Minggu, 08 April 2012

Interlanguage

INTERLANGUAGE AND THE ‘NATURAL’ ROUTE OF DEVELOPMENT

INTRODUCTION
The goal of this chapter to examine the claims that second language (L 2) learners acquire knowledge of a L2 in a fixed order (in stark contrast to behaviorist accounts of SLA).This emphasized the importance of environmental factors and first language (L1) interference.
To begin this chapter will briefly consider:
1. The background theory and research in L1 acquisition
2. The notion of interlanguage, a discussion of the L2 = L1 hypothesis
3. The caveats regarding the centrality of learner – internal process in accounts of SLA
MENTALIST ACCOUNT OF FIRST ALNGUAGE ACQUISITON
This sketch will consist of a composite picture drawn from the work of a number of psycholinguistics and linguistics.
Chomsky’s (1959) attack on skinner’s theory of language learning led to a reassertion of mentalist views of FLA. In place of the empiricist approach of behaviorist Chomsky’s stressed the active contribution of the child and minimized the importance of imitation and reinforcement. He claimed that the child’s knowledge of his mother tongue was derived from a universal grammar which specified the essential from that any natural language could take.
Lennerberg (1967) emphasized the biological prerequisites of language. Only homo sapiens was capable of learning language. Lennerberg argued that the child’s brain was specially adapted to the process of language acquisition, nut that this innate propensity was lost as maturation took place. Lennerberg argued that there was an age of resonance during which language acquisition took place as a generic heritage.
In summary, therefore mentalist views of L1 acquisition posited the following:
1. Language is a human-specific faculty
2. Language exists as an independent faculty in the human mind i.e. although it is part of the learner total cognitive apparatus; it is separate from the general cognitive mechanisms responsible for intellectual development.
3. The primary determinant of L1 acquisition is the child 'acquisition device', which is genetically endowed and provides the child with a set of principles about grammar.
4. The acquisition device atrophies with age.
5. The process of acquisition consists of hypothesis-testing, by which means the grammar of the learner’s mother tongue is related to the principles of the universal grammar.

The 1960s was also a period of intensive empirical research into L1 acquisition. Empirical research and theoretical developments in syntax longitudinal two major aspects: Many of the children early utterances were unique. Development was continuous and incremental, but could be characterized as a series of stages.
1. The length of children utterances gradually increases – Mean Length of Utterance
2. Knowledge of the grammatical system is built up in steps.
According to mentalist accounts of L1 acquisition, language acquisition is a universal process.
The term 'process' is used with two related meanings.
1. The stages of development that characterize the route the child follows (descriptive term)
2. How the child constructs internal rules and how he adjusts them from stage to stage. (Explanatory term)
INTERLANGUAGE
The term interlanguage was as first used by Selinker (1972) Nemser (1971): approximative systems Corder (1971): idiosyncratic dialects / transitional competence.
Interlanguage refers to the structured system which the learner constructs at any given stage in his development (i.e. interlanguage)second refers to series of interlocking systems(interlanguage continuum)
The assumptions underlying interlanguage theory (Nemser 1971)
1. At any given time the approximate system is distinct from the L1 and L2
2. At approximate systems form an evolving series?
3. The approximative systems of learners at the same stage of proficiency roughly coincide.
The concept of hypothesis-testing was used to explain how the L2 learner progressed along the interlanguage continuum. Corder (1967)
The notion of L1 interference was not rejected entirely. Selinker (1972) five principal processes operated in interlanguage
1. Language transfer
2. over generalization of target language rules
3. Transfer of training
4. Strategies of L2 learning
5. Strategies of L2 communication
Fossilization (Selinker): L2 learners stop learning when their interlanguage contains at least some rules different from those of the target language system. Fossilized structures can be realized as errors or as correct target language forms. Fossilized structures may not be persistent. The causes of fossilization are both internal and external. (Selinker and Lamendella)
The emphasis on hypothesis-testing and internal processes is direct borrowings from L1 acquisition theory. However mentalist theorizing cannot be easily carried over into SLA research.
Question for SLA: How did adults succeed in learning a L2 at all if recourse to the acquisition device responsible for L1 acquisition was not possible?
According to Slinker, SLA can proceed in two ways.
1. It can utilize the same mechanisms as L1 acquisition.
2. It can make use of alternative mechanisms.
Slinnker set out to address this issue. He suggested that those adult who successfully achieve native speaker proficiency in the TL do so because they continue to make use of the ‘acquisition device:
1. Lenneberg : latent language structure
2. Selinker: latent psychological structure
3. Dulay and Burt 1977: cognitive organizer creative construction
Selinker: three principal features of interlanguage focus:
1. Language-learner language is permeable
2. Language-learner language is dynamic
3. Language-learner language is systematic
“Interlanguage theory was based on behavioral events”.
ERROR ANALYSIS
Sridhar (1981) points out that error analysis have a long tradition prior to the early 1970s. The procedure for Error Analysis is spelled out in Corder (1974)
1. A corpus of language is selected.
2. The errors in the corpus are identified.
Corner (1971)points out the need of distinguish “Lapses”(i.e. deviant sentences that are the result of processing limitations rather than lack of competence) from Errors (i.e. deviant sentences that are the result of lack competence) he also points out that sentences can be “Overtly idiosyncratic” and “Covertly idiosyncratic”.
1. The errors are classified.
2. The errors are explained.
3. The errors are evaluated.
Error Analysis provides two kinds of information about interlanguage.
1. The linguistic type of errors produced by L2 learners
2. The psycholinguistic type of errors produced by L2 learners
The most significant contribution of Error Analysis lies in its success in elevating the status of errors from undesirability to that of a guide to the inner workings of the language learning process.
EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE INTERLANGUAGE HYPOTHESIS
Empirical research was required to decide on the nature of the interlanguage continuum. Was the continuum to be conceived as stretching from learner’s mother tongue to the target language? Corner (1978a) refers to this view of the continuum as a restructuring continuum and recreation continuum.
CROSS-SECTIONAL RESEARCH
The morpheme studies were carried out to investigate the order of acquisition of a range of grammatical functions in the speech of L2 learners.
These studies were conducted according to a fixed procedure. Data were elicited from a sample of L2 learners. The produced an accuracy order (acquisition order).The acquisition order for various grammatical functions is more or less same. The only time that a different order occurs is when the elicitation instrument required the subjects to focus specifically on the form rather than the meaning of their utterances. Krashen (1977: 148)
The standard order that was reported was different from the order of morpheme acquisition reported for L1 acquisition.
LONGITUDINAL STUDIES
Longitudinal studies have tried to account for the gradual growth of competence in terms of the strategies used by a learner at different development points. The longitudinal studies discussed here are those that focus on the acquisition of particular grammatical subsystems–negatives, interrogatives, and relative clauses. It is from these studies that the strongest evidence for natural route of development comes.
Longitudinal studies of SLA provide data from different points of time and therefore enable a reliable profile of the SLA of individual learners to be constructed. The disadvantage lies in the difficulty of making generalizations based on the profiles of one or two learners.
A COMPOSITE LONGITUDINAL PICTURE
Ellis (1984) attempts to summarize the developmental progression which has been observed in longitudinal studies:
1. Characteristic by a standard word order, irrespective of weather or not this word order of the target language structure.
2. Developments of the learner expand his propositions to include all the most of the constituents required. And also begin to vary the word order of utterances in accordance with the word order pattern of the target language.
3. Grammatical morphemes begin to use systematically and meaningfully.
4. Consists of the acquisition of complex sentence structures such as embedded Wh-clauses and relative clauses modifying the subject of sentences.
SUMMARY
Interpreting the Empirical Evidence
L2 learners follow a standard sequence but vary in the order in which specific features are acquired.
The L2=L1 hypothesis
The L2=L1 acquisition hypothesis has not been proven in its strong form, although similar processes appear to operate in both types of acquisition. In SLA both the L1 and also maturational factors play a part.
Casden (1972) summary of the order of development for interrogatives in L1 acquisition is strikingly similar to that in SLA . here the main stages Casden identifies:
1. One word utterance used as questions.
2. Intonation question appear on a regular basis and there are some Wh-question learn as ready make chunks
3. Intonation question become more complicated , and productive Wh-question without inversion occurs
4. Inversion involving auxiliary e occur in yes/no question, but not in Wh-question.
5. Inversion occurs in Wh-question
6. Embedded Wh-question develop.
Sloben (1973) suggested that the way children process language in L1 acquisition can be explained in term of series of operating principles:
1. Pay intention to the ends of words.
2. The phonological of words can be systematically modified.
3. Pay intention to the order of words and morphemes.
4. Avoid interruption and rearrangement of linguistic units.
5. Underlying semantic should be marked overly and clearly
6. Avoid exceptions
7. The use of grammatical markers should make semantic sense.

SOME OUTSTANDING ISSUES
Methodological problems
The empirical research of the 1970s was three types:
1. Error analysis
2. Cross sectional studies (e.g. morphemes studies)
3. Longitudinal case studies.
The focus of grammar
The major theories issues concern
1. The starting point of the interlangugae continuum
2. The extend to which an adequate explanation of SLA requires a consideration of factor external to the learner as well as internal factors
3. The problems posed for interlanguage theory and the natural sequence by variability inherent in language learner language.
Origins of interlanguage
Corder (1981) considers to possibilities of starting points:
1. The learner starts from scratch in the same way as an infant acquiring his mother tongue
2. The learner starts from “some basic simple grammar”
Corder (1981: 150) suggests that language learners regress to an earlier stage in their own linguistic development before starting the process of elaboration. Ellis (1982a) argue that there is no need to posit that the learner remembers early acquisition stages.
Neglect of external factors
Mentalist accounts of language acquisition originated in the rejection of behaviorist explanations of how language was learnt.
The problem of variability
One of the principles of interlanguage theory is that language learner language systematic. Interlanguage theory does not cope easily with learner variability it struggles to explain why or when variability takes place. The natural route of development also ignores another type of variability, that which derives from individual differences.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. What is Chomsky’s argue in Skinner theory?
He stressed the active contribution of the child and minimized the importance of imitation and reinforcement. He claimed that the child’s knowledge of his mother tongue was derived from a universal grammar which specified the essential from that any natural language could take.
2. What is principal views Chomsky’s and Lennerbeg theory about FLA?
Chomsky’s Lennerbeg
The child’s knowledge of his mother tongue was derived from a universal grammar Emphasized The Biological Prerequisites Of Language
3. According to mentalist account of L1 acquisition, language acquisition is a universal process. What does the process means?
The term 'process' is used with two related meanings.
1. The stages of development that characterize the route the child follows (descriptive term)
2. How the child constructs internal rules and how he adjusts them from stage to stage. (Explanatory term)
4. What is interlanguage?
Interlanguage refers to the structured system which the learner constructs at any given stage in his development (i.e. interlanguage) second refers to series of interlocking systems(interlanguage continuum)
5. According to Selinker there are five principal process operated in interlanguage, mentions its?
Five principal:
1. Language transfer
2. over generalization of target language rules
3. Transfer of training
4. Strategies of L2 learning
5. Strategies of L2 communication
6. What are differences among language learner, language is permeable, dynamic and systematic?
Permeable Dynamic Systematic
The rules that constitute the learner’s knowledge at any one stage are not fixed, but are open to amendment The L2 learner’s interlanguage is constantly Despite the variability of interlanguage, it is possible to detect the rule based nature of the learner’s use of the L2.
7. What is Lapses and errors?
Lapses Errors
Deviant sentences that are the result of processing limitations rather than lack of competence deviant sentences that are the result of lack competence
8. What is longitudinal studies focus?
Longitudinal focus on the acquisition of particular grammatical subsystems negatives, interrogatives, and relative clauses.
9. What is Ellis summarize developmental progression which has been observed in longitudinal studies:
1. Characteristic by a standard word order, irrespective of weather or not this word order of the target language structure.
2. Developments of the learner expand his propositions to include all the most of the constituents required. And also begin to vary the word order of utterances in accordance with the word order pattern of the target language.
3. Grammatical morphemes begin to use systematically and meaningfully.
4. Consists of the acquisition of complex sentence structures such as embedded Wh-clauses and relative clauses modifying the subject of sentences.
10. What are the most important effects of mentalist interpretation of SLA?
Reassessment of errors, and serve as evidence of the learners active contribution to acquisition.

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