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LANGUAGE LEARNING

I. Introduction
There is an important distinction made by linguists between language acquisition
and language learning. Children acquire language through a subconscious process
during which they are unaware of grammatical rules. This is similar to the way
they acquire their first language. They get a feel for what is and what isn’t correct.
In order to acquire language, the learner needs a source of natural communication.
The emphasis is on the text of the communication and not on the form. Young
students who are in the process of acquiring English get plenty of “on the job”
practice. They readily acquire the language to communicate with classmates.
Language learning, on the other hand, is not communicative. It is the result of
direct instruction in the rules of language. And it certainly is not an age-
appropriate activity for your young learners. In language learning, students have
conscious knowledge of the new language and can talk about that knowledge.
They can fill in the blanks on a grammar page. Research has shown, however, that
knowing grammar rules does not necessarily result in good speaking or writing. A
student who has memorized the rules of the language may be able to succeed on a
standardized test of English language but may not be able to speak or write
correctly.
Learning is a conscious activity. It’s what we do when we look a word up in the
dictionary. It’s also what happens when we learn rules about how language works
or purposefully study lists of vocabulary and grammar forms. There are certain
intervals which make learning new material more efficient and first meeting a
word in context can provide higher retention rates for learned material over time.
II. Discussion
1. Theories of Language Learning
1.1 Behaviorist Theories (include The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis)
Basic Tenets
o Based on Skinner
o The idea that animal and human learning are similar based on
Darwin’s theory.
o All behavior is a response to stimuli.

o No innate pre-programming for language learning at birth (Hadley
2001, pg. 57)
o Learning can also occur through imitation.
o Corrective feedback to correct bad habits
o Language is learned just as another behavior
Critique
o Chomsky criticized this theory.
o Does not explain the creativity of children in generating language. i.e how
can kids overcome grammatical errors without their parents’ correction?

Behaviorist Theory on Language Learning and Acquisition
There are some basic theories advanced to describe how language is acquired,
learnt and taught. The behaviorist theory, Mentalist theory (Innatism), Rationalist
theory (otherwise called Cognitive theory), and Interactionism are some of these
theories.

Of these, behaviorist theory and mentalist theory are mainly applicable to the
acquisition of native languages while the rest can account for foreign language
acquisition. Yet, these four fundamental theories of language acquisition cannot
be totally divorced from each other, for "the objectives of second language
learning are not necessarily entirely determined by native language competence
inevitably serves as a foil against which to set second language learning." (H.H.
Stem, .1983; 30).

Mother Tongue and Foreign Language Learning

These five basic theories are, furthermore, very much complementary to each
other, serving different types of learners or representing various cases of language
learning. They must not automatically make us presume that first and second
language learning are identical or alike processes, though second language
learning is strongly tied up with first language acquisition. Obviously, native
language growth must pave the way for foreign language growth. Then these five

T. "the behaviorist theory of stimulus- response learning. praise and affection becomes the rewards. Basically. According to this category. Human role models in an infant’s environment provide the stimuli and rewards. When a child attempts oral language or imitates the sounds or speech patterns they are usually praised and given affection for their efforts. E. and uniformity of language acquisition in humans” (Cooter & Reutzel. 2004). this very reward reinforces further articulations of the same sort into grouping of syllables and .” (Cooter & Reutzel. However.basic language learning theories are fundamental pillars of language learning whose relevance to education is undeniable. what about the parent who is inattentive or not present when the child attempts speech? If a baby’s language learning is motivated strictly by rewards would the speech attempts stop merely for lack of rewards (Cooter & Reutzel.L. the babies obtain native language habits via varied babblings which resemble the appropriate words repeated by a person or object near him. Since for his babblings and mutterings he is rewarded. The Principle of the Behaviorist Theory The behaviorist theory believes that “infants learn oral language from other human role models through a process involving imitation. rewards. 73). 2004)? Other cases against this theory include “learning the use and meaning of abstract words. Thus. The major principle of the behaviorist theory rests on the analyses of human behavior in observable stimulus-response interaction and the association between them. If rewards play such a vital component in language development. Thorndike was the first behaviorist to explore the area that learning is the establishment of associations on particular process of behavior and consequences of that behavior. evidence of novel forms of language not modeled by others. 2004). the behaviorist theory is scrutinized for a variety of reasons. considers all learning to be the establishment of habits as a result of reinforcement and reward" (Wilga Rivers. and practice. particularly as developed in the operant conditioning model of Skinner. 1968. This is very reminiscent of Pavlov's experiment which indicates that stimulus and response work together.

condition him to commit errors by articulating in permissible structures in speech. so on).words in a similar situation. are rewarded or. then.(Hubbard Jones and Thornton Wheeler. 1983. he gradually learns to make finer and finer discriminations until his utterances approximate more and more closely the speech of the community in which he is growing up (Wilga M. 1968. *doed. In this respect behaviorist theory stresses the fact that "human and animal learning is a process of habit formation. which in some complicated cases. he goes on emitting sounds. A highly complex learning task. and thus many of their utterances become indistinguishable from the adults. for did. or babblings and mutterings grow into socialized speech but little by little they are internalized as implicit speech. By the age of five or six. These are formed correct or incorrect responses. groups of sounds. In this way. means that behaviorist theory is a theory of stimulus-response psychology. respectively'. The following counter- arguments can be made upon the working principles of behaviorist theory: . "Through a trial-and-error process. To put it in other words. punished. 326). Each theory may not be complete model for the investigation of language learning. 73). Counterarguments on Behaviorist Theory of Language Learning Needless to say. Rivers. This. according to this theory may be learned by being broken' down into small habits. obviously. in which acceptable utterances are reinforced by comprehension and approval. Thus it is clear that the acquisition of learning in infancy is governed the acquisition of other habits. and unacceptable utterances are inhibited by the lack of reward. language teaching anticipates certain theories on language learning because language learning as a fruitful area that embodies the working of human behavior and mental processes of the learners. children develop a natural affinity to learn the language of their social surroundings whose importance both over language learning and teaching must never be underestimated. and as he grows up he combines the sentences via generalizations and analogy (as in *goed for went.

M. 1977. the language learner is not creative. and rewarding. 1974. Clark. 2) In behaviorist theory. clauses and sentences at the same rate they will naturally learn at different rates even though it must be admitted that imitation is very useful in the acquisition of new vocabulary items. rewarding. Hood. Lightbown. Since children do not imitate such structures like words. obvious that the intrinsic learning will be delayed. and complex structures are occasionally corrected. then. There is a threshold level in language learning. the process of learning relies more on generalization. L. This means that learners must learn consciously supported by repetition and drilling to build up an effective linguistic intuition. It takes a long time to be capable enough to master a language at least a bit intrinsically. cannot use the language properly in new situations in a real sense.L. for the parents only correct the sample structures. owing to the Iate acquisition of threshold level because of previously settled set of rules and drills. conditioning. Then. and P. three of which support the development of analogical learning in children. 3) Obstructions made on instinctively-based learning will doubtedlessly harm the creative way of learning. researches made on the acquisition of learning have demonstrated that children’s imitation of structures show evidence of almost no innovation. As for reinforcement. 336). Before obtaining the threshold level. Clark and Eve V. habit formation exercises may not naturally promote intrinsically oriented language learning. 380-420). clauses and sentences modeled on previously settled set of rules and drills is thought to obstruct the instinctive production of language. it is. But it can be argued that a process of learning or teaching that encourages the learner to construct phrases. moreover children "vary considerably in the amount that they imitate" (L. "Unfortunately this view of learning receives little support from the available evidence" (Herbert H. acquisition of which marks the establishment of threshold level. . Bloom. However.1) Basic strategies of language learning within the scope of behaviorist theory are imitation. phrases. reinforcement.

o Language learning depends on biological mechanisms. 5) It is highly unlikely for learning to be the same for each individual.4) The rate of social influence on learning is not satisfactorily explained. Moreover. does the social surrounding promote language learning? This question remains unexplained. for language is too far complicated to be learned in such a matter. o Children are innately programmed to learn language. each person cannot learn equally well in the same conditions in which learning takes place. there must be some innate capacities which human beings possess that predispose them to look for basic patters in language. this theory is fruitful for the most part on animal experimentation and learning. o Each language has its own “parameter settings”. since language learners are thrown between stimulus and response chain. which cannot be observed between stimulus and response. 6) The main strategies of the behaviorist theory can only be true for the early stages of learning which takes place when the kids are in infancy and in early childhood periods. o The idea that of Chomsky that all children are born with Language Acquisition Device (Hadley 2001 pg 58). for the background and the experience of the learners make everybody learn differently. that is. In addition.2 Universal Grammar Theory Basic Tenets o A mentalist viewpoint related to nativism and cognitive theory. and for this reason there are intervening variable s. according to Chomsky. especially given the brief time available. 1. o The principles that children discover represent their “core grammar” which . language acquisition cannot take place through habit formation. 7) Many of the learning processes are mostly too complex. To what extent and rate. "That's why.

In other words. For Chomsky. When we speak. o All human brain contains language universals that direct language acquisition ( Horwitz 2008) o It can be tested Critique o Is based on first language learning so it may not apply to second language acquisition. o Motivation and attitudes towards the target language does not come into play in this theory. listening to and repeating what adults said. It is because of generative . o Does not consider social factors or individual differences that affect language learning. Moreover. however. . acquiring language cannot be reduced to simply developing an inventory of responses to stimuli. particularly those of syntax. which determine the order of words in sentences. we combine a finite number of elements—the words of our language—to create an infinite number of larger structures—sentences. because every sentence that anyone produces can be a totally new combination of words. o It is very Complex o Only looks at product data Chomsky’s Universal Grammar During the first half of the 20th century. children learned their mother tongue by simple imitation. errors. The term “generative grammar”refers to the set of rules that enables us to understand sentences but of which we are usually totally unaware. This view became radically questioned. o The way adults and children learn is different. by the American linguist Noam Chomsky. could be explained by a succession of trials. They therefore held that language learning. linguists who theorized about the human ability to speak did so from the behaviourist perspective that prevailed at that time. relates to general principles that correspond to all languages. language is governed by a large number of rules and principles. and rewards for success. like any other kind of learning.

whose purpose is simply to explain what is grammatically correct and incorrect in a given language. Chomsky’s theory had the impact of a large rock thrown into this previously tranquil. children can. only those that conform to a “deep structure” encoded in the brain’s circuits. And indeed. despite their very different grammars. or that the words “Bob”and “him” cannot mean the same person in the sentence “Bob loves him. . Chomsky and other generative linguists like him have shown that the 5000 to 6000 languages in the world. their minds were like a blank slate. the empiricist school that had dominated thinking about language since the Enlightenment held that when children came into the world. from all the sentences that come to their minds. consistently produce and interpret sentences that they have never encountered before. It is this extraordinary ability to use language despite having had only very partial exposure to the allowable syntactic variants that led Chomsky to formulate his “poverty of the stimulus” argument.” but can do so in “Bob knows that his father loves him. all of the languages in the world must share certain structural properties.) Even before the age of 5. And that would be why children can select. In Chomsky’s view. But what language? For Chomsky’s theory to hold true.grammar that everyone says “that’s how you say it” rather than “how that’s you it say”. Chomsky’s theory is that language learning is facilitated by a predisposition that our brains have for certain structures of language. which was the foundation for the new approach that he proposed in the early 1960s.” (Note in passing that generative grammar has nothing to do with grammar textbooks. without having had any formal instruction. undisturbed pond of empiricism. the reason that children so easily master the complex operations of language is that they have innate knowledge of certain principles that guide them in developing the grammar of their language. do share a set of syntactic rules and principles. Observations that support the Chomskyian view of language Until Chomsky propounded his theory of universal grammar in the 1960s. In other words. These linguists believe that this “universal grammar” is innate and is embedded somewhere in the neuronal circuitry of the human brain.

Instead. On the contrary. They therefore developed what are known as pidgin languages to communicate with one another. children would appear to have certain linguistic abilities that predispose them not only to acquire a complex language. and philosophy.3 Krashen’s Monitor Theory Basic Tenets o Adults have two ways of developing competence in the second language: acquisition (subconscious learning) and learning (conscious learning). known as creoles. Acquisition on language will happen when we are exposed to the language that is beyond our level. were not content to merely imitate them. soon lent further support to the theory of universal grammar. o The input hypothesis: speaking fluency emerges over time. the slaves came from many different places and so had different mother tongues. linguistics. o The natural order hypothesis: acquisition of grammatical structures follow a predicable order when is natural (Hadley 2001). and very little grammar. the children spontaneously introduced grammatical complexity into their speech. thus in the space of one generation creating new languages. But these slaves’ children. researchers found that babies only a few days old could distinguish the phonemes of any language and seemed to have an innate mechanism for processing the sounds of the human voice. though exposed to these pidgins at the age when children normally acquire their first language. from birth. . On many plantations. 1. Thus. computer science.Subsequent research in the cognitive sciences. For example. learning is the “editor” and “monitor” for the output (Hadley 2001). o The monitor Hypothesis: Acquisition is responsible for all second language utterances and fluency. One example of such a situation dates back to the time of plantations and slavery. because they employ words so chaotically—there is tremendous variation in word order. but even to create one from whole cloth if the situation requires. which combined the tools of psychology. Pidgin languages are not languages in the true sense.

The Monitor Model posits five hypotheses about second language acquisition and learning: 1. o Krashen does not explain how effective filters develops and does not take individual differences into account. Monitor hypothesis 4. complements the acquisition- learning hypothesis by claiming that the only function of learning within second language acquisition is as an editor. despite the popularity and influence of the Monitor Model. o Munsell and Cart (1981) criticized the implication of this theory that language learning is distinct from other types of learning (Hadley 2001). or Monitor. for language use produced by the . the five hypotheses are not without criticism. as well as the major criticism by other linguistics and educators surrounding the hypothesis. Definition of the Monitor Hypothesis The third hypothesis. o There are not clear definitions for some of the terms implemented by Krashen such as “comprehensible input” and acquisition vs. Critique o There is a debate between the distinction of learning and acquisition. The following sections offer a description of the third hypothesis of the theory. Stephen Krashen is an educator and linguist who proposed the Monitor Model as his theory of second language acquisition in his influential text Principles and practice in second language acquisition in 1982. the monitor hypothesis. o Error correction should be minimized and only use when the goal is learning. Krashen’s claim cannot be tested. Natural order hypothesis 3. the monitor hypothesis. o Students should not be required to produce speech until they’ re ready. Affective filter hypothesis However. o Effective filter hypothesis: low effective filter contributes to good learning. Input hypothesis 5. learning. Acquisition-learning hypothesis 2.

as critics reveal through deeper investigation of the acquisition-learning distinction. the three conditions required by the Monitor—time. according to the monitor hypothesis. Additionally. However. second language learners can and do use the learned system to produce output as well as to facilitate comprehension. However. in spite of the influence of the Monitor Model in the field of second language acquisition. explicit knowledge of a language rule is not sufficient for the utilization of the Monitor.acquired system as well as to produce grammatical forms not yet acquired. a language user may not utilize the Monitor. that the claim of learning-as-Monitor applies only to output after production invites further criticism of the hypothesis. According to the monitor hypothesis. a language user must also have an adequate amount of time to consciously think about and apply learned rules. the monitor hypothesis. In other words. to separate language learning clearly and adequately from language acquisition is impossible. Therefore. determining that the function of the learned system is as a Monitor only remains likewise impossible to prove. therefore. as Krashen asserts. Consequently. Additionally. . has not been without criticism as evidenced by the critiques offered by other linguists and educators in the field. the learned system monitors the output of the acquired system. Such questions and evidence. focus.” meaning that. and knowledge—are. the main purpose of language learning is to function as a Monitor for output produced by acquired system. “necessary and not sufficient. Criticism of the Monitor Hypothesis The major critique of the monitor hypothesis expands on the critique of the acquisition-learning hypothesis. The Monitor allows a language user to alter the form of an utterance either prior to production by consciously applying learned rules or after production via self- correction. invalidate the central claim of the monitor hypothesis. the third hypothesis. despite the convenement of all three conditions.

o Ausubel emphasizes that learning language needs to be meaningful in order to be effective and permanent (Hadley 2001. Then. and others) Basic tenets o Based on internal and mental processes. o Does not explain when and how some features of the first language are transfer to the second language and why some don’t transfer. From the two definitions. McLaughlin. we give the response from his or her calling. and restructuring that involve second language acquisition. existed knowledge is reorganized.4 Cognitive Theory (Ausubel. From the phenomenon. o Learner acts. Bialystok. it can be inferred that a process can be called cognitivism if a process happens in conscious thought(inside the learner’s mind). and used as to what is happening inside the learner’s mind. and plans its own learning o Analyzes own learning o Positive and negative feedback is important for restructuring. o Proficiency develops trough practice and then it becomes automatic. Critique o Needs more clarification when referring to complex cognitive skill. pg 69). 2003:3). Sometimes. According to Mergel (1998) cognitivism is a process based on the thought process behind the behavior. generalization. Changes in behavior are observed. constructs. simplification. unconsciously there is a process happens in our brain or thought. Ellis. o Language learning is the result from internal mental activity. o Focuses on transferring. when someone calls us. o Once new information it’s acquired. Anderson. Cognitive theories emphasize the children conscious thought (Hebb. The process is called cognitive theories or cognitivism. . o Emphasizes that knowledge and new learning is organized in a mental structure. 1. we immediately hear it.

The fifth principle is memory. The second principle is perception which shows as the process to interpret and make sense something which can be seen through our sense. In this case. attention. and rules for . sensation perception. decision making.Principles of Cognitivism Cognitivism involves the study of mental processes such as sensation. The followings are the explanation of them. It is also known as the working memory because it consists of some functions. and memory that behaviorists were reluctant to study because cognition occurs inside the” black box” of the brain (Jordan. It consists of short term memory. and memory are the principle of cognitivism. According to Vinci (2000: 18) long term memory can hold a huge amount of information-facts . perception. Bottom up is the way to encode experience by transferring the information that is gained through the external world. encoding. The fourth principle is encoding as the principle of cognitive theory focuses on the importance of encoding information. 2008:36). Short term memory consists of limited amount of data and short duration. and sensory. coding. and retrieval. after something being perceived and attended to stimuli. The way to encode the information can be done through organizing and then form it in the form of schema. While top down is another way to encode experience. & Stack 2008:43). It consists of pattern recognition. that the most importance than the others. It is in the form of action prior knowledge in order to help in interpreting the bottom up. It shows how the stimuli derived from external stimuli is registered in sensory before it being sent to the following process. encoding. It is important to determine the conscious awareness. The first principle is sensation. attention. to encode the information in the form of experience can be conducted through two ways. Carlite. bottom up or top down processing. It is mediated through attention and perception. They are rehearsal (repetition). They are bottom up and top down (Jordan. object recognition. long term memory. Memory is the ability to keep and remind the information in our mind. The information that can be maintained approximately 5-9 bits. data. Carlite & Stack. The third principle is attention which stresses in the concentrating to one thing. and conscious perception. In this case.

and project based learning. draws the conclusion. The way to keep the information can be maintained in this type of memory is by using cues. cognitive strategies. These structures must be moved from basic to advanced step. It means that he or she must find the solution to solve the problems of his or her research that consists of identifies the problem. It means that the cognitive theory tries to create the people to be active to think. For example the student conducts a research.do discovery learning. The strength of problem based learning are it focuses on the meaningfulness not the facts. collects and analyzes the data. intuitive and analytical thinking. The Educational Implication of Cognitive Theories According to Suharno (2010:60) the cognitive view takes the learner to be an active processor of information. According to O’Donnell(1997) “Discovery Learning is an instructional method in which the students are free to work in learning environment with little or no guidance”. They are readiness to learn. . Discovery Learning Discovery learning is one of the applications of cognitivism . Problem Based Learning The application of the learning is try the students to find the solution of the problem. The implication of cognitive theories in educational field is try to produce the students to find the problem solving. motivates for learning. There are some structures that must be paid attention in applying discovery learning. it can improve the students’ initiative. it can improve the students’ learning achievement etc.how to use and process them and the information can be maintained for long period. This assumption from O’Donnell is also supported by Ryan & Muray (2009) who assume that discovery learning is problem based learning with minimal guidance”. It means that long term memory consists of very large amount of data and very long duration. It means that through discovery learning the teacher gives opportunity to students to explore their selves by learning through the environment with little guidance from the teacher.

. . Pask originated from a cybernetics framework and attempts to explain learning in both living organisms and machines. The fundamental idea of the theory was that learning occurs through conversations about a subject matter which serve to make knowledge explicit. Pask identified two different types of learning strategies: serialists who progress through an entailment structure in a sequential fashion and holists who look for higher order relations. super/subordinate concepts.g. The critical method of learning according to conversation theory is "teachback" in which one person teaches another what they have learned. In order to facilitate learning. Application Conversation theory applies to the learning of any subject matter. analogies). Entailment structures exist in a variety of different levels depending upon the extent of relationships displayed (e.5 Conversation Theories Basic Tenets o The idea of learning a second language by participating in conversations o Importance use of scaffolding o Gives feedback and suggest ways of improvement o Does not require production of full sentences but encourages speaking o Errors should be corrected Critique o Does not focus on teaching grammar Conversation Theory (Gordon Pask) The Conversation Theory developed by G. Pask argued that subject matter should be represented in the form of entailment structures which show what is to be learned. Pask (1975) provides an extensive discussion of the theory applied to the learning of statistics (probability). and metalanguages (for talking about learning/language). Conversations can be conducted at a number of different levels: natural language (general discussion). 1. object languages (for discussing the subject matter).

o Lower social and psychological distance will lead to successful learning o Errors can be corrected for better acculturation o There are external factors that affect language acquisition Critique o Does not focus on teaching specific grammar Schumann’s Acculturation Model Explained Schumann’s (1978) research argues that social and psychological distance between the second language learner and the target language community is a major factor in determining the degree to which the language learner will acquire the target language without the development of pidginization. Individual's differ in their preferred manner of learning relationships (serialists versus holists). Principles 1.. To learn a subject matter. iodine intake level) and investigating the effects. The student is encouraged to learn these relationships by changing the parameter values of a variable (e. Explicit explanation or manipulation of the subject matter facilitates understanding (e. the entailment structure represents relationships between pathological conditions of the thyroid and treatment/tests. In this case. 3.. students must learn the relationships among the concepts.g. use of teach back technique).Example Pask discusses the application of conversation theory to a medical diagnosis task (diseases of the thyroid). o Attitudes and stereotypes towards the target language affect learning. o Examines how social forces affect language learning.g. 1. The simplified form .6 Schumann’s Acculturation Theory Basic Tenets o Based on a Social Theory o Focuses on the multiple perspective of the learner o Learning a language to function in the target language culture. 2.

Similarly. 76). 7) Attitude: If the ELL and TL groups have positive attitudes toward each other. recreational facilities. 3) Enclosure: Enclosure refers to the degree to which the ELL group and TL group share the same social constructs such as schools. Adaptation means that the ELL group adapts to the lifestyle and values of the TL group. The model proposed by Schumann includes the following eight social variables which affect the quality of contact that second language learners have with the target language community (simplified from Schumann. 5) Size: If the ELL group is large. culturally. . 2) Assimilation. but maintains its own lifestyle and values for intragroup use. and adaptation: If the ELL group chooses assimilation as the integration strategy. or economically superior to the target language (TL) group. enclosure is said to be low. the intragroup contact will be more frequent than contact with the TL group. preservation. according to Schumann. “shows that social and psychological distance exists and the speech of the second language learner is restricted to the communicative function” (Schumann. and the L2 acquisition is facilitated. churches. preservation means that the ELL group maintains its own lifestyle and values and rejects those of the TL group. it will tend to remain separate from the TL group. 1978 p. they may resist learning the target language. and trades. technically. it gives up its own lifestyle and values and adopts those of the TL group. crafts. professions. If the two groups share these social constructs. clubs. L2 learning is more easily facilitated. 1978): 1) Social dominance: When the English Language Learning (ELL) group is politically. social contact is potentially more likely and L2 learning is more easily facilitated. 4) Cohesiveness: If the ELL group is cohesive. then it will tend not to learn the target language. if the ELL group is inferior to the TL group. 6) Congruence: If the two cultures are similar. On the other hand.of speech characterized in a pidgin language.

including Schumann’s work beginning with its formal incompleteness. Schumann did not explain how these factors affect the rate of attainment. Culture shock. Baker 2001). Motivation. 2001). the degree and type of desire experienced by the learner to acquire the L2. Various social and psychological factors can be used to account for learner’s acquisition. 2. 264) Next. Ego permeability. 3. only motivation seemed particularly applicable to the situation involved in Criticisms of Schumann’s Model There are many criticisms on the acculturation model. and it is impossible to determine what is the most significant one of these factors or the degree to which one factor contributes to the acquisition. Naturally distance changes as a learner acquires the target language. Schumann did not account for the change of the social or psychological distance over time (Freeman & Long 1991. (Freeman & Long. There are also four affective variables included in Schumann's acculturation model. Of these. the extent to which the learner feels disoriented and uncomfortable with extended residence in a new culture. they are: 1. and 4. The current social and psychological distance while the learner acquires the language and how . Also. One important difference in the comparison of the Acculturation Model and Giles and Byrne’s Accommodation Model is that Giles and Byrne (1982) point out that the relationships between the two groups are constantly changing (Baker. First. the more likely it is that they will feel the need to learn the target language. 8) Intended length of residence: The longer an L2 learner plans to remain in the TL environment. Freeman & Long (1991) state that Schumann did not specify the combinations and/or levels of social and psychological factors to predict language outcome. 1991 p. the ability of the learner to accept a new identity associated with the belonging to a new speech community. or the degree to which speaking the new language makes the learner feel foolish or comical. Language shock.

Schumann does not include important personal factors such as age. “The unusual thing about Colonia Juarez is not so much that the English-speaking minority would be developing high levels of . Researchers have concluded that individuals go through the stages of adjustment in another culture at different rates and can ultimately combine elements of the psychological distance variables. 1991).it correlates to the learners’ proficiency is not taken into account in Schumann’s model. Graham and Brown (1996) researched the reasons why native Spanish speakers in a small town in northern Mexico developed native-like proficiency in English. Some researchers like Stauble (1978) and Kitch (1982) found rough correlation between psychological distance and ESL proficiency. This high level of achievement in two languages may not be that unusual in communities where minority language students are learning the majority language. and the development of close friendships with native English-speaking peers. the model does not show how these social and psychological factors vary from individual to individual. and the effects of other stress factors that may exist. previous educational experiences. or the traumatic experiences of the refugee. will have an effect on the adjustment and acculturation process” (Coelho.31). enrollment in a two- way bilingual program in school. A sample of the Spanish-speaking population was asked questions related to Schumann’s acculturation variables. family separation. 1998 p. others like Kelley (1982) and Stauble (1981) found no relationship between acculturation and proficiency (Freeman & Long. “The extent to which the ‘host’ society and its institutions are responsive to the needs of recently arrived immigrants. Furthermore. We may conclude that this model serves only as a rough outline of the relationship between social and psychological variables in second language acquisition. These additional stress factors can determine how well a student performs in a new school environment. Freeman and Long (1991) pointed out that the model is unable to be tested because no reliable and valid measures of social and psychological distance exist. They concluded that the proficiency being acquired by native Spanish-speaking was due to three factors: favorable attitudes toward the English-speaking community.

Implications for Teaching It is important for teachers to understand the backgrounds and attitudes of all the students they teach. While working at the academy. Upon closer examination.competence in Spanish. and make professional adjustments to the curriculum. 236). attitudes. By bringing the community to them. Teachers may also do some community investigation that provides students with information on opportunities for involvement in local clubs. it is exactly this kind of application that may help in determining the accuracy and efficacy of the model itself. groups. These adjustments may include special activities for students after school. and rationale for studying English. Finally. field trip opportunities. This supports Schumann’s theory that language is really one aspect of the culture of a . arrangements could be made to bring local professionals into the classroom to speak to students about their lives in certain careers. or teams. 1996 p. but that the Spanish-speaking majority would be developing native-like ability in English” (Graham & Brown. By looking at data results from this survey. or instruments like it. it helps to prove the importance of social factors in second language acquisition. Although Schumann’s acculturation model has been applied mostly to situations unlike Colonia Juarez. Teachers can understand some of the factors that affect their students. this seems to be true. Additionally. students may become more open and motivated to learn. This can also be achieved by introducing lessons involving local newspapers. evaluate the social conditions in the lives of the students outside of school. and home visits. teachers can evaluate the social conditions in the classroom and school. Researchers have suggested a strong connection between these social variables and the successful learning of another language. advertisements. Cartoons. and classifieds provide a rich array of cultural topics and help to informally lead to language acquisition at the same time. This survey is one way to take a look at their motivation. The students are enclosed in an environment that does not motivate them enough to speak English. I hypothesized that the social environment inhibited English language acquisition.

it is important for educators to be aware of the issues affecting students in different social environments. . While research continues in the relationship between socio-psychological distance factors and second language learning.particular ethnic group and that the relationship of that to the learners’ language community is extremely important.

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