1 Key issues in Second Language Acquisiton
What is second language acquisition?
SLA as a uniform phenomenon
Second language acquisition vs first language acquisition
Second language acquisition vs foreign language acquisition
The centrality of syntax and morphology
Competence vs performance
Acquisition vs learning
The role of the first language
The 'natural' route of development
Contextual variatioin in language-learner language
Individual learner differences
The role of the input
The role of formal instruction
Conclusion: a framework for investigating SLA
1 Situational factors
3 Learner differences
4 Learner processes
5 Linguistic output
2 The role of the first language
Behaviourist learning theory
The psychological aspect of Contrastive Analysis
The linguistic aspect of Contrastive Analysis
1 No difference between a feature of the first and second language
2 'Convergent phenomena'
3 An item in the first language is absent in the target language
4 An item in the first language has a different distribution from the equivalent item in the target language
5 No similarity between the first language feature and target language feature
6 'Divergent phenomena'
Criticisms of Contrastive Analysis hypothesis
Empirical research and the predictability of errors
1 Interference-like errors
2 First language developmental errors
3 Ambiguous errors
4 Unique errors
Language transfer re-examined
Degree of similarity
A multi-factor approach
1 universal factors
2 specific factors about the learner's L1
3 specific factors about the L2
L1 interference as a learner strategy
Summary and Conclusion
3 Interlanguage and the 'natural' route of development
Mentalist accounts of first language acquisition
1 Language is a human-specific faculty.
2 Language exists as an independent faculty in the human mind i.e. although it is part of the learner's total cognitive apparatus, it is separate from the general cognitive mechanisms responsible for intellectual development.
3 The primary determinant of L1 acquisition is the child's 'acquisition device', which is genetically endowed and provides the child with a set of principles about grammar.
4 The 'acquistion device' atrophies with age.
5 The process of acquisition consists of hypothesis-testing, by which means the grammar of the learner's mother tongue is related to the principles of the 'universal grammar'.
Language-learner language is permeable
Language-learner language is dynamic
Language-learner language is systematic
Empirical evidence for the interlanguage hypothesis
A composite longitudinal picture
Interpreting the empirical evidence
The L2 = L1 hypothesis
Some outstanding issues
The focus on grammar
Origins of interlanguage
Neglect of external factors
The problem of variability
Summary and conclusion
4 Variability in interlanguage
Introduction: types of variability
Variability in language use
1 All speakers possess several “styles”.
2 “Styles can be ranged along a single dimension, measured by the amount of attention paid to speech.”
3 The vernacular is the style in which minimum attention is given to monitoring speech.
4 It is not possible to tap the vernacular style of the user by systematic observation of how he performs in a formal context.
5 The only way to obtain good data on the speech of a language user is through systematic observation.