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Summaries Models Chapter 12

(=Chapter 10 in 5th edition)

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The Universal Grammar Model of L2 learning

Key themes
language is the knowledge in individual minds.
·        UG shapes and restricts the languages that are learnt through principles and parameters.
·        language learning is setting values for parameters and acquiring properties of lexical items, but not acquiring principles.

Teaching implications:
·        no need to teach ‘principles’.
·        design optimum input for triggering parameters.
·        emphasise the teaching of vocabulary items with specifications of how they can occur in grammatical structures.



Processing Models

Key themes:
·        language is processing at different levels.
·        learning involves practising to build up the proper weightings, connections etc.

Teaching uses:
·        exercises to build up appropriate strengths of response in students.
·        the classroom should maximise practice by students.


The Socio-educational Model

Key themes:
Success in classroom second language acquisition depends upon the two main factors integrativeness and attitudes to the learning situation in a complex interaction with other factors such as the student’s ability and the type of learning context.
Teaching implications:

For some students the emphasis should be on integrativeness; for others with say ELF goals, it should be on instrumental motivation.
Changing long-standing motivations in the students is difficult.



The Interaction Approach

Key theme:
Conversational interaction involving negotiation of meaning is the crucial element in second language learning.

Teaching uses:

Teaching means setting up tasks that involve negotiation of meaning.
Teacher or peer feedback is important to interaction, particularly through recasts.



Socio-cultural Theory

Key theme:
Language learning is social mediation between the learner and someone else during which socially acquired knowledge becomes internal.
It takes place through scaffolding by an expert or a fellow-learner.

Teaching use:

Use collaborative dialogue in the classroom through structured cooperative tasks.



Multi-competence and language teaching

Key themes:
Multi-competence theory claims that L2 users are not the same as the monolingual native speaker because their knowledge of the second language and their knowledge of their first language is not the same and they think in different ways

Teaching uses:

aim at the goal of creating successful L2 users, not imitation native speakers
·        make systematic use of the first language in the classroom