I. Summary of References
- H.H. Stern (1970) recommend procedures for second language teaching method on the basis of first language acquisition behaviorist: 1st LA is a rote practice: habit formation, shaping, over learning, conditioning, association, stimulus – response 1. practice over and over again all the time. 2. imitate everything 3. practice in natural order: separate sounds, then words, then sentences. 4. follow a child’s speech development: listen, then speak, and then you can understand 5. remember the natural order: listening, speaking, reading, writing 6. do not translate 7. no need to use grammatical conceptualization
- The Critical Period Hypothesis: biological timetable that puberty is the critical point of SLA
- Incorrect assumptions : that people above 12-13 year are impossible to be a successful SL learner.
- Some considerations on the issues:
- Neurological brain function in the acquisition process (left = intellectual, logic, analytic; right = emotional, social) Neurological research gives evidence that language function is controlled in the left hemisphere Eric Lennenberg (1967): lateralization is a slow process from 2 years old – puberty Thomas Scovel (1969): plasticity of brain to lateralize and acquire SL is prior to puberty Norman Geschwind (1970), Stephen Krashen (1973): completed before 5 years old Obler (1981): in later age, there’s part of the right hemisphere involved Genesee (1982): language processing in bilinguals are more in the right hemisphere
- Psychomotor speech muscle (throat, larynx, mouth, lips, tongue, etc) must be controlled to achieve the fluency of a native speaker. Scovek (1988) communicative and functional purposes of language is far more important than pronunciation of language
- Cognitive intellect – Piaget stages of intellectual development: 0-2 = sensory motor, 2-7 = pre-operational, 7-16 = operational. Piagetian equilibration: as someone becomes more mature, the left hemisphere is more dominant. Doubt/uncertain = disequilibrium moves to resolution/certain = equilibrium – Cognitive Domain of Ausbel : LA is not a rote but a meaningful repetition and mimicking
- Affective emotion – The factors are empathy, self-esteem, extroversion, inhibition, imitation, anxiety, attitude Guiora (1972): egocentricity = self-directed speech. ‘Language Ego” = someone’s identity in the language he develops. Younger learners are more egocentric – Some examples: negative attitudes can affect language learning; peer pressure; older people can tolerate linguistic differences more than children, so more excuses
- Linguistic First language is the facilitating factor. E.g. children learning two languages simultaneously, they just distinguish two contexts. For second language learning in children after they acquire First L, the process is similar in learning Foreign Language
- In the classroom : The Audiolingual Method
It is he use of oral drill and pattern practice (repetition, inflection, replacement, restatement, completion, transposition, expansion, contraction). Also known as ASTP or Army Method
From Fenigar & Bresnie (1989): Language: ATS Structure and Use
- Principles of language Acquisition: 1/ any child who is capable of acquiring a particular human language is capable of acquiring any human language 2/ all children normally acquire their native language in childhood 3/ by the age of six, children can speak language fluently 4/ linguists and psychologists convince that language is not only a matter of imitation
- Adult input in Language Acquisition: In language acquisition, the important parts= process of imitations, exposure of linguistic input
- Stages of Language Acquisition 1/ 1 year old – 2 year old : one word, words 2/ 2 -3 : use words in appropriate context, know parts of speech e.g. Mama hurt me 3/ five-year old children: 4-6 words per sentence, adding 20 vocabulary per day e.g. That book doesn’t belong to me.
- Relationship between language and thought: language and thought appears simultaneously.
From Richard Amato (2003) : Making It Happen.
- Chomsky’s Contribution: Innatist theory: some language aspects are innate or inborn. The brain is not a blank slate; it contains highly complex structures that come into operation through an interaction process “language organ” called Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
- LAD is like a computer that has various pre-programmed linguistic sub-systems, through experience, someone makes sub-conscious choices of linguistic menu (e.g. S-V-O, V=S-O, S-O-V, O-S-V)
- Universal Grammar. It is the basic principles shared by all languages.
From Gasseschumaker (1994): Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction
- Some important definitions: Native language = first language a child learns Target language = the language being learned SLA = the learning of another language in the environment in which it is spoken FLA = the learning of nonnative language in the environment of someone’s native language
- The nature of language What need to be learned? 1/ sound systems = phonology 2/ syntax = grammar 3/ morphology and lexicon 4/ semantics = meaning 5/ pragmatics = context
II. Personal Opinion
I think First Language Acquisition and Second Language Acquisition are fundamentally different in that they take place at two different stages of a person’s development (child – adult). With the possible exception of children raised in a bilingual environment, people learn their first language as children, and there is a significant gap in the learning process before they begin to learn their second. Also, children learning their first language have less mental work to do to learn the words for the objects and ideas around them. How Indonesian acquire FLA? In my experiences, Indonesian students shows a great reluctance to stray from their first language, and they rarely take a chance while learning a second language. Comments on LAD: I totally agree. I believe that God blesses us with such a sophisticated brain that can do miracles in helping us learning a language. Although the ‘language organ” is invisible, if we are spiritual people, we can feel that the brain capacity to acquire and process language is very miraculous.