Showing posts with label ELT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ELT. Show all posts

Friday, May 4, 2018

Schumann’s Acculturation Theory. What are the components of the social and psychological distances? How are these elements related with naturalistic or untutored second language acquisition?

Schumann’s Acculturation Theory as presented in The Pidginization Process: A Model for Second Language Acquisition (1978) predicts that the degree of a learner’s success in second language (L2) acquisition depends upon the learner’s degree of acculturation.The social and psychological factors influence the acculturation process and the second language learning.According to Schumman the naturalistic or untutored SLA is a by-product of acculturation, which is defined by him as "the social and psychological integration of the learner with the target language (TL) group."

To Schuman ,the social distance consists of eight factors,which greatly hamper in the successful learning of SLA. The eight components of the social distance are discussed below.

Social dominance. The social dominanace considers the degree of equality (subordination or domination) between the host and guest cultures. If the second-language learning (2LL) group is politically, culturally, technically or economically dominant to or subordinate to the target language (TL) group, social contact between the two groups will tend not to be sufficient for optimal target language acquisition. If they are nearly equal in status, then there will be more contact between the two groups and thus, acquisition of the target language will be enhanced.

Integration pattern or  Assimilation, preservation, and adaptation: The best condition for L2 acquisition is obtained when the 2LL group wants to assimilate into the TL group. The second best condition occurs when the 2LL group wants to adapt to the TL culture for intragroup interaction without assimilating to it. The least favorable conditions obtain for acquiring the L2 when the 2LL group wishes to remain separated linguistically and culturally from the TL group.

Enclosure: The more the 2LL groups share social institutions such as schools, churches, workplaces, clubs, and others with the TL group, the more favorable the conditions will be for L2 acquisition. 
Cohesiveness: The guest community tends to stay as a cohesive group as seen in the avobe example. But the smaller and less cohesive the 2LL group, the more likely the contact with the TL group and the more favorable the conditions for L2 acquisition.

Size:  If the size of the learner’s group is large ,it tends to facilitate intragroup contact rather than inter-group contact. 

Congruence: The more similar the culture of the two groups, the more likely there will be social contact and thus language acquisition.

Attitude: The more positive the views of the 2LL group toward the TL group, the more favorable will be the conditions for L2.

Intended length of residence: The longer L2 learners plan to remain in the L2 environment, the more likely it is that they will feel the necessity of learning the TL.

Thus, the great social distance between the host community and the target language speakers and culture deeply affects their acculturation, and hence their second language acquisition.

How social distance hampers SLA is also seen from the famous research on Alberto,on which Schumman’s theory is based.

In the fall of 1973 a research project was undertaken to make a ten month longitudinal study of the untutored acquisition of English by six native speakers of Spanish-two children, two adolescents and two adults. Data collection involved the recording of both spontaneous and experimentally elicited speech.

The study on a 33 year old Costa Rican named Alberto evidenced very little linguistic development during the course of the project. It was felt that by attempting to account for his lack of learning, significant insight could be gained about what is involved in successful second language acquisition in general. Alberto spoke a reduced and simplified form of English in which the negative particle was held external to the verb, questions were uninverted, inflectional morphemes tended to be absent and auxiliary development was minimal. Three causes for his lack of development were considered: ability, social and psychological distance from English speakers, and age.

Psychological distance

The four affective variables included in Schumann's acculturation model are: 1) language shock, or the degree to which speaking the new language makes the learner feel foolish or comical; 2) culture shock, the extent to which the learner feels disoriented and uncomfortable with extended residence in a new culture; 3) ego permeability, the ability of the learner to accept a new identity associated with the belonging to a new speech community, and 4) motivation, the degree and type of desire experienced by the learner to acquire the L2. Of these, only motivation seemed particularly applicable to the situation involved in this research and therefore it will be the only one included in the data collection. In Schumann's model high levels of motivation, both integrative and instrumental contribute positively to second language acquisition.

Schumann  claims that acculturation, or the integration of the L2 learner into the target linguistic community, is not a direct cause of second language acquisition (SLA), but rather it is the first in a chain of factors which results in natural SLA. He proposes that "acculturation as a remote cause brings the learner into contact with TL-speakers and verbal interaction with those speakers as a proximate cause brings about the negotiation of appropriate input which then operates as the immediate cause of language acquisition"

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How to use poetry in a language classroom. What are the benefits of using a poem in the language classroom?

Poetry, like the other literary genres, can be fruitfully used as a model of language for teaching the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The reading and writing of poetry, classified as a literary activity, has helped to keep this form of linguistic expression out of the typical EFL classroom while many teachers agree that poetry promotes language acquisition. While this might be true of poetry as a reading activity, however the use of poetry in the writing class can provide an effective and collaborative means of language learning and of personal expression.

In an EFL classroom, picture poems, pattern poems and haiku can offer ways of making English a means of personal expression, creativity and development, serving to reduce affective barriers in a nonthreatening learning environment. Popular song scripts can also facilitate awareness of pronunciation, intonation and sentence flow. A broader perspective on the use of poetry in the language classroom can lead to meaningful and successful language learning. It is important that texts should provide good potential for a variety of classroom activities in order to give students more chance to gain true familiarity with any work as a whole. Most importantly, the texts should have the capacity to engage the interest of the students. 

How to use poetry in the language classroom

Here are some ways poetry can be used perfectly in a language classroom. 

1. By establishing theme: EFL teachers can teach with a theme and its accompanying guiding questions of a poem.  The perfect poem, however, can lead to a wonderful writing reflection or discussion that allows students to construct the theme and essential questions for themselves.

2. Focusing on facts: Creating poetry is a wonderful way for students to share information they learned through class or independent study. Teachers can bring life to otherwise dry and lifeless facts in an EFL classroom!

3. Inspiring writing: Poetry shouldn’t be just a part of the language arts curriculum. It offers another way to communicate and demonstrate our understanding of a concept in content areas. It is a method for deepening comprehension and developing a level of empathy and knowledge that can be  applied to real-world situations. Poem can be used to informally assess science and math. It can help students link content areas.

4.New perspectives: One of poetry’s transcendent powers is its ability to consider issues from new perspectives. Poetry open students eyes to new ways of seeing.

5. Igniting curiosity: Much has been said in educational texts about inquiry learning. Students are naturally inquisitive, and there is not much more we need to do but focus their natural curiosity. Poetry can do this!
Using poetry in the classroom is a great tool but we cannot forget that right material should be selected, so students can maximize their learning. It has to be interesting and adequate for each student level, reading about new thing is usually interesting for students. 

Using poetry in the classroom is a great tool but we cannot forget that right material should be selected, so students can maximize their learning. It has to be interesting and adequate for each student level, reading about new thing is usually interesting for students. 

The benefits of using poetry in a language classroom:

Poetry is a way for teaching and learning basic skills. It can be used as an enjoyable and a rewarding tool with the properties of rhyming and rhythm . It helps students to easily learn with the supra- segmental aspect of the target language,such as stress,pitch,intonation.

The most important benefits of using poetry in language classroom are as follows:
# It encourages creative writing.
# It helps students to appreciate sound words and patterns.
# It develops phonic skill.
# It makes students to express their feelings and opinions.
# It provides a great opportunity to play with language.
# It reinforces the ability to think and to experiment with students understanding of the world.
# It helps to acquire vocabulary.
# Poetry is the most concentrated form of literature and says it in fewer words and in less space.
#It generates collaborative activities.
# Poem helps to develop oral and mental capacities.
# Poems often enhance students to make confident interpretations, as their personal opinion is vital.
Thus, it can be said that poems and songs suitable for the target group can be successfully used to achieve objectives if used properly and systematically.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Language Acquisition: A Habit Formation or Role Formation?

Habit Formation

Habit is a pattern of behaviour that is regular and which has become almost automatic as a result of repetition. Linguists and psychologists disagree about how much habit formation is involved in language learning. The behaviourists hold that language acquisition is a product of habit formation. Habits are constructed through the repeated association between some stimulus and some response. Second language learning, then, is viewed as a process of overcoming the habits of the native language in order to acquire the new habits of the target language. This is to be accomplished through the pedagogical practices of dialogue memorization and pattern practice. Over learning and thus automatically is the goal. The contrastive analysis hypothesis is important to this view of language learning.

Role Formation-

Chomsky posits a theory in which he claims that everybody learns a language not because they are subject to the same conditioning process but because they possess an inborn capacity which permits then to induce the rules of the intended language as a normal maturational process. Once acquired, these rules will allow learners to create and comprehend novel utterances, utterances they neither have understood nor have produced if they are limited to imitating input from the environment. Thus the rational for Chomsky’s theory of language acquisition as a process of role formation lies in what known as “the poverty of the stimulus(input).”

To justify Chomosky’s theory of language acquisition we will take the following two errors into account committed by children acquiring English as their L1.

  1. She doesn’t wants to go.
  2. I eated it.

These wrong sentences suggest that these children have internalized rules for sub-verb agreement and past tense formation in English respectively but have not yet mastered the limitations of the rules. Thus such original errors indicate that the children are not simply repeating forms from the input they encountered.

Again in relation to SLA, SL learners are found to commit similar “developmental” errors which are not apparently due to L1 interference.

Thus the process of SLA is also thought to be one rule formation, in which rules are inculcated through a process of hypothesis formation and testing. If the learner traces any mismatch between his own language production and the forms/ functions of the target language to which he/ she is being exposed, he/ she will modify his/ her hypothesis about the nature of the TL rules so that his/ her utterances increasingly conformed to the TL.