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UNIVERSIDAD CENTRAL DE VENEZUELAFACULTAD DE HUMANIDADES Y EDUCACIÓNComisión de Estudios de PostgradoÁrea de LingüísticaMaestría en Inglés como Lengua Extranjera Age and acquisition Applied Linguistics Sara Pacheco
Dispelling Myths1. Children repeat things over and over again. This is what we must also do.2. Language learning is imitation. You must be a mimic.3. First, we practice the separate sounds, then words, then sentences. Natural order = good for language learning.4. First listening then speaking = right order in language learning.5. First listening and speaking reading and writing.6. When small, we do not translate.7. Children do not use grammar so it is not necessary.
Types of comparison and contrast Child Adult L C1 A1 1 L C2 A2 2 (C1 – C2) (C2 – A2) (C1 – C2) First and Second language First second acquisition in language language children and acquisition inacquisition in adults, holding children and children, second secondholding age language language constant constant acquisition in adults.
The critical period hypothesis Critical Period HypothesisNeurobiological The Cognitive Affective Linguistics significance ofconsiderations considerations considerations considerations accent Hemispheric Bilingualism considerations Interference Biological between L1 and timetables L2 Right Order of hemispheric acquisition participation Anthropological evidence
Neurobiological considerations Hemispheric lateralization begins at Lenneberg Lateralization around 2 and (1967) is completed around puberty Geschwind Lateralization Is completed (1970) much earlier Krashen Lateralization Is completed at (1973) 5 years old emerges at birth Scovel Lateralization is evident at 5 (1984) is completed at around puberty
Neurobiological considerations Biological Timetables Scovel (1988) birds Sociobiological critical period mammals human beings? Socially bonding accent(1) To form an identity with (2) To attract mates oftheir own community as “their own kind” in anthey anticipate roles of instinctive drive to maintainparenting and leadership their own specie. Not communicative fluency Not other “higher-order” processes
Neurobiological considerations Right-Hemispheric Participation Obler (1981) There is a significant right hemispheric participation particularly in early stages of language learning L2 learners, particularly adults, might benefit from more encouragement of right-brain activity in classroom context.
Neurobiological considerations Anthropological evidenceSorenson (1967) Tukano culture (South America) 12 languages 1 person 1 person 1 community => 1 language L1 L1 “The Language acquisition seen in adult language learners in the is exposed to 2 is exposed to 2 largely monolingual or 3 languages or 3 languages American middle class speech communities may have been inappropiately taken to be universal…” (Hill, 1970)
The significance of accent gradually develop Speech muscles control complex sounds Complete phonemic are sometimes not control before achieved until 5 puberty “Most of the evidence “foreign accent” indicates that persons beyond the age of puberty •Neuromuscular plasticity do not acquire what has •Cerebral development come to be called •Sociobiological programs authentic pronunciation”. •Environment of (Brown, 2007) sociocultural influences Of course… there are exceptions
The significance of accentWe all know people who have less than perfect pronunciation but who also have excellent and fluent control of a second language, control that can even exceed that of many native speakers Arnold Schwarzenegger effect
Cognitive considerations Intellectual development of a child: Piaget (1972) •Sensorimotor stage (birth to 2) •Preoperational stage (ages 2 to 7) •Operational stage (ages 7 to 16) Pro CPH •Concrete operational stage (ages 7 to 11) •Formal operational stage (ages 11 to 16)Singleton and Ryan (2004) Vague lack of empirical data Ausubel Grammar in adults is easier because of the (1964) relevance of connection in cognition Children do learn L2 without formal operation thought
Affective considerationsAffective domains: Emphaty Children egocentricity Self-esteem Adults inhibitions Extroversion Inhibition Imitation Anxiety Attitudes… Oneself-identity is inextricably bound up with one’s language Self identity second identityYounger children are less afraid because they are less aware of forms Adults tend to tolerate linguistics Peer presure differences more than children so errors are easily excused
Linguistics considerations Biligualism Code-switching Interference between L1 and L2 Solid foundation of L1 Order of acquisition Creative construction process
Issues in first languageacquisition revisited Competence and performance Comprenhension and production Nature or nurture? Universals Sistematicity and variability Language and Thought Imitation Practice and frequency Input Discourse
Some “age-and-acquisition-inspired”language teaching methods Total Physical Response The Natural Approach
Source:Douglas Brown, H. (2007) Principles of language learning and teaching. White Plains, NY:Longman.Chapter 3: Age & acquisition Thanks