sábado, 30 de outubro de 2010

notes from "Language Acquisition sessions"

The Critical Period Hypothesis

The facts of adult second language acquisition (L2A) contrast sharply with those of first language acquisition (L1A). Whereas the attainment of full linguistic competence is the birthright of all normal children, adults vary widely in their ultimate level of attainment, and linguistic competence comparable to that of native speakers is seldom attested. A reasonable explanation for the facts of L1A and L2A is given by the Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH).

In its most succinct and theory-neutral formulation, the CPH states that there is a limited developmental period during which it is possible to acquire a language, be it L1 or L2, to normal, nativelike levels. Once this window of opportunity is passed, however, the ability to learn language declines.

Consistent with the CPH are the morphological and syntactic deficits of Genie, who was largely deprived of linguistic input and interaction until age 13 (Curtiss, 1977), as well as the desultory linguistic achievements of most adult L2 learners.
(Birdsong, 1999)

The Fundamental Difference Hypothesis

The difference in process and product of child, as opposed to adult, acquisition, is a topic that has been widely discussed and continuously debated, often in terms of the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis (Bley-Vroman 1989, 1990). This proposal claims that child L1A and adult L2A are essentially distinct in terms of initial state, process and outcome, and it suggests that the reason for this is the availability of UG for the former but not for the latter.

The adult/child difference is closely linked to a second hypothesis, that of the Critical Period (lenneberg 1967) proposing that first language acquisition is biologically determined to be inevitable, inexorable and chronologically delimited to a sensitive period (multiple critical ages) during the childhood years.

The proposal has spawned ample investigation and controversy between those claiming adult L2A to be abject failure and those pointing to adults who gain native-like proficiency.

(Herschensohn, 2000)

quinta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2010

Notes from PELT - Intelligibility

The degree to which a message can be understood (...)

Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics

The degree to which speech can be understood. With specific reference to speech communication system specification and testing, intelligibility denotes the extent to which trained listeners can identify words or phrases that are spoken by trained talkers and transmitted to the listeners via the communication system.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“There has been a recent growth of interest in a related area of the study of English pronunciation, sometimes referred to as English as an International Language. Since English is now used by so many people around the world for international communication, it is possible to see pronunciation varieties emerging which are not based primarily on the native-speaker accent of some part of the English speaking world. Instead, they show English as a global ‘common property’ in which key phonetic and phonological distinctions are retained, but choosing to sound, for example, English or American seems irrelevant.”

Roach, P. (2001) Phonetics. OUP.

Why study pronunciation?
Make a good impression
Analyze language.
Improve fluency.
Understand spelling better.
Sound as a competent L2 user.
Improve listening comprehension skills.