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9 Cognitive accounts of SLA

OUTLINE Cognitive theory of language acquisition Models of cognitive accounts Implicit vs. explicit knowledge of L2 Skill learning model Functionalist theories Models on L2 knowledge and output Communication process and strategies Parallel Distributed Processing model
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Cognitive theory of language acquisition

Views of language acquisition
A mental process involving use of strategies that explain development and use of L2 knowledge Language learning is similar to other kinds of learning Learning strategies are general in nature

Overview of the chapter

Mental representation of L2 rule systems Use of L2 knowledge in communication Language knowledge as a network, e.g., PDP
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Models of cognitive accounts

Describing competence underlying performance A theoretical framework (Gass, 1988; Ellis, 1994)

Differences among models (p.392)

Relationship b/w input & L2 knowledge Representation of L2 knowledge
Manner of representation Role of L1 Relationship b/w implicit & explicit knowledge

Relationship b/w L2 knowledge & output

SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Implicit vs. explicit knowledge of L2

The Monitor Model (Krashen, 1982)
Distinguish b/w acquisition & learning Acquisition & learning are separate

Model of L2 learning (Bialystok, 1978)

interface b/w implicit & explicit knowledge 2 types of output: (1) spontaneous, immediate; (2) deliberate, delayed Continua of controlled and analyzed

Consciousness & noticing (Schmidt, 1990)

consciousness as knowledge falls on a continuum noticing is necessary for input to become intake
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Skill learning models of SLA

Focus on manner of representation of L2 knowledge

Adaptive Control of Thought model

Declarative vs. procedural knowledge 3 stages: declarative, associative, autonomous

Information Processing Model

From controlled to automatic processing Restructuring: from exemplar-based to rule-based; use of strategies L2 knowledge as continua of controlled-automatic and explicit-implicit
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Questions for discussion

Do you consider L2 acquisition as a process of transforming from explicit knowledge into implicit knowledge? Do you think L2 learners will always have the two types of knowledge coexisting in their knowledge system? Anderson (1983) holds that L2 learners do not reach full autonomy as L1 learners. What factors may influence the process of achieving autonomy in L2 acquisition?
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Functionalist theories of SLA

Acquisition arises from use & communicative interaction

Functionally-driven models
Klein et al.: L2 acquisition as dealing with language tasks (functionally driven) Givon: gradually move from pragmatic (unplanned, informal) to syntactic (formal, planned) mode

The Competition Model

Acquiring form for communicative functions Competition among cues that signal functions Usefulness of cue is determined by cue reliability, cue availability, conflict validity
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Models on L2 knowledge & output

Variability theories of SLA
Examine organization of L2 knowledge and strategies in learning and language use Tarone: capability as heterogeneous in styles Ellis: continua of un-/analyzed & non-/automatic Preston: variation in planning, depth, stability

Nativization model & operating principles

Easily attended to and processed features will be first to be learnt & used in production

Multidimensional model
2 principal axes: developmental & variational
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Second language communication

L2 speech planning
L1 & L2 learners differ in: temporal variables & hesitation phenomena Acquisition of knowledge & procedural skill as proceeding separately

Communication strategies
Interactional: interlocutors mutual attempt to arrive at shared meaning Psychological: learners plan & execute plans to achieve communicative goals
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Parallel Distributed Processing Model

Basic ideas
Competence as interconnections between units of language knowledge Performance as activation of interconnections Learning as a process of modifying strength of connections

Main properties (p. 405)

Parallel processing of semantic & syntactic info Activation of one unit can inhibit or excite others in varying degrees. Connection strengths among units may be adjusted.
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

Question for discussion

When conducting research in SLA, how do we balance between competence and performance? How do we interpret inconsistent results regarding competence and performance?
SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006

SLA Seminar, NSYSU 11/17/2006