Introduction to second language acquisition

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  • Publicado : 8 de marzo de 2012
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The main purpose of this blog is to examine two different theories relating to the meaning of the term “second language acquisition”. We will look at these theories that have beenproposed to explain in the best way the process of second language acquisition. One of them is Universal Grammar which gives primary importance to learners’ innate characteristics and another one isInteraction hypotheses emphasizing the essential role of the environment in learning.
Therefore, these theoretical considerations have examined in an extended view the definition of second languageacquisition. On the one hand, there is a research which argues that many properties of language are purely formal in nature. On the other, a research emphasizes the importance of studying the performance oflanguage. Both researchers have to do to characterize learners’ underlying knowledge of the second language describing and explaining their competence.
The distinction is between linguisticcompetence and performance. It is possible that there will be fundamental differences in both as what is learnt and how it is learnt. According to Chomsky and his Universal Grammar theory “competence consistsof the mental representations of linguistic rules that constitute the speaker- hearer’s internal grammar”. However, the interactionist Hatch considers “one learns how to do conversation, one learnshow to interact verbally, and out of this interaction synthetic structures are developed”. In few words, learners’ mental knowledge is not open to direct inspection; it can only be inferred by examiningsamples of their performance. A distinction as a sociolinguistic one.
Finally, we just want to compare these theories, to know the differences between them and their particular features. In orderto integrate learner characteristics and environmental factors in an explanation for how second language acquisition takes place, and broad the understanding of second language process as a complex,...
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