Key issues in second language acquisition
SLA as a uniform phenomenon
Second language acquisition (SLA) is a complex process, involving many interrelated factors. SLA is not a uniform and predictable phenomenon. There is no single way in which learners acquire knowledge of a second language (L2). SLA is the product of many factors pertaining to the learner on the one hand and the learning situation on the other. It is important, therefore, to start by recognizing the complexity and diversity that result from the interaction of these two sets of factors. Different learners in different situations learn a L2 in different ways. Nevertheless, although the variability and individuality of language learning need to be emphasized, the study of SLA assumes interest only if it is possible to identify aspects that are relatively stable and hence generalizable, if not to all learners, then, at least, to large group of learners. The term ‘second language acquisition’ is used to refer to these general aspects. Acquisition vs. learning
Second language acquisition is sometimes contrasted with second language learning on the assumption that these are different processes. The term ‘Acquisition’ is used to refer to picking up a second language through exposure, whereas the term ‘learning’ is used to refer to the conscious study of a second language. To summarize, the term ‘second language acquisition’ refers to the subconscious or conscious processes by which a language other than the mother tongue is learnt in a natural or a tutored setting. It covers the development of phonology, lexis, grammar, and pragmatic knowledge, but has been largely confined to morphosyntax. The process manifests both variable and invariable features. The study of SLA is directed at accounting for the learner’s competence, but in order to do so has set out to investigate empirically how a learner performs when he or she uses a second language.
THE GRAMMAR – TRANSLATION METHOD
The (Grammar Translation Method) is a cross lingual technique. It is used in language learning. Grammar is given more importance in this method. Learners understand the grammar rules better. The exercises in this method put the learner into an active problem-solving situation. In the schools, the teachers often follow the traditional method of translation technique. It is an easy way to explain things. Reading and writing are the major focus. Vocabulary selection is based solely on the text used. The words are introduced through bilingual word lists dictionary and memorization. The grammar rules are presented. A list of vocabulary items is presented with their translation meanings. Translation exercises are prescribed. Grammar is taught inductively. Mother tongue is the medium of instruction. Steps involved in Grammar Translation Method
1. The teacher asks the students to read few lines from the text. He asks them to translate into L1 and he helps them with new words. 2. The teacher answers all their questions in L1
3. The students write the answers for the questions
4. The answers are checked by them. Mistakes are corrected by the teacher. He speaks in L1 5. The students are asked to translate the words listed into their L1. The teacher helps them in synonyms, Antonyms and Meanings for these words. 6. The teacher works the grammar exercises and he presents grammar rules. The students do the exercises and translate the sentences into L1. 7. The students translate the lines from the text into L1. They memorize the read out listed words and frame sentences for the vocabulary items. 8. Students write a composition based on the passage
THE DIRECT METHOD
The salient features of the Direct Method are
1. The use of everyday vocabulary and structures is the object of language teaching. 2. The learner is expected to use the language to the outside situations. 3. Oral skills are developed in this method. (Question-answer session, Interaction...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document