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Wiedza o nauczaniu i przyswajaniu jzyka

31 padziernika 2012

Second Language Acquisition:


The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis
1. The emergence of the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH)
As a theory of 2nd language learning CAH emerged in the USA in the mid-1950s. The
scientists stated there should be one scientific methodology. They met and came up with a
theory (so as to study a foreign language efficiently).
A scientifically grounded approach, it was based on 2 powerful foundations:
- behaviourism
- structuralism - the thorough ... of each level of linguistic ...
Psychological foundations of CAH:
Behaviourism & the theory of transfer
One of the concerns of learning psychologists is the effect of one learning task on a
subsequent one.
The mother tongue inhibits the learning of other languages.
The observation that prior learning affects subsequent learning leads to the hypothesis of
transfer.
Most of the experimental investigation of transfer undertaken by behaviourists concerned very
primitive learning tasks performed - frequently by animals - under laboratory conditions.
Where the intention was to study language learning by humans, the tasks were similarly very
much simplified in comparison with the real-world processes of language learning.
The favoured technique was the learning of nonsense syllables.
The question must arise of whether observation from such simplified settings and types of
learning can validly be extrapolated to serve a theory of real language learning.
CAH is founded on the assumption that L2 learners will tend to transfer into their L2
utterances the formal features of their L1.
As Robert Lado put it, "individuals tend to transfer the forms and meanings and the
distribution of forms and meanings of their native language and culture to the foreign
language and culture" (Lado, 1957)
3. Skinnerian behaviourism
Skinnerian psychology (Skinner 1957) advocated that education should follow the following
procedures:
- teachers should make explicitly clear what is to be taught
- tasks should be broken down into small sequential steps
- students should be encouraged to work at their own pace by means of individualised
learning programmes
- learning should be programmed by incorporating these principles and immediate positive
reinforcement should be given, this should guarantee achieving success

Wiedza o nauczaniu i przyswajaniu jzyka

31 padziernika 2012

Strengths & weaknesses of the behaviourist theory of learning:


+ reinforcement does play a role in shaping human behaviour
+ Skinner and others emphasised the role of parents in establishing good learning conditions
+ despite its faults, behaviourism provided a coherent theory of the learning process
- the theory is only concerned with observable behaviour
- the modification of behaviour by reward or punishment is seen as brainwashing rather than
education
- it denies that learners use various mental strategies to sort out the language system
- it denies that learners seek to make sense of the world they find around them
- it sees the learner as starting with a tabula rasa ("a clean slate") on which through operant
conditioning different behaviour patterns can be built

4. Structuralism
A comparison of two languages (contrastive studies) can be carried out using any of several
different modules of grammar.
.........
5. Audiolingualism
The theory of habit formation is evident in the audiolingual approach to foreign language
teaching, fitted in nicely with the structuralists' view of language as a set of patterns.