Theme 1. SLA Theory
Topic : Write summury of the given article about 3 Second Lanugage Acquisiton approaches.
The first stream of SLA approach is Behaviorism which reagards language learning as “habit formation.” By following the correct use of the language and getting feedback from environment, learners can have the correct “habit.” Peter and Cindy’s cases show good examples of Behavioristic view. WHen they heard what adults said, they followed the part of the sentences. However, not all children showed the same pattern of lanugage learning as Peter and Cindy. In Kyo and other children’s case, they did not follow what exactly they heard from adults. They showed overgeneralization, which indicates that they used their own language process. With Behaviorism, it is hard to explain the hcildren’s creative way of speech; it drew another approach, Innatism.
Innatism puts a big focus on learners because they already have a language learning device within themselves so that they can produce thier own language. THe learning device, Lanugage Acquisiton Device(LAD), let learners find the deep structure of target language, which is refered as Universal Grammar(UG). Innativists decalre that children tend to acquire language in certain steps and it appears to all of them although there are a few variation which make some differences among children; the underlying knowledge of lanugage is all same. However, when Victor and Genie were found, who had never exposed any chance of learning language, innativism could not explain why they were not able to get language. They surely had innative lanugage device, but could not speak a drop of sentence. This shows that learners are also necessary to be exposed in certain period of time in which is believed around puberty. Also the cases indicates that language cannot be acquired by a learner alone, but need somebody to communicate with. This idea brought another approach, which emphasizes interaction between learners and environment.
Interactivists believe that lanugage learning takes place when children interact with hteir surrounding environment. According to Vygotsky, with interaction between a learner and environment supporting, the child is able to reach highter evel, which is refered as zone of proximal development(ZPD). When it comes to interaction, adjusting envornment to learners is crucial because it makes the learners interact more easily. Jim and his brother’s case show how interaction works one’s lanugage development. Jim, who was not able to talk with their parents but watch TV or listen to radio due to his parents’ hearing disorder, showed late language development, whereas his brother had not problem since he had chance to communicate with Jim. Jim’s exposure to TV or radio did not work well because it could not give him modified environment.