptually, one can think of the input as that language (in both spoken and written forms) to which the learner is exposed. We turn to the Input Hypothesis, developed by Krashen, as part of his

overall Monitor Model and as part of his overall sketch of acquisition. Second languages are acquired ―by understanding messages, or by receiving ?comprehensible input‘ ‖ (Krashen, 1985, p. 2). Krashen defined ―comprehensible input‖ in a particular way. Essentially, comprehensible input is that bit of language that is heard/read and that is slightly ahead of a learner‘s current state of grammatical knowledge. Language containing structures a learner already knows essentially serves no purpose in acquisition. Similarly, language containing structures way ahead of a learner‘s current knowledge is not useful. A learner does not have the ability to ―do‖ anything with those structures. Krashen defined a learner‘s current state of knowledge as i and the next stage as i + 1. Thus the input a learner is exposed to must be at the i + 1 level in order for it to be of use in terms of acquisition. ―We move from i, our current level to i + 1, the next level along the natural order, by understanding input containing i + 1‖ (1985, p. 2). 10.3 Comprehension Crucial to the success of any conversation is the ability to understand and to be understood. What factors determine comprehensibility? The first area of concern in a discussion of comprehension is the NS‘s ability to understand the NNS‘s pronunciation. An additional factor determining comprehensibility is the NNS‘s ability to contextualize the language by using appropriate vocabulary and

linking devices. From these studies, we can conclude that in interpreting NNS utterances, grammar is less important than pronunciation and vocabulary. Assuming that these results are borne out, we can ask: Why should this be the case? The main explanation has to do with range of choices. There is a more limited number of grammatical possibilities (or grammar rules) in language than there are vocabulary items or possible pronunciations. The second area of concern in a discussion of comprehension is the NNS‘s ability to understand. In particular, comprehension appears to be facilitated by three factors: (a) familiarity with a particular NNS, (b) familiarity with nonnative speech in general, and (c) familiarity with the discourse topic. 10.4 Interaction The interaction approach accounts for learning through input (exposure to language), production of language (output), and feedback that comes as a result of interaction (see summary by Gass and Mackey, 2006). Gass (2003) puts it this way: interaction research ―takes as its starting point the assumption that language learning is stimulated by communicative pressure and examines the relationship between communication and acquisition and the mechanisms (e.g., noticing, attention) that mediate between them‖ (p. 224). Interaction involves a number of components including negotiation, recasts, and feedback. In

what follows, we introduce the concept of negotiation of meaning. This is followed by a section on output within which we further discuss negotiation and focus on recasts, as parts of a broader concept of feedback. One should not be misled, however, into thinking that comprehension is the same as acquisition. Comprehension, in the usual sense of the word, refers to a single event, whereas acquisition refers to a permanent state. (Other ways of viewing the notion of comprehension will be discussed in chapter 14.) 10.5 Output Output has generallybeen seen not as a way of creating knowledge, but as a way of practicing already existing knowledge. In other words, output has traditionally been viewed as a way of practicing what has previously been learned. This was certainly the thrust behind early methods of language teaching in which the presentation-practice (i.e., drill and repetition) mode was in vogue. Comprehensible output refers to the need for a learner to be ―pushed toward the delivery of a message that is not only conveyed, but that is conveyed precisely, coherently, and appropriately‖ (Swain, 1985, p. 249). 10.5.1 Feedback Interactional feedback is an important source of information for learners. Most generally, it provides them with information about the

success (or, more likely, lack of success) of their utterances and gives additional opportunities to focus on production or comprehension. There are numerous ways of providing feedback to learners from the explicit(stating that there is a problem) to the implicit (feedback during the course of an interaction). Lightbown (1992) compared corrective feedback provided by teachers immediately after the occurrence of an error in a communicative activity versus feedback on audiolingual drills or pure practice activities. She found that in both cases learners were able to self-correct, but only in the first case was the self-correction incorporated into their second language systems, as evidenced by use of the targeted form outside of the classroom. 10.5.1.2 Recasts Recasts are another form of feedback, though they are less direct and more subtle than other forms of feedback. A recast is a reformulation of an incorrect utterance that maintains the original meaning of the utterance. Unfortunately, an immediate response may not be revealing, in that learners may be ―mimicking or repeating without true understanding‖ (Gass, 2003, p. 236). Lyster (1998), using the same database as reported on in the Lyster and Ranta (1997) study, divided recasts into four types depending on two

features: (a) declarative; (b) interrogative; (c) confirmation of the original utterance; or (d) additional information. Lyster (2004), in a study that took place in immersion classrooms, compared the benefits of recasts and prompts. By prompts, he includes the following four types: 1 Clarification requests 2 Repetitions 3 Metalinguistic clues 4 Elicitation Ellis, Loewen, and Erlam (2006) looked at metalinguistic explanation (explicit feedback) and recasts (implicit feedback), finding that on tests of both explicit and implicit knowledge the metalinguistic explanation group outperformed the recast group, most likely due to recognition of the overtly corrective nature of metalinguistic feedback. Explicit feedback benefited both implicit and explicit knowledge. In general, a number of studies have suggested that there is a positive effect for recasts on later learning (see Nicholas, Lightbown, and Spada 2001 and Mackey and Goo, 2007 for reviews). 10.6 The role of input and interaction in language learning It is within this context that Krashen proposed his influential Input Hypothesis discussed earlier. His main claim is that the sine qua non of acquisition is input that is slightly beyond the learner‘s current level of

grammatical knowledge. In his view, given the right kind of input, acquisition will be automatic. As we argued earlier, this account is inadequate. Minimally, one must also consider the role of negotiated interaction, as learning will be promoted in those instances when a conversational partner‘s assistance in expressing meaning can be relied on. Such assistance comes as a result of negotiation work, including such conversational features as comprehension checks, clarification requests, help with word searches, echoing, and so forth. According to R. Ellis (1984, p. 95): interaction contributes to development because it is the means by which the learner is able to crack the code. This takes place when the learner can infer what is said even though the message contains linguistic items that are not yet part of his competence and when the learner can use the discourse to help him/her modify or supplement the linguistic knowledge already used in production. Thus, conversational interaction in a second language forms the basis for the development of language rather than being only a forum for practice of specific language features. This idea was expressed by Long (1996) as the Interaction Hypothesis:

negotiation for meaning, and especially negotiation work that triggers interactional adjustments by the NS or more competent interlocutor,

facilitates acquisition because it connects input, internal learner capacities, particularly selective attention, and output in productive ways. (pp. 451–452) 10.6.1 Attention We now turn to the mechanism that may be at the heart of the Interaction Hypothesis (as Long, 1996 noted): selective attention (see also chapter 8). Negotiation and other types of corrective interaction focus learners‘ attention on parts of their language that diverge from NS language. In other words, negotiation requires attentiveness and involvement, both of which are necessary for successful communication. As reported, numerous studies suggest that interaction and learning are related. This observation is an important one, but is in need of an explanation in order to advance our understanding of how learning takes place. Schmidt (1990, 1993a, 1993b, 1993c, 1994) argued that attention is essential to learning; that is, that there can be no learning without attention. Saxton (1997, 2000) proposed what he calls the Direct Contrast Hypothesis, which he defined within the context of child language acquisition as follows:

When the child produces an utterance containing an erroneous form,

which is responded to immediately with an utterance containing the correct adult alternative to the erroneous form (i.e. when negative evidence is supplied), the child may perceive the adult form as being in CONTRAST with the equivalent child form. Cognizance of a relevant contrast can then form the basis for perceiving the adult form as a correct alternative to the child form. (1997, p. 155; emphasis in original) 10.6.3 Metalinguistic awareness Metalinguistic awareness refers to one‘s ability to consider language not just as a means of expressing ideas or communicating with others, but also as an object of inquiry. Thus, making puns suggests an ability to think about language as opposed to only using it for expressive purposes. NNSs in a classroom setting often spend more time on metalinguistic activities (e.g., studying rules of grammar or memorizing vocabulary words) than on activities of pure use. 11 INSTRUCTED SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING 11.2 Classroom language One of the main differentiating factors between classroom learning and so-called naturalistic learning is the language available from which learners can come to understand the workings of the L2 and formulate hypotheses. In language classrooms, the language addressed to learners

may be somewhat modified. 11.3 Processing instruction Processing instruction refers to a type of instruction that takes as its basis how learners process input (see chapter 8 for a discussion of input processing). In particular, it deals with the conversion of input to intake and specifically focuses on form–meaning relationships (VanPatten, 1995; VanPatten and Cadierno, 1993; VanPatten and Sanz, 1995). VanPatten (2007a, 2007b; see also VanPatten, 2004) proposed principles of L2 input processing. VanPatten (2008) presents three premises that are the basis of processing instruction:

1 Learners need input for acquisition; 2 A major problem in acquisition might be the way in which learners process input; 3 If we can understand how learners process input, then we might be able to devise effective input enhancement or focus on form to aid acquisition of formal features of language.

VanPatten (2007b) outlines three basic features of processing instruction. 1 Give learners information about a structure or form. 2 Inform learners about a particular processing strategy that may get in the way of selecting the form/structure during comprehension.

3 Structure input so that learners must rely on form/structure to get meaning and not rely on natural processing tendencies. Swain (1995) cited work by Clark and Clark (1977) that suggested a difference between these two types of comprehension: Listeners usually know a lot about what a speaker is going to say. They can make shrewd guesses from what has been said and from the situation being described. They can also be confident that the speaker will make sense, be relevant, provide given and new information appropriately, and in general be cooperative. Listeners almost certainly use this sort of information to select among alternative parses of a sentence, to anticipate words and phrases, and sometimes even to circumvent syntactic analyses altogether. (Clark and Clark, 1977, p. 72) 11.4 Teachability/learnability In fact, Krashen stated this as part of the entire Monitor Model (see chapter 8) as the Natural Order Hypothesis, which claims that elements of language (or language rules) are acquired in a predictable order. The order is the same regardless of whether or not instruction is involved. The ―natural order‖ was determined by a synthesis of the results of the morpheme order studies (see chapter 5) and is a result of the acquired system, without interference from the learned system. 12 BEYOND THE DOMAIN OF LANGUAGE

12.2.1 Linguistics Competence as a major concern of modern linguistics emphasizes what speakers know, rather than what they actually do on some particular occasion (performance). 12.2.3 Psycholinguistics Psycholinguistics, with roots in both psychology and linguistics, is especially relevant for second language acquisition research. Sorrentino and Higgins, in the introduction to their anthology dealing with the importance of motivation, admit that ―motivation had little place in [psycholinguistics]‖ (Sorrentino and Higgins, 1986, p. 5). 12.3 Affect In the case of language learning, it can refer to feelings or emotional reactions about the language, about the people who speak that language, or about the culture where that language is spoken. Language shock refers to the realization that, as a learner, you must seem comical to speakers of the TL whereas culture shock refers to anxiety relating to disorientation from exposure to a new culture. 12.3.2 Anxiety Anxiety seems to represent a trait that falls within the broader scheme of factors affecting learning, but what is not clear is whether it is a matter of personality, an emotional reaction to a situation, or a combination. Anxiety is not always a negative factor in learning. In general, anxiety,

like many other factors (see Mizruchi, 1991, for a more general discussion), has a curvilinear effect on performance: low levels help, whereas high levels hurt. 12.3.3 Affective Filter The phenomenon of affect and its relationship to second language learning is well-known and has been experienced by most language learners. One of the main concepts that appeared early in the second language literature is what is known as the Affective Filter, which was intended to account in large part for why some people were able to learn second languages while others were not. As mentioned in chapter 10, one way of accounting for nonlearning in Krashen‘s (1985) view was to claim that learners had not received comprehensible input in sufficient quantities; another would be to claim that an inappropriate affect was to blame. Affect, from Krashen‘s perspective, is intended to include factors such as motivation, attitude, self-confidence, and anxiety. Krashen proposed an Affective Filter. If the Filter is up, input is prevented from passing through; if input is prevented from passing through, there can be no acquisition. If, on the other hand, the Filter is down, or low, and if the input is comprehensible, the input will reach the acquisition device and acquisition will take place. According to Krashen, the Affective Filter is responsible for individual variation in second language acquisition and differentiates

child language acquisition from second language acquisition because the Affective Filter is not something children have/use. The Affective Filter hypothesis captures the relationship between affective variables and the process of second language acquisition. To summarize, according to Krashen, two conditions are necessary for acquisition: comprehensible input (in Krashen‘s technical sense) and a low or weak Affective Filter. The Affective Filter, which shields the Language Acquisition Device from input necessary for acquisition, is what differentiates one individual from another; it is intended to explain why some learners learn and others do not. It is also intended to explain child–adult differences. The Filter is not present (or, at least not operative) in children but is present in adults. 12.6 Aptitude Aptitude, simply put, refers to one‘s potential for learning new knowledge or new skills. With regard to language aptitude, it refers to one‘s ability to learn another language. 12.7 Motivation Gardner, through his early work with Lambert (1972) and in later work with colleagues at the University of Western Ontario, has become a primary figure in the field of motivation in second language learning. ―Motivation involves four aspects, a goal, effortful behaviour, a desire to attain the goal and favourable attitudes toward the activity in question‖

(Gardner, 1985, p. 50). Does success lead to better performance? There are different results presented in the literature. Moreover, a plausible argument can be made for either direction. Success can breed confidence, which results in greater success. On the other hand, success can breed overconfidence, which sets one up for a fall. Mizruchi (1991) provided interesting data on this question. Consider the following:

The extent to which confidence and motivation affect task performance is a controversial issue among social psychologists. Although most participants believe that prior success breeds present success, many researchers have found no effect of prior performance on current performance. Contrary to the conventional view, I argue that in team competition, prior success breeds failure in current task performance because it decreases the necessity of success. Conversely, I suggest that prior failure breeds current success because it increases the urgency of success. I test this argument with data on playoff games between professional basketball teams from 1947 through 1982. Controlling for the advantage accruing to the home team as well as for the relative strength of the teams, I find that in back-to-back games at the same site, teams that won the previous game are more likely to lose the current game.

(p. 181) 13 THE LEXICON Levelt (1989, p. 181) maintained that the lexicon is the driving force in sentence production (i.e., in encoding or sentence generation), which he described as a formulation process: . . . formulation processes are lexically driven. This means that grammatical and phonological encodings are mediated by lexical entries. The preverbal message triggers lexical items into activity. The syntactic, morphological, and phonological properties of an activated lexical item trigger, in turn, the grammatical, morphological and phonological encoding procedures underlying the generation of an utterance. The assumption that the lexicon is an essential mediator between conceptualization and grammatical and phonological encoding will be called the lexical hypothesis. The lexical hypothesis entails, in particular, that nothing in the speaker‘s message will by itself trigger a syntactic form, such as a passive or a dative construction. There must be mediating lexical items, triggered by the message, which by their grammatical properties and their order of activation cause the Grammatical Encoder to generate a particular syntactic structure. Nation (2001, p. 27) lists the following as word knowledge types necessary if one is to be considered to have complete knowledge of a word:

Form ? Spoken (what does it sound like? eight sounds like [eit]) ? Written (spelling) Meaning ? Form and meaning (what is the meaning of a particular form?) ? Concept and referents (what concepts are included?) ? Associations (what words do we think of when we hear this form?) Use ? Grammatical functions (the patterns the word occurs in) ? Collocations (what words can occur with the word—for example, with vacation, one says take) ? Constraints on use (e.g., registers—in what contexts do we expect to hear this word?) 13.2.2 Knowledge and control A different distinction was drawn by Bialystok and Sharwood Smith (1985)—one between knowledge and control. Knowledge was defined as ―the way in which the language system is represented in the mind of the learner (the categories and relationships in long-term memory),‖ whereas control was defined as ―the processing system for controlling that system during actual performance‖ (p. 104) 13.4.1 Incidental vocabulary learning A great deal of attention has been paid to what is known as incidental

vocabulary learning (see Gass, 1999, for a discussion of the controversial nature of this term). Wesche and Paribakht (1999b, p. 176) defined incidental learning as what takes place when ―learners are focused on comprehending meaning rather than on the explicit goal of learning new words.‖ In other words, learning is a by-product of something else (e.g., reading a passage). 13.4.2 Incremental vocabulary learning Paribakht and Wesche (1993) developed a Vocabulary Knowledge Scale with five stages: (a) the word is unfamiliar, (b) the word is familiar but the meaning is not known, (c) a translation into the NL can be given, (d) the word can be used appropriately in a sentence, and (e) the word is used accurately both semantically and grammatically 14 AN INTEGRATED VIEW OF SECOND LANGUAGE

ACQUISITION. The focus of this chapter is a consideration of what a learner must do to convert input to output. There are five stages in this process: (a) apperceived input, (b) comprehended input, (c) intake, (d) integration, and (e) output. The first stage of input utilization is called apperceived input. Apperception is the process of understanding by which newly observed qualities of an object are related to past experiences. In other words, past experiences relate to the selection of what might be called noticed

material. Apperception is an internal cognitive act, identifying a linguistic form as being related to some prior knowledge. We can think of apperception as a priming device that tells us which parameters to attend to in analyzing second language data. That is, it is a priming device that prepares the input for further analysis. An obvious factor is frequency—possibly at both extremes. Something which is very frequent in the input is likely to be noticed. On the other hand, particularly at more advanced stages of learning, stages at which expectations of language data are well established, something that is unusual because of its infrequency may stand out for a learner. A second factor that influences apperception is what has been described as affect. Within this category are included such factors as social distance, status, motivation, and attitude. A third factor that may determine whether language data are apperceived has to do with the broad category of associations and prior knowledge. Learning involves integration of new knowledge with prior knowledge. Importantly, one needs some sort of anchor on which to ground new knowledge. Prior knowledge is one of the factors that determine whether the input is meaningful. Prior knowledge is to be interpreted broadly and can include knowledge of the native language, knowledge of other languages, existing knowledge of the second language, world knowledge, language universals, and so forth. All of

these play a role in a learner‘s success or lack of success in interpreting language data, in that they ultimately determine whether a learner understands and what level of understanding takes place. A final factor to mention is that of attention. Why is attention important? It is important because it allows a learner to notice a mismatch between what he or she knows about the second language and what is produced by speakers of the second language. One is that comprehensible input is controlled by the person providing input, generally (but not necessarily) a native speaker of the second language, whereas comprehended input is learner-controlled; that is, it is the learner who is or who is not doing the ―work‖ to understand. This distinction is crucial in the eventual relationship to intake, because it is the learner who ultimately controls that intake. A second difference is that comprehensible input, in Krashen‘s sense, is treated as a dichotomous variable; that is, it is either comprehensible or it is not. But there are different levels of comprehension that can take place. The most typical meaning of comprehension is at the level of semantics. What is the difference between apperceived and comprehended input? Apperception is conceptualized as a priming device. It prepares the learner for the possibility of subsequent analysis. In comprehending, however, the task facing the learner is to analyze the input in order to determine what the vowel length is in some particular context and then to

relate the particular vowel length to a specific meaning. 14.1.3 Intake Intake is the process of assimilating linguistic material (see chapter 10). Intake refers to the mental activity that mediates between input and grammars and is different from apperception or comprehension, as the latter two do not necessarily lead to grammar formation. This, of course, suggests that intake is not merely a subset of input. Rather, input and intake refer to two fundamentally different phenomena. How can we describe the intake component? It is that component where psycholinguistic processing takes place (chapter 8). That is, it is where incoming information is matched up against prior knowledge and where, in general, processing takes place against the backdrop of the existing internalized grammatical rules. It is where generalizations and so-called overgeneralizations are likely to occur; it is where memory traces are formed; and finally, it is the component from which fossilization stems. Fossilization results when new (correct) input fails to have an impact on the learner‘s nontarget-like grammar. That is, the correct input is not apperceived or is not comprehended, and thus it is not further processed. 14.1.5 Output Learners‘ output is often equated with their grammar. For example, it is frequently inferred that changes in the output represent changes in a

learner‘s grammar. Not only is confidence in one‘s ability a determining factor in output, but we can also consider how strongly represented the knowledge is. There may be different degrees of strength of knowledge representation (perhaps related to the automaticity of language processing) that will in part determine what output will take place and how it will take place. In sum, the output component represents more than the product of language knowledge; it is an active part of the entire learning process.


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