Chapter 11 Second language acquisition Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 11 Second language acquisition Deck (35):
1

Second language acquisition (SLA)

the process of attaining proficiency in a language other than the first language.

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bilingualism

Simultaneous acquisition of two languages from birth. This term is also used casually to refer to any strong proficiency in two languages, regardless of how it is attained.

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interlanguage grammar

L2 learners have a systematic interlanguage grammar, which is influenced by both the L1 and the L2.

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Transfer

involves carrying over features, words, or rules from the L1 into the interlanguage grammar. can interact with rules from the L2 grammar, showing the influence of both.

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fossilized

The interlanguage gradually changes as more properties of the L2 are acquired.
• When the interlanguage stops changing, it is said to have fossilized.

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communicative competence

A speaker’s total proficiency in a second language;
Grammatical competence
Textual competence
Illocutionary competence
Sociolinguistic competence

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Grammatical competence

knowledge of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics.

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Textual competence

knowledge of how to link grammatical utterances together into a coherent (written or spoken) narrative.

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Illocutionary competence

knowledge of how language use varies in different discourse contexts, e.g. formal vs. informal

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Sociolinguistic competence

knowledge of how linguistic expressions are used to achieve different goals, e.g. to express a statement, a request, a command, a wish, etc.

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Markedness Differential Hypothesis (MDH)

unmarked structures are easier to acquire in SLA than marked ones.
Unmarked structures are simpler and/or more common cross-linguistically, while marked ones are more complex and/or rarer

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Markedness can depend on the linguistic environment.

word-final voicing contrasts imply word-medial contrasts, which imply word-initial contrasts.
• Thus, voicing contrasts are less marked word- initially, and more marked word-finally.
The MDH predicts that will be easiest to learn voicing contrasts in word-initial position, since this is the least-marked position for voicing contrasts.

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Similarity Differential Rate Hypothesis (SDRH)

speakers will be faster to acquire an L2 phenomenon that is unlike their L1 than to acquire one that is like their L1.
Example:
Haitian Creole speaker acquiring English [r]/[l]:
• HC [ʁ]: acquire English [ɹ] quickly
• HC [l]: no problem with English alveolar [l], but acquire English velarized [ł] slowly
English [ł] is harder to acquire because it is more similar to the HC sound than [ɹ] is.

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Null Subject Parameter.

The subject of a tensed clause {may / may not} be null.
a. *Speaks French. [–NS]
b. (El) habla español. [+NS]
‘S/he speaks Spanish
Null subject languages (like Spanish and Italian) seem to allow postverbal subjects as well, unlike non-null subject languages (like English and French).
also allow wh- movement of an embedded subject past a declarative complementizer, while non-null subject languages do not.

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Subset Principle

states that the initial or default setting of a parameter will be the subset value, i.e. the one that generates the fewest grammatical options

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positive evidence

In SLA, to reset a parameter from the subset to the superset value, only positive evidence is required

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negative evidence

To reset a parameter from the superset to the subset value, negative evidence is required—either direct (information about ungrammaticality) or indirect (noticing the absence of positive evidence for the superset setting).

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L2 speakers often omit inflectional morphology and function words

Example: Patty (Chinese L1, late L2 learner)
You know, I call Bill this morning and nobody answer. And I start to worry... He either stay in Eliotville, because he said he __ call me last night, and he never did.

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Impaired Representation Hypothesis

holds that such omissions indicate a deficient interlanguage grammar.

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Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis

holds that the errors are more superficial.
finite Tense features are responsible for nominative case

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age of acquisition

of a second language can influence proficiency, with an advantage for younger learners
especially true of phonology; more variation is seen in other areas of communicative competence

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Universal Grammar (positive evidence)

Evidence that SLA accesses Universal Grammar would be the interlanguage grammar is like the grammar of primary languages, especially languages other than L1 and L2.

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Universal Grammar (negative evidence)

Evidence that SLA fails to access Universal Grammar would be that the interlanguage grammar has properties not seen in primary languages.

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individual variation

among late L2 learners: some become near-nativelike, while others do not.
can be influenced by the learner’s degree of motivation
different types of motivation, known as instrumental (driven by a narrow goal) or integrative (driven by a desire to learn more about a culture)

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instrumental motivation

driven by a narrow goal

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integrative motivation

driven by a desire to learn more about a culture

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Field-independent learners

are said to be good with details, and do well on analytic tasks, such as grammar tests

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Field-dependent learners

are said to be good at seeing the big picture, and do well on tasks requiring broader communicative competence

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L2 classroom typically involves:

• Modified input: “teacher talk”
• Modified interaction: comprehension checks, repetition, recasts
• Focus on form: explicit grammatical instruction and corrections

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Bilingual education includes

Minority language maintenance programs
Immersion programs

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Minority language maintenance programs

help children speaking a minority L1 language to acquire academic skills, including knowledge of a majority language.
usually begin with instruction in the children’s L1, then gradually introduces the (majority) L2.
By grade 6, the kids match the performance of their L1 and L2 peers

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Immersion programs

usually broaden the linguistic experience of children speaking a majority L1 language.
use the L2 as the medium of instruction.
it is treated as an L2 for all students, so no one is at a disadvantage

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dual language programs

where (monolingual or bilingual) native speakers of two different languages receive instruction in both languages.

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submersion

putting minority language L1 speakers in a monolingual L2 school
puts these children at an immediate disadvantage, with lasting negative consequences

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French Immersion

By grade 6, on average outstrip their monolingual peers in academic performance.
• Their receptive L2 skills—reading and listening—end up virtually nativelike.
• Their productive skills are at an advanced level, though not nativelike.