Conditions for second language learning : introduction to a by Bernard Spolsky

By Bernard Spolsky

Spolsky the following examines the stipulations lower than which languages are discovered, and the way studying regarding educating. His idea, set out within the type of a choice version, emphasizes the necessity to be designated and transparent at the nature of the targets and results of studying, and to acknowledge the complexity of the idea that of "knowing a moment language."

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9 At the same time, the condition does not deny the possibility of finding evidence for systematic developments that do not follow native speaker goals; a study such as Huebner (1985) shows the kind of evidence that is revealing. Selinker, Swain, and Dumas seem to say that to count as interlanguage all one has to find is evidence of similar strategies. But this misses a point that has been central to linguistics at least since Saussure: the social nature of a language. This was recognized by Corder earlier when he called the approximative system an ‘idiosyncratic dialect’; until these strategies evolve into a socially recognized variety, they have no more claim to the status of language than any other set of personal characteristics of speech.

At various periods second language theorists have offered contrasting and conflicting views of the concept of knowledge of language. In the early 1950s most scholars would have assumed that knowing a language involved knowing a number of items and their potential arrangements; this item and arrangement grammar was just starting to be challenged by a notion of items and processes (rules). The second language learner was seen as having an imperfect knowledge of the items and arrangements of the language he or she was learning; the gaps waited to be filled by learning.

Chapter 6 will investigate capabilities and describe the general psycholinguistic basis for learning a second language, looking at biological and neurophysiological aspects and the question of age as a factor. The following chapter will deal with individual differences in cognitive capacities and personality. In Chapter 8 I will discuss previous knowledge and in particular the linguistic basis (knowledge of the first language) and the way it may be seen as setting conditions for second language learning.

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