Language Acquisition Theory embodies the following hypotheses:
A. Natural Order: Natural progression/order of language development exhibited by infants/young children and/or second languagelearners (child or adult)
B. Monitor: Learning (as opposed to acquisition) serves to develop a monitor- an error detecting mechanism that scans utterances for accuracy in order to make corrections. As a corollary to the monitor hypothesis, language acquisition instruction should avoid emphasis on error correction and grammar. Such an emphasis might inhibit language acquisition, particularlyat the early stages of language development.
C. Input: Input needs to be comprehensible .
Chomsky on Language Acquisition
According to Noam Chomsky, the mechanism of language acquisition formulates from innate processes. This theory is evidenced by children who live in the same linguistic community without a plethora of different experiences who arrive at comparable grammars. Chomsky thusproposes that "all children share the same internal contraints which characterize narrowly the grammar they are going to construct." (Chomsky, 1977, p.98) Since we live in a biological world, "there is no reason for supposing the mental world to be an exception." (Chomsky, 1977, p.94) And he believes that there is a critical age for learningn a language as is true for the overall development of thehuman body.
Chomsky's mechanism of language acquisition also links structural linguistics to empiricist thought: "These principles of structuralism and empiricism] determine the type of grammars that are available in principles. They are associated with an evaluation procedure which, given possible grammars, selects the best one. The evaluation procedure is also part of the biological given. Theacquisition of language thus is a process of selection of the best grammar compatible with the available data. If the principles can be made sufficiently restrictive, there will also be a kind of 'discovery procedure.' " (Chomsky, 1977, p.117)
Chomsky's beliefs about generative grammar are the factors which help differentiate his views from the structuralist theory; he believes that generativegrammar must "render explicit the implicit knowledge of the speaker." (Chomsky, 1977, p.103) His model of generative grammar begins with an axiom and a set of well-defined rules to generate the desired word sequences
The Acquisition/ Learning Hypothesis : adults have two distinctive ways of developing competences in second languages .. acquisition, that is by using language for real communication... learning .. "knowing about" language' (Krashen & Terrell 1983)
The Monitor Hypothesis 'conscious learning ... can only be used as a Monitor or an editor' (Krashen & Terrell 1983)
The Input Hypothesis 'humans acquire language in only one way - by understanding messages or by receiving "comprehensible input"
Acquisition | Learning |
implicit, subconscious | explicit, conscious|
informal situations | formal situations |
uses grammatical 'feel' | uses grammatical rules |
depends on attitude | depends on aptitude |
stable order of acquisition | simple to complex order of learning |
L2 Acquisition, then, can be defined as the way in which people learn a language other than their mother tongue, inside or outside of a classroom, and Second Language Acquisition(SLA) as the study of this.
What is Speaking?
Speaking is the productive skill in the oral mode. It, like the other skills, is more complicated than it seems at first and involves more than just pronouncing words.
Interactive speaking situations include face-to-face conversations and telephone calls, in which we are alternately listening and speaking, and in which we have a chance to ask...