Perspectives on the Role of Previously Known Languages by malj


									   Emily Svendsen
Virginia Harckbart
•   Many theories about language learning in
    general are based on studies of child
    language acquisition
•   These ideas changed significantly in the 1950
    and 60s with the shift from behaviorist views
    of child language acquisition to a more innate
•   Language not seen as a set of automatic
    habits, but rather a set of structured rules
   Language learning not about imitating, but
    rather a matter of learning the rules and
    being exposed to the language
   Examples show that neither imitation nor
    reinforcement can explain a child's linguistic
   Children's language is systematic; not just a
    series of deviations
   Child SLA refers to “acquisition by individuals
    young enough to be within the critical period,
    but yet with a first language already learned”
    (Foster-Cohen, 1999)
   Mainly between the ages of 5 and 9, where
    the primary language is mostly settled and
    before the effects of from a critical/sensitive
    period begin to manifest
   Quality of input to learner is very important in
    L2 outcome
   No language transfer if the child is in a classic
    immersion setting
   Regression hypothesis (McLaughlin, 1978)
    states that the child uses the language skills
    used in L1 acquisition with L2 data, but at a
    very simple level
   Recapitulation hypothesis states that the
    child uses the same processes available to
    children of the target language
   Unitary process states that all language
    acquisition, whether a first or second
    language, at all ages has a unity of process
   There does not seem to be a uniform process
    in question formation

   Morpheme order study by Brown (1973) was
    influential in the development of SLA
   L1=L2 hypothesis (Dulay and Burt)
   Chomsky X Skinner: learner is an active
    participant in the learning process – transfer
    not an important factor in SLA
   Studies were conducted to show the
    percentage of error attributed to the NL
   Dulay and Burt (1974) – creative construction
    theory: “Children gradually reconstruct rules
    (…) guided by innate universal mechanisms
   L2 strategies = common to all children
   Humans have an innate propensity for
    language and therefore reconstruction of
    second languages happens in similar ways
   To verify these hypothesis the morpheme
    order studies emerged, based on Brown’s
   Dulay and Burt’s study was first to apply
    Brown’s findings to child SLA
   60 Spanish and 55 Chinese children were
   Bilingual Syntax Measure (BSM): children were
    asked questions about 7 colored pictures to
    elicit responses on the following English
    grammatical morphemes
   Findings: less than 5% of errors attributed to
    NL; similar pattern of development between
    the two groups (Spanish and Chinese
   Minimal differences = attribution of
    similarities to universal developmental factors
   Foster-Cohen: child SLA severely
   Thank you!

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