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Form-Meaning Connection Problem in SLA Classroom - Essay Example

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Applied linguistics employs linguistic theory and methods in teaching and in research on learning a second language. It also looks at the errors people make as they learn another language, and tries to understand what happens in the mind of the learner. From the early research on acquisition orders to current day minimalist discussion of the crossing point between syntax and morphology, Form-Meaning Connections (FRCS) have been an integral component of Second Language Acquisition (SLA)…
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Form-Meaning Connection Problem in SLA Classroom
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Download file to see previous pages Empirical and theoretical literature on FRCS has looked at a wide range of behavioural and cognitive sub processes, beginning with the initial link between a lexical or grammatical form and its meaning(s) to the use of the form by the L2 learner within the classroom. (Felix, 2005)
It may seem obvious that a form-meaning connection is a situation in which a form encodes some kind of referential meaning. However, the situation is a bit more complicated. Three distinct possibilities present themselves:
The establishment of FRCS is a fundamental aspect of both first and second language acquisition. All but a few L2 learners pursue meaning first, in an effort to communicate and to understand the world around them. Research in a variety of contexts attests to this impulse. This often, though not always, means that lexical acquisition takes precedence over the acquisition of grammatical features of the language. (Bardovi-Harlig, 1995) Indeed, it has been argued that processes involved in the acquisition of the semantic and formal components of words are distinct.
Despite the clear importance of FRCS, they have not often been a central focus in SLA research. In the burgeoning research from a Chomskyan perspective since the mid-1980s, syntax has continued to be the centre of the bulk of research from a theoretical perspective. However, this strand of research may be more closely connected to FRCS than it first appears, and there is good reason for that exploring second language syntax to concern themselves with FRCS. (McCarthy, 2001)
Current Minimalist perspectives clearly link syntax and morphology (i.e., inflections and allomorphs, which are aspects of FRCS) either in terms of what is called feature checking or in terms of the interface between morphology and syntax for understanding the development of syntax itself (White, 2003). It seems that continued examination of the what, why, and how of establishing FRCS during second language acquisition is a profitable endeavour. Its payoff may be seen in theory and in application.
Acquisition And Form-Meaning Connections
Following the ideas of others, we adopt the idea that acquisition must consist of multiple, distinct but related processes that together make up what is commonly referred to as the process of acquisition. Given that the concern here is FRCS, three processes associated with their acquisition are discussed. These processes can be considered stages in that an FMC must go through each process in order to be fully acquired. We will refer to these processes/stages as (1) making the initial connection, (2) subsequent processing of the connection, and (3) accessing the connection for use.
Making the Initial Connection
An FMC is initially made when a learner somehow cognitively ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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