quinta-feira, 9 de setembro de 2010

Language Acquisition and Bilingualism - notes from day 1

For the students that are taking this course, here are some of the slides I presented you with. Note that some of the sentences are not meant to be correct and definite, some are simply topics that we discussed in class. For example, where it reads "a native speaker is someone who understands 100% of the message," one should know that this is not true, it is just an assumption that people make and that we can dispute.

— What is a native speaker?
— How do you know somebody is not a native speaker?
— Do you know of anyone in your linguistic community that hasn’t become a native speaker?
— Do we learn our native language through imitation?
— Where do you stand when you learn a foreign language?

Native speaker
— Someone who “knows” the grammar of a language as it is shared by their community.
— Someone who understands 100% of the message given in their language.
— Someone who is usually able to predict parts of the message even before it is finished.

— Everybody seems to learn a first language, independently of their level of intelligence.
— A foreign speaker is someone who has a foreign accent, has “flaws” speaking an L2, and doesn’t “know” the grammar rules of an L2.
— Do we think in a particular language?

Idiosyncratic knowledge
— All is fair in love and war
— Speak now or forever hold you peace
— I will love you forever and a day
— She’s blind as a bat
— He’s strong as an ox
— He drinks like a fish
— She’s stubborn as a mule
— He’s happy like a dog with two tails
— She’s ugly as (homemade sin)
— He’s thin as a rail
— You take the horse to the water but you can’t make it drink
— (comment about unwanted guests)
— My guests are eating me out of house and home
— She’s quiet as a mouse
— She’s flat as a pancake
— I’ve got to pee like a race horse
— It is plain as the nose on your face
— It is serious as a heart attack
— It’s clear as a bell

In your native language you can predict, reconstruct, understand, retell and interpret with relative ease.

Language Acquisition
— The child develops a native language by extracting from the environment information to construct a grammar of his/her language:
— SVO – I ate the cake (English W.O.)
— SOV – I the cake ate (Japanese W.O.)

2nd Language Acquisition
— - Reconstruction does not follow naturally.
— - Predicting vocabulary and expressions is much more limited.

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