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Summarize of Chapter 1

What is second language acquisition?

In this term, second language (often referred to as an L2) can be defined as another
language that we learn. People learn L2 because they follow speech community between
people which has expanded way beyond their local specch. Today, not only communication
which need L2 but also education or securing employment need L2. Then L2 acquisitin is the
way which people learn a language other than their mother tongue, inside or outside of
classroom and SLA as the study of this.

What are the goals of SLA?

One of the goals of SLA is the description of L2 acquisition. Another is explanation;
identifying the external and internal factors that account for why learners acquire an L2 in the
way they do. One of the external factors is the social milieu in which learning takes place.
Another external factor is the input that learners receive, that is, the samples of language to
which a learner is exposed. L2 acquisition can be explained in part by these external factors
but we also need to consider internal factors. Learners possess cognitive mechanisms which
enable them to extract information about the L2 from the input. L2 learners bring an
enermous amount of knowledge to the task of learning an L2. They also possess general
knowledge about the world which they can draw on to help them understand L2 input.
Finally, learners possess communication strategies that can help them make effective use of
their L2 knowledge. A final set of internal factors explain why learners vary in the rare they
learn an L2 and how successful they ultimately are. The goals of SLA, then, are to describe
how L2 acquisition proceeds and to explain this process and why some learners seem to be
better at it than others.

Two case studies

There are two case studies which will examine. One is of an adult learner English in
surroundings where it serves as a means of daily communication and the other of two
children learning English in a classroom. The first case, Wes was a thirty-three year-old artist,
a native speaker Japanese. He had little formal instruction in English, having left school at
fifteen. While he remained in Japan his contact with native speakerss few and far between. It
was only when he began to visit Hawaii, in connection with his work, that he had regular
opportunities to use English. There are some things was interested in how Wes knowledge of
English. Wes used grammar features in his speech at a time near the beginning of his study
and at a time near the end. There were very few verbs which Wes used.
Then, a case study of two child learners in classroom context. Both were almost
complete beginners in English at the beginning of the study. J was a ten year old Portuguese
boy, literate in his native language. He was an adventurous and confident learner. R was an
eleven year old boy from Pakistan, speaking Punjabi as his native language. He lacked
confidence, using his native language extensively. Both learners were learning English in a
language unit in London. The two learners appeared to develop in much the same way.
Intially, their requests were verbless. One is that both learners were capable of successfully
performing simple request even when they knew very little English. Another is both learners
manifested development in their ability to perform requests over the period of study. These
case study show us, they raise a number of methodological issues relating to L2 acquisition.

They raise issues relating to the description of learner language and they point some of the
problems researchers experience in trying to explain L2 acquisition.

Methodological issues
One issue has to do with what it is that needs to be described. It was concern broadly
with how Wes developed the ability to communicate in L2 and J and R acquired the ability to
perform a single language function (requests). Another issue concerns what it means to say
that a learner has acquired a feature of target language. There is another problem in
determining whether learners have acquired a particular feature. It point out that the learners
made considerable use of fixed expressions or formulas. A third problem in trying to measure
whether acquisiton has taken place concerns learners overuse of linguistic forms. SLA
researchers recognize the need to investigate how the relationship between form and function
in learners ouput compares with that of native speakers.

Issues in the description of learner language

The two case studies set out how to describe how learners use of an L2 changes over
time and what this shows about the nature of their knowledge of the L2. One finding is that
learners make errors of different kinds. These are errors of omission, overuse, and grammtical
errors. In addition, it made sociolinguistic errors. Another finding is that L2 learners acquire a
large number of fomulaic chunks, which is use to perform communicative function that are
important to them and which contribute to the fluency of their unplanned speech. An
important issue in SLA is the role that these formulas play, not just enhancing leaners
perfomance but also in their acquisition of an L2. Also, one of the most interesting issues
raised by these case studies is whether learners acquire the language systematically.

Issues in the explanation of L2 acquisition

Learners must engage in both item learning and system learning. When learners learn
the expression Can I have a ......? they are engaging in item learning. When they learn that
can is followed by a variety of verbs and that it can express a variety of functions. They are
engaging in system learning. An explanation of L2 acquisition must account for both item
and system learning and how the two interrelate. Other explanation emphasize the importance
of external opposed to internal factors.

1. One of the goals of L2 acquisition is descriptions. What does it mean?
2. How does the item and system learning interrelate in L2 acquisition?


Errors and Error Analysis

There are good reasons for focusing on errors:
1. They are a conspicuous feature of learner language, raising the important question of
Why do learners make errors?
2. It is useful for teachers to know what errors learners make.
3. Paradoxically, it is possible that making errors may actually help learners to learn when
they self-correct the errors they make.
Identifying errors
To identify errors we have to compare the sentences learners produce with what seem
to be the normal or correct sentences in the target language which correspond with them.
We need to distinguish errors and mistakes. Errors reflect gaps in a learners
knowledge; they occur because the learner does not know what is correct. Mistakes reflect
occasional lapses in performance; they occur because, in a particular instance, the learner is
unable to perform what he or she knows.
Describing errors
After the errors have been identified, they can be described and classified into types.
There are several ways of doing this.
1. To classify errors into grammatical categories.
2. Try to identify general ways in which the learners utterances differ from the reconstructed
target language utterances.
Classifying errors in these ways can help us to diagnose learners learning problems at any on
stage of their development and also to plot how changes in error patterns occur over time.
Explaining errors
The identification and description of errors are preliminaries to the much more
interesting task of trying to explain why they occur. Errors not only systematic, many of them
are also universal, but not all errors are universal. Some errors are common only to learners
who share the same mother tongue or whose mother tongues manifest the same linguistic
Error evaluation
Where the purpose of the error analysis is to help learners learn an L2, there is a need
to evaluate errors. Some errors, known as global errors, violate the overall structure of a
sentence and for this reason may make it difficult to process.
Other errors, known as local errors, affect only a single constituent in the sentence and
are perhaps, less likely to create any processing problems.

Developmental patterns
We can also explore the universality of L2 acquisition by examining the developmental
pattern learners follow.
The early stages of L2 acquisition

Some L2 learners, particularly if they are children, undergo a silent period. That is,
they make no attempt to say anything to begin with. They may be learning a lot about the
language just through listening to or reading it.
When learners do begin to speak in the L2 their speech is likely to manifest two
particular characteristics. One is the kind of formulaic chunks. The second characteristic of
early L2 speech is propositional simplification.
The order of acquisition
To investigate the order of acquisition, researchers choose a number of grammatical
structures to study. Researchers have shown that there is a definite accuracy order and that
this remains more or less the same irrespective of the learners mother tongues, their age, and
whether or not they have received formal language instruction.
Other researchers have shown that the order does vary somewhat according to the
learners first language.
Sequence of acquisition
The acquisition of a particular grammatical structure, therefore, must be seen as a
process involving transitional constructions. Acquisition follows a U-shaped course of
development, that is, initially learners may display a high level of accuracy only to apparently
regress later before finally once again performing in accordance with target language norms.
Some implication
The work on developmental patterns is important for the reason. It suggests that that
some linguistic features are inherently easier to learn than others. This has implications for
both SLA theory and for language teaching.
A key question for both SLA and language teaching, then, is whether the orders and
sequences of acquisition can be altered through formal instruction.

Variability in learner language

Learners choice of past tense marker depends, in part, on whether the verbs refers to an
event, an activity, or a state. It appears that learners vary in their use of the L2 according to
linguistic context. The effects of linguistic context are also evident in learners use of the verb
to be. Another important factor that accounts for the systematic nature of variability is the
psycholinguistic context.
A characteristic of any natural language is that forms realize meanings in a systematic
way. Learner language is no different. Learners have access to two or more lingusitic forms
for realizing a single grammatical structure but they do not employ these arbitrarily.

What are the difference of order
2. Can you explain more about free variation?





The systematic development of learner language reflects a mental system of L2 knowledge.
This system is often referred to as interlanguage. To understand what is meant by
interlanguage we need to briefly consider behaviourist learning theory and mentalist views of
language learning.

Behaviourist Learning Theory

According to this theory, language learning is like any other kind of learning in that it
involves habit formation. Habits are formed when learners respond to stimuli in the
environment and subsequently have their responses reinforced so that they are remembered.
Thus, a habit is a stimulus-response connection. Behaviourism cannot adequately account for
L2 acquisition. Learners frequently do not produce output that simply reproduces the input.
The systematic nature of their errors demonstrates that they are actively involved in
constructing their own rules.

A Mentalist Theory of Language Learning

According to this theory:
1. Only human being are capable of learning language.
2. The human mind is equipped with a faculty for learning language, referred to as a
Language Acquisition Device.
3. This faculty is the primary determinant of language acquisition.
4. Input is needed, but only to trigger the operation of language acquisition device.

What is Interlanguage?
The term interlanguage was coined by the American linguist, Larry Selinker, in recognition
of the fact that L2 learners construct a linguist system that draws, in part, on the learners L1
but is also different from it and also from the target language.
The concept of interlanguage involves the following premises about L2 acquisition:
1. The learner constructs a system of abstract linguistic rules which underlies
comprehension and production of L2.
2. The learners grammar is permeable.
3. The learners grammar is transitional.
4. Some researchers have claimed that the systems learners construct contain variable rules.
5. Learners employ various learning strategies to develop their interlanguage.
6. The learners grammar is likely to fossilize.

A Computational Model of L2 Acquisition

The concept interlanguage can be viewed as a metaphor of how L2 acquisition takes place.
The learner is exposed to input, which is processed in two stages. First, parts of it are
attended to and taken into short-term memory. These are referred to as intake. Second, some
of the intake is stored in long-term memory as L2 knowledge. The processes responsible for
creating intake and L2 knowledge occur within the black box of the learners mind where

the learners interlanguage is constructed. Finally, L2 knowledge is used by the learner to

produce spoken and written output.

How does L2 acquisition
2. Why do most learners fossilize?








Three rather different approaches to incorporating a social angle on the study of L2
acquisition can be identified.
1. Views interlanguage as consisting of different styles which learners call upon under
different condition of language use.
2. Concerns how social factors determine the input that learners use to construct their
3. Considers how the social identities that learners negotiate in their interactions with native
speakers shape their opportunities to speak and, thereby, to learn an L2.

Interlanguage as A Stylistic Continuum

Elaine Tarone has proposed that interlanguage involves a stylistic continuum. She argues that
learners develop a capability for using the L2 and that this underlies all regular language
At one end of continuum is the careful style, evident when learners are consciously attending
to their choice of linguistic forms, as when they feel the need to be correct. At the other end
of the continuum is the vernacular style, evident when learners are making spontaneous
choices of linguistic form, as is likely in free conversation.
Taroness idea of interlanguage as a stylistic continuum is attractive in a number of ways. It
explains why learner language is variable. As Tarone herself has acknowledged, the model
also has a number of problems. First, later research has shown that learners are not always
most accurate in their careful style and least accurate in the vernacular style. Second is that
the role of social factors remains unclear. This suggests that the variability evident in their
language use is psycholinguistically rather than socially motivated. In short, Tarones theory
seems to relate more to psycholinguistic rather than social factors in variation.
Another theory that also draws on the idea of stylistic variation but which is more obviously
social is Howard Giless accommodation theory. This seeks to explain how a learners social
group influences the course of L2 acquisition. According to Giless theory, social factors
influence interlanguage development via the impact they have on the attitudes that determine
the kinds of language use learners engage in.
Accommodation theory suggests that social factors, mediated through the interactions that
learners take part in, influence both how quickly they learn and the actual route that they

The Acculturation Model of L2 Acquisition

A similar perspective on the role of social factors in L2 acquisition can be found in John
Schuumans acculturation model. This model, which has been highly influential, is bulit
around the metaphor of distance.

Schuuman proposed that pidginization in L2 acquisition results when learners fail to

acculturate to the target language group, that is, when they are unable or unwilling to adapt to
a new culture.
The main reason for learners failing to acculturate is social distance. A learners social
distance is determined by a number of factors. Schuuman also recognizes that social distance
is sometimes indeterminate. He suggests psychological distance becomes important and
identifies a further set of psychological factors, such as language shock and motivation, to
account for this.

Social Identity and Investment in L2 Learning

The notion of subject to and subject of are central to Bonny Peirces view of the
relationship between social context and L2 acquisition.
The notion of social identity is central to the theory Peirce advances. She argues that
language learners have complex social identities that can only be understood in terms of the
power relations that shape social structures. A learners social identity is, according to Pierce,
multiple and contradictory. Learning is successful when learners are able to summon up or
construct an identity that enables them to impose the right to be heard and thus become the
subject of the discourse. This requires investment. Something learners will only make if they
believe their efforts will increase the value of their cultural capital.

1. How does social factor can influence L2 acquisition?
2. What does pidginization mean?

Social factors do not impact directly on what goes on inside the black box. Rather they have
an indirect effect, influencing the communication learners engage in. We need to consider,
what the nature of this communication is and how it affects L2 acquisition. To this end we
will now focus our attention on the discourse in which learners participate.
The study of learner discourse in SLA has been informed by two rather different goals. On
the one hand, there have been attempts to discover how L2 learners acquire the rules of
discourse that inform native-speaker language use. On the other hand, a number of
researchers have sought to show how interaction shapes interlanguage development.

Acquiring Discourse Rules

There is a growing body of research investigating learner discourse. The acquisition of
discourse rules, like the acquisition of grammatical rules, is systematic, reflecting both
distinct types of errors and developmental sequences. However more work is needed to
demonstrate which aspects are universal and which are language specific as it is already clear
that many aspects of learner discourse are influenced by the rules of discourse in the learners

The Role of Input and Interaction in L2 Acquisition

The bulk of the research on learner discourse has been concerned with whether and how input
and interaction affect L2 acquisition. Interactionist theories of L2 acquisition acknowledge
the importance of both input and internal language processing. Learning takes place as a
result of a complex interaction between the linguistic environment and the learners internal
Input modifications have been investigated through the study of foreigner talk, the language
that native speakers use when addressing non-native speakers. Two types of foreigner talk
can be identified-ungrammatical and grammatical.
Ungrammatical foreigner talk is socially marked. It often implies a lack of respect on the part
of the native speaker and can be resented by learners. Grammatical foreigner talk is the norm.
Various types of modification of baseline talk can be identified.

Grammatical foreigner talk is delivered at a slower pace.

The input is simplified
Grammatical foreigner talk is sometimes regularized
Foreigner talk sometimes consists of elaborated language use

We seem to know intuitively how to modify the way we talk tp learners to make it easier for
them to understand. Learners sometimes still fail to understand, but they can pretend they
have understood. Research shows that learners sometimes do this. Learners can signal that
they have not understood. This result interactional modifications as the participants in the
discourse engage in the negotiation of meaning.

According to Stephen Krashens input hypothesis, L2 acquisition takes place when a learner
understands input that contains grammatical forms that are at i + I. Krashen suggest that the
right level of input is attained automatically when interlocutors succeed in making themselves
understood in communication. According to Krashen, then, L2 acquisition depends on
comprehensible input.
Michael Longs interaction hypothesis also emphasizes the importance of comprehensible
input but claims that it is most effective when it is modified through the negotiation meaning.
Another perspective is provided by Evelyn Hatch. Hatch emphasizes the collaborative
endeavours of the learners and their interlocutors in constructing discourse and suggest that
syntactic structures can grow out of the process of building discourse. One way in which this
can occur is through scaffolding.

The Role of Output in L2 Acquisition

Krashen argues that speaking is the result of acquisition not its cause. He claims that the
only way learners can learn from their output is by treating it as auto-input.
Merrill Swain has argued that comprehensible output also plays a part in L2 acquisition. She
suggests a number of specific ways in which learners can learn from their own output. Output
can serves a consciousness-raising function by helping learners to notice gaps in their
interlanguage. That is,
1. Trying to speak or write in the L2 they realize that they lack the grammatical knowledge
of some feature that is important for what they want to say.
2. Output helps learners to test hypotheses.
3. Learners sometimes talk about their own output, identifying problems with it and
discussing ways in which they can be put right.

How do input that comes in foreigner talk contribute to L2 acquisition?
2. What is the meaning of auto-input?

Psycholinguistics is the study of the mental structures and processes involved in the
acquisition and use of language. Here, the focus is on a small number of major issues L1
transfer, the role of consciousness, processing operations, and communication strategies.

L1 Transfer
L1 transfer refers to the influence that the learners L1 exerts over the acquisition of an L2.
This influence is apparent in a number of ways. The learners L1 is one of the sources of error
in learner language. This influence is referred to as negative transfer. However, in some cases,
the learners L1 can facilitate L2 acquisition. Language transfer that facilitates the acquisition
of target language forms is called positive transfer.
The learners stage of development has also been found to influence L1 transfer. This is
clearly evident in the way learners acquire speech acts like request, apologies, and refusals.
Other researchers have found that the transfer of some L1 grammatical features is tied to
learners stage of development. Transfer is governed by learners perceptions about what is
transferable and by their stage of development. It follows that interlanguage development
cannot constitute a restructuring cintinuum.

The Role of Consciousness in L2 Acquisition

According to some psychologists, learners can achieve long-term storage of complex material
through implicit learning. They can always reflect on this implicit knowledge, thus making it
explicit. It is also clear that L2 learners may have knowledge about the L2 but unable to use
this knowledge in performance without conscious attention.
Explicit knowledge may aid learners in developing implicit knowledge in a number of ways.
First, explicit knowledge may only convert into implicit knowledge when learners are at the
right stage of development. Second, explicit knowledge may facilitate the process by which
learners attend to features in the input. Third, explicit knowledge may help learners to move
from intake to acquisition by helping them to notice the gap between what they have
observed in the input and the current state of their interlanguage as manifested in their own

Processing Operations
Another way of identifying the processes responsible for intelanguage development is to
deduce the operations that learners perform from a close inspection of their output.
Operating Principles
The study of the L1 acquisition of many different languages has led to the identification of a
number of general strategies which children to use to extract and segment linguistic
information from the language they hear. Dan Slobin has referred to these startegies as
operating principles. Operating principles provide a simple and attractive way of accounting
for the properties of interlanguage.

Processing Constraints
A project known as ZISA (Zweitspracherwerb Italienischer und Spanischer Arbeiter)
investigated the order in which migrant workers with Romance language backgrounds
acquired a number of German word-order rules. The project found clear evidence of
developmental route, bearing out the research on acquisitional patterns.
What distinguishes this work on acquisitional sequences is that it led to and was informed by
a strong theory, known as the multidimensional model. Multidimensional model is a powerful
theory of L2 acquisition in that it proposes mechanisms to account for why learners follow a
definite acquisitional route.

Communication Strategies
Learners frequently experience problems in saying what they want to say because of their
inadequate knowledge. In order to overcome these problems they resort to various kinds of
communication strategies.communication strategies are seen as part of the planning phase.
They are called upon when learners experience some kind of problem with an initial plan
which prevents them from executing it.

Two Types of Computational Model

In particular, two radically different types of apparatus have been proposed. One type
involves the idea of serial processing. That is, information is processed in a series of
sequential steps and results in the representation of what has been learned as some kind of
rule or strategy. This is the dominant version of the computational model in SLA and is
evident in much of the preceding discussion.
The alternative type of appartus involves the idea of a parallel distributed processing. Parallel
distributed processing is controversial as it constitutes an affront to one of the central precepts
of linguistics, namely that language is rule-governed.

1. What influence that is caused by psycholinguistic aspects?
2. Do learners of L2 acquisition have to make communication strategy? Why?

Final Exam
1. Explain and give your own example of errors as transfer and misinformation?
Errors categorized as
Transfer error is learners use their L1 knowledge and they use grammar they are learning.
They make their own rules.
Example: Es un punto importante. (correct in Spanish)
Is an important point. (incorrect in English)
^ is an important point. (correct in English)
Misinformation is using one grammatical form in place of another grammatical form.
Example: the use of was watching instead of were watching
2. Explain and give your own example of foreigner talk?
Foreigner talk is a native speaker the way a native speaker use language to non-native
speaker with short sentence and simple grammar.
e.g. I think I not good teacher.
e.g. You will not go to market, right?
3. Compare features of relative clauses in English and in Indonesia, especially relative pronouns
functioning as subject, direct object, indirect object, object of preposition and genitive. What
implications can you draw on the possible errors in the learners production of relative
clauses in English?
Comparison of relative clauses in English and Indonesian

Pronoun English

Direct Object
Indirect Object
Object of Preposition

The person who phoned me last

night is my teacher.
The man whom your son punched
recently bought an ice cream
He does not know the woman that
he bought the coffee yesterday.
The man with whom we had lunch
is a teacher
The man whose child we met is a

Orang yang menelponku tadi malam
adalah guruku.
Lelaki yang memukul anakmu baru
saja membeli truk es krim.
Dia tidak tahu perempuan yang dia
belikan kopi kemarin.
Lelaki yang pernah makan siang
dengan kita adalah seorang guru
Lelaki yang anaknya pernah kita temui
adalah seorang guru

The conclusion is the comparison between relative clause in English and in Indonesia totally
different. We can see on the example that the changes of relative clause in English into
Indonesia show the significant differences. English usually occur in objection of comparative
function because not every language has the same role as English.


Explain the critical period hypothesis. What explanations can you offer for the failure of
adults achieve native like competence in L2? What conditions are required so that young
learners would better acquire the new language than those who learn the new language at a
later age?
The critical period hypothesis:
The critical period hypothesis states that the acquiring of ability of language acquisition will
lose if the learners do not acquire a first language before in certain time.
Based on that state, the failure of adults achieve native like competence in L2 because they
have reached the puberty time. They believe that their capacity to achieve full competence
seems to decrease.
Social conditions is required when young learners would better acquire the new language
than those who learn the new language at a later age. It is because l1 learners do not
experience social distance.

5. What makes individual learner different in acquiring new languages? Explain with your own
Language aptitude and learning strategies can make individual learners different in acquiring
new language.
Language aptitude. Example : learners who score highly on language aptitude test typically
learn rapidly and achieve higher levels of L2 proficiency than learners who obtain low scores.
Learning Strategies. Example: repeating new words aloud to help remember them.
6. Can you suggest some of the ways in which teachers attempt to motivate their students?
There are some ways for teachers that can be used to motivate students. For example, we can
use one of the method teaching like communicative language teaching (CLT) that have many
ways to teach students by using role play, interview, games and learning by teaching.