Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Theories
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Second Language Acquisition is a field of inquiry that abounds in theories, while at the same time no single approach has adequately explained how language acquisition takes place. One reason for this might be that linguists interested in SLA have been trained in different disciplines, such as linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and neurolinguistics. The paper explains that, naturally, they have approached SLA from very different perspectives and treat all the variables involved in the learning process differently. The situation appears to be very confusing and frustrating. All the present theories, hypotheses, and models are all preliminary work done toward the ultimate goal of a true theory. The paper shows that in this sense, the different approaches taken by linguists and researchers are never worthless. They have uncovered bits and pieces of the whole complexity of language acquisition. Hopefully, the continuing and combined efforts made by linguists and researchers will lead to the ultimate success of establishing the true theory in language acquisition as well as in SLA.
From the Paper:"Linguistics is one of the newest fields of scientific inquiry. It was developed into an independent discipline of social science in the United Sates first "as an offshoot of anthropology" in the first half of the twentieth century in an attempt to investigate into the disappearing American indigenous languages (Lakoff, 2000, p. 2-3). Traditionally, it has been concerned with the analysis of language, namely its phonology, morphology and syntax. Following this tradition, Norm Chomsky in the 1950s put forward his milestone transformational generative grammar (TGG), which assumed "an ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogeneous speech-community" unaffected by any external factors in his exploration of the Universal Grammar (UG), the general rules of language (Chomsky, 1965, p.3). This is basically an asocial or theoretical view in linguistic studies as opposed to the social view which claims knowing a language also means "knowing how to use that language"(Wardhaugh, 2002, p.3) in social contexts. Adopting either or both of the two views, linguistics and researchers alike have postulated a multitude of theories, approaches, and models in the inquiry into the nature of language and language acquisition, which appear to be conflicting ones fighting against one another."
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Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Theories (2003, July 16) Retrieved August 21, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/second-language-acquisition-sla-theories-29125/
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