Introducing Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives and Practices

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  1. second language acquisition
  2. Introducing Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives and Practices | UVA Library | Virgo
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Krashen also suggests that there is individual variation among language learners with regard to 'monitor' use. He distinguishes those learners that use the 'monitor' all the time over-users ; those learners who have not learned or who prefer not to use their conscious knowledge under-users ; and those learners that use the 'monitor' appropriately optimal users. An evaluation of the person's psychological profile can help to determine to what group they belong.

Usually extroverts are under-users, while introverts and perfectionists are over-users. Lack of self-confidence is frequently related to the over-use of the "monitor".

second language acquisition

For a given language, some grammatical structures tend to be acquired early while others late. Krashen however points out that the implication of the natural order hypothesis is not that a language program syllabus should be based on the order found in the studies. In fact, he rejects grammatical sequencing when the goal is language acquisition. The Input hypothesis is Krashen's attempt to explain how the learner acquires a second language — how second language acquisition takes place.

The Input hypothesis is only concerned with 'acquisition', not 'learning'. See here an enlightening video by Krashen about comprehensible input. Your browser does not support the video tag. Finally, the fifth hypothesis, the Affective Filter hypothesis, embodies Krashen's view that a number of 'affective variables' play a facilitative, but non-causal, role in second language acquisition.

These variables include: motivation, self-confidence and anxiety.

Introducing Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives and Practices | UVA Library | Virgo

Krashen claims that learners with high motivation, self-confidence, a good self-image, and a low level of anxiety are better equipped for success in second language acquisition. Low motivation, low self-esteem, and debilitating anxiety can combine to 'raise' the affective filter and form a 'mental block' that prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition.

In other words, when the filter is 'up' it impedes language acquisition. On the other hand, positive affect is necessary, but not sufficient on its own, for acquisition to take place. According to Krashen, the study of the structure of the language can have general educational advantages and values that high schools and colleges may want to include in their language programs.

It should be clear, however, that examining irregularity, formulating rules and teaching complex facts about the target language is not language teaching, but rather is "language appreciation" or linguistics.

The only instance in which the teaching of grammar can result in language acquisition and proficiency is when the students are interested in the subject and the target language is used as a medium of instruction. Very often, when this occurs, both teachers and students are convinced that the study of formal grammar is essential for second language acquisition, and the teacher is skillful enough to present explanations in the target language so that the students understand. In other words, the teacher talk meets the requirements for comprehensible input and perhaps with the students" participation the classroom becomes an environment suitable for acquisition.

Also, the filter is low in regard to the language of explanation, as the students" conscious efforts are usually on the subject matter, on what is being talked about, and not the medium. The authors use clear and direct language while This volume represents an innovative, concise, also demonstrating depth of knowledge of theand comprehensive introduction to the impor- subject matter. The use of the second-person tant theories, practices, and research results in pronoun draws readers into a conversation.

Thesecond language acquisition SLA studies.

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Its clarity of the explanations of difficult topics isaccessibility, focus on practical applications, and combined with multiple ideas for activities thatunique pedagogical features make it a good not only address linguistic needs, but also speakchoice for undergraduate students who are learn- to students holistically, getting to the core ofing about the topic for the first time. This book covers eight major topics: first lan- If I were to use this text with preservice or guage acquisition, language learning contexts, inservice teachers or with teaching assistants, theoretical perspectives, teaching approaches I anticipate a few concerns.

Many of the activ- and instructional issues, second language devel- ities are targeted at intermediate or advanced opment, the age factor, individual differences, language learners. The activities labeled as and bilingualism. These carefully selected top- appropriate for all levels may need significant ics are not only essential to SLA studies, but modifications to work for novice learners. Casting also fairly relatable to undergraduate students' a wide net to include all language learners at all real-life experience. Thus, examination of these levels and of all ages results in a book that teach- topics could not only familiarize students with ers will need to filter through their experiences.

Experienced instructors will find ways commendable. Each chapter does an excellent This content downloaded from These learners' stories and L2 learning practical applications. The layout of the chapters experiences are prototypes of six different L2 is digestible, user friendly, and pedagogically en- learning contexts: immigration, study abroad, gaging.

Each chapter starts with a quotation that traditional classroom instruction, bilingual ed- illustrates the importance of the topic, followed ucation, immersion instruction, dual language by the chapter outline and a snapshot of the instruction, and heritage language instruction. At the end of each present theories, clarify issues, or explain con- chapter, a wealth of extra resources is provided, cepts.

This approach should benefit students by including a good list of further reading and providing concrete real-life stories and examples viewing, a list of video links related to the topic, for abstract theories and concepts. Focus on practical applications constitutes The key concepts in the list are bolded in the another merit that distinguishes this book text and defined in the margin next to the text from other introductions to SLA.

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Text boxes in which they occur. This feature is particularly titled "Language Learning in Practice," placed useful for readers who are studying SLA for the throughout the chapters, help students connect first time.

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Although linguistic jargon is avoided theory with practice. For example, right after the when possible, the attention-grabbing, clear, and introduction of Universal Grammar UG , a text concise definitions of the key concepts ensure box is devoted to UG and language teaching, that students are well prepared for delving into highlighting that, although UG theory has led to the field.


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The self-assessment questions encour- few direct applications to the classroom, it has age readers to attend to the details of the text and had a major influence on theoretical aspects of check their understandings of specific areas. The SLA. Right after the presentation of Krashen's discussion questions allow students to incorporateMonitor Model, the Natural Approach, which their perspectives and life experience into the dis- applies the principles of the model to teaching, cussion of the topic so that their understandings is discussed and classroom recommendations are of the main concepts and theories are deepened made.

The suggested list for fur- acquisition of the four skills, and development of ther reading and viewing is carefully annotated, cultural literacy in L2 learning.

The stories of the providing sufficient guidance for students who six L2 learners could have been utilized more to desire to pursue a given topic further. Through facilitate students' understanding of the L2 learn- the list of video links, students may listen toing a process. If the project ideas for each chapter leading scholar lecture on a specific area, watch had been designed as cumulative, with the goal a documentary on a series of famous researchof building toward a student research project, it projects, or engage in a debate or discussion would have been ideal.

Access to these ma- This is an excellent textbook for an introduc- terials will not only assist students in their learn- tory course on SLA for undergraduate students.

It ing, but will also add to the enjoyment of learningis well written in terms of its accessible language, and enhance their motivation.