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Theories of Language Acquisition - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Theories of Language Acquisition,” the author looks at linguistics, which refers to the scientific way of studying languages. It describes real living language and the way in which people use it. It concerns the structure of language and reflects the social history of a society…
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Theories of Language Acquisition
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Download file to see previous pages It is also dependent on knowledge of the local linguistic situation. The best methods are therefore those that will generate interest among the students.
In deciding how to develop language teaching methods and materials, three approaches will be more relevant: 1) Make use of second language acquisition theory, 2) Utilize applied linguistics research, and 3) Make use of ideas and intuition from experience. It was reported that considerably larger sections (>45,000) of a population of Trinidad and Tobago communicate in Trinidad English Creole (TEC) and have been using the dictionary for the same (EN1). There has been the practice of code-switching in which the people use English and Creole simultaneously. The behaviorist approach and the cognitive approaches were found to be effective in explaining language acquisition by children in the Caribbean islands (EN2). They will make students mimic the words uttered by teachers and memorize the same by repeated exercise and in that process help the teachers. The language acquisition facilitates the learning process as the living language generates more interest among the learners and paves the way for the easily digestible mode of teaching. The importance of acquiring knowledge of linguistics in facilitating the educational and learning process was confirmed by Carter,2002 (EN3). In addition, the basic knowledge about the following five theories of language acquisition by teachers is essential for effective teaching techniques in TEC. 1. The acquisition-learning distinction. It states that language learning and language acquisition are completely different and teachers must keep this in mind while explaining in TEC. 2. The natural order hypothesis. It postulates that for any language, some grammatical structures tend to be acquired early, others late, regardless of the first language of a speaker. 3. The monitor hypothesis. It states that the language that we have consciously learned acts as an editor in situations where the learner has enough time to edit. 4. The input hypothesis. It answers the question of how a language acquirer develops competence over time. 5. The affective filter hypothesis. It concludes that motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety affect language acquisition and hence the teachers must keep this in mind while formulating theories for students in TEC.

Approaches to language teaching
Knowledge about different approaches to Language Teaching like grammar-translation, audio-lingual, cognitive-code, the direct method, the natural approach, total physical response, and Suggestopedia will certainly aid in efficient teaching (EN4) in TEC. 1. Grammar-translation: It explains the grammatical rule and vocabulary and makes language acquisition more complex. 2. Audio-lingual: It is better than the previous method in language acquisition as it allows the students to mimic the dialogue and eventually memorize it. 3. Cognitive-code: It focuses on developing all four skills of a language: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. 4. The direct method: It is more effective than earlier methods as it involves all discussion in the target language. The teacher uses examples of language in order to inductively teach grammar; students are to try to guess the rules of the language by the examples provided. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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