Popular Ideas about Language Learning: Facts and Opinions

olá Pessoal,

Achei muito interessante os 12 pontos abaixo. Tantos para quem está no processo de aquisicao quanto aos professores.

Popular Ideas about Language Learning: Facts and Opinions
font: Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (1993). How languages are learned. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

1. Languages are learned mainly through imitation
Neither L1 nor L2 is learned mainly through imitation.
Learners produce many novel (original) utterances in addition to language they've heard before.
Even children learning their first language imitate selectively.

2. Parents usually correct young children when they make mistakes
Parents usually focus on correcting meaning, not form (grammar and pronunciation).

3. People with high IQs are good language learners
They may have an advantage in memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary, but not in learning to use language.

4. The most important factor in second language acquisition success is motivation
Motivation is important, but there are also many other factors.
Motivation increases success, but success also increases motivation.

5. The earlier a second language is introduced in school programs, the greater the likelihood of success in learning
It depends on the objectives of the program and the amount of time spent.
Starting earlier may lead to more native-like acquisition eventually (especially for pronunciation), but children who start later catch up quickly.

6. Most of the mistakes which second language learners make are due to interference from their first language
There are many causes of error; L1 interference is just one of them.
Learners with different L1s make the same errors when learning a particular L2.

7. Teachers should present grammatical rules one at a time, and learners should practice examples of each one before going on to another
Language learning is not linear in development, but involves integrating new rules into the existing system (i.e., "interlanguage").
Learners may use a rule correctly for a while, then begin using it incorrectly, and then relearn it.

8. Teachers should teach simple language structures before complex ones
No matter how language is presented, certain structures are acquired before others (i.e., there is a "natural order").
Teachers should provide "comprehensible input" that is understandable to learners, but also contains some new words and structures.

9. Learners' errors should be corrected as soon as they are made in order to prevent the formation of bad habits
Errors are a natural part of language learning.
Correction may only be useful when the learner is ready for it.
Too much error correction can have a negative effect on motivation, but teachers should point out persistent errors.

10. Teachers should use materials that expose students only to language structures which they have already been taught
Learners can comprehend the general meaning of many forms they have not learned completely.
Students need to be challenged; otherwise, they may lose motivation.
Students have to learn to deal with real language, not just artificial classroom language.

11. When learners are allowed to interact freely in groups or pair activities, they learn each others' mistakes
Research says that isn't true; they don't produce more errors, and they can give useful feedback to each other.
Group and pair activities can give students more chances to produce meaningful language.

12. Students learn what they are taught
While students can only learn the language they are exposed to, they don't learn everything they are taught, of course.
For learning to be successful, the language taught must be appropriate for their level of development.
Students learn a lot of language that they are not taught.
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Avatar do usuário maryziller 295 1 1
camilolopes escreveu:olá Pessoal,

Achei muito interessante os 12 pontos abaixo. Tantos para quem está no processo de aquisicao quanto aos professores.

Popular Ideas about Language Learning: Facts and Opinions
font: Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (1993). How languages are learned. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

These 12 statements were asked in the beginning of the book called How languages are learned
by Patsy M. Lightbown and Nina Spada. Students (readers) were asked to say whether they thought these statements were true or myths. Later, the authors gave the answers based on their research.

I decided to try to respond to the 12 questions and I challenge you to do so as well, if so inclined.

1. Languages are learned mainly through imitation
Neither L1 nor L2 is learned mainly through imitation.
Learners produce many novel (original) utterances in addition to language they've heard before.
Even children learning their first language imitate selectively.

The case of feral children reinforces the claim that children learn language by imitating. "In reality, feral children lack the basic social skills which are normally learned in the process of enculturation. For example, they may be unable to learn to use a toilet, have trouble learning to walk upright and display a complete lack of interest in the human activity around them. They often seem mentally impaired and have almost insurmountable trouble learning a human language. The impaired ability to learn language after having been isolated for so many years is often attributed to the existence of a critical period for language learning, and taken as evidence in favor of the Critical Period Hypothesis." (Wikipedia)

2. Parents usually correct young children when they make mistakes
Parents usually focus on correcting meaning, not form (grammar and pronunciation).
I don't know if I can believe this because it directly contradicts my upbringing. I think that such widespread generalizations are too broad to be true in every socioeconomic region. In my experience, if a child makes a mistake and says , "Mommy, I goed outside!" the mother does not say, "No, sweetheart, you can't say, "I goed outside because the verb "to go" is irregular and the past tense of 'to go' is I went". Mommy will just correct her and say, "No, honey, you went outside." "Oh yeah, I went outside, Mommy."
https://www.englishexperts.com.br/should-beginners-learn-grammar/


3. People with high IQs are good language learners
They may have an advantage in memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary, but not in learning to use language.
I don't know if this is true or not. my anecdotal evidence says that my husband, who is very smart, learns languages much more easily than me. I poured over dictionaries and went to class; he didn't and he had better listening skills than me in our target language. It seems like he learned Portuguese in his sleep.

4. The most important factor in second language acquisition success is motivation
Motivation is important, but there are also many other factors.
Motivation increases success, but success also increases motivation.


I think that having a good teacher or learning partner who responds to the student's interests while guiding him in his studies is more important than motivation. A student can be very motivated, but if he has no guidance, he will probably fossilize his mistakes like this video demonstrates.



5. The earlier a second language is introduced in school programs, the greater the likelihood of success in learning
It depends on the objectives of the program and the amount of time spent.
Starting earlier may lead to more native-like acquisition eventually (especially for pronunciation), but children who start later catch up quickly.

I agree.

6. Most of the mistakes which second language learners make are due to interference from their first language
There are many causes of error; L1 interference is just one of them.
Learners with different L1s make the same errors when learning a particular L2.

A counter example to people with different mother languages making the same mistakes is: Japanese speakers have trouble differentiating between 'l' and 'r'. German and Brazilian learners of English do not have this problem. Other examples are: Brazilian learners have a problem remembering that the initial 'r' in a word is not pronounced like an 'h'. They sometimes pronounce 'Roma' like 'home-ah'. Spanish speakers do not differentiate between short o and long o, nor between short 'e' and long 'e'. Brazilian and German speakers have no problem with this because Portuguese has both open and closed vowels. Germans have no problem with phrasal verbs nor present perfect because German has phrasal verbs and perfect tenses.

7. Teachers should present grammatical rules one at a time, and learners should practice examples of each one before going on to another
Language learning is not linear in development, but involves integrating new rules into the existing system (i.e., "interlanguage").
Learners may use a rule correctly for a while, then begin using it incorrectly, and then relearn it.


For adult learners, it can be beneficial to learn grammar systematically. If you learn rules one by one it is less confusing than if everything is presented all at once or in a haphazard manner. But the teacher should focus on authentic and just in time learning as well as grammar. The successful student can tackle language mastery of several different fronts.

8. Teachers should teach simple language structures before complex ones
No matter how language is presented, certain structures are acquired before others (i.e., there is a "natural order").
Teachers should provide "comprehensible input" that is understandable to learners, but also contains some new words and structures.

I agree.

9. Learners' errors should be corrected as soon as they are made in order to prevent the formation of bad habits
Errors are a natural part of language learning.
Correction may only be useful when the learner is ready for it.
Too much error correction can have a negative effect on motivation, but teachers should point out persistent errors.

I think it depends on the student. During some activities, immediate feedback is helpful in order to prevent fossilization. Fossilization occurs when a mistake becomes a habit and feels correct. It also depends on the task that the student is performing. When speaking, it is often helpful to let the student read an entire paragraph uninterrupted before correcting pronunciation. When reading or writing it may be helpful to give the student time to self correct before stepping in with the correction.

10. Teachers should use materials that expose students only to language structures which they have already been taught
Learners can comprehend the general meaning of many forms they have not learned completely.
Students need to be challenged; otherwise, they may lose motivation.
Students have to learn to deal with real language, not just artificial classroom language.

I agree with this one. It is ok to introduce some standard polite forms in the first lesson, such as "Would you like a cup of coffee?" Students can learn the whole sentence rote within a context. It is not necessary to go into an explanation of what modal verbs are in order to learn the "would" form.
11. When learners are allowed to interact freely in groups or pair activities, they learn each others' mistakes
Research says that isn't true; they don't produce more errors, and they can give useful feedback to each other.
Group and pair activities can give students more chances to produce meaningful language.
Pair activities give more students time to practice talking instead of waiting their turn to speak. The teacher needs to monitor the pairs and intervene when necessary. In the foreign language classroom, some educators believe, the students could talk 90% of the time and the teacher talk for 10%. That is because the teacher already knows how to speak and the students need to practice. To this end, the teacher should ask questions and have students asked each other questions to provide rich opportunities to speak.


12. Students learn what they are taught
While students can only learn the language they are exposed to, they don't learn everything they are taught, of course.
For learning to be successful, the language taught must be appropriate for their level of development.
Students learn a lot of language that they are not taught.

I agree. Some educators believe that children construct their own knowledge. They pick and choose what they assimilate. Before a child has reached the age of conservation, he cannot understand that concept. Even if we demonstrate to the young child that two differently shaped bottles contain the same amount of water, he will still believe that the taller bottle contains more water than the squat wide bottle. He will also believe that two halves of a cookie is twice as much cookie than the whole, unbroken cookie.


source: http://books.google.com/books?id=wlYTbuCsR7wC&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=%22do+parents+correct+grammar+mistakes%22&source=bl&ots=_DaJ7sGDIJ&sig=k_s_tSNBtjZeiMrNEMLGtrDXupg&hl=pt-BR&ei=hi2oS_b_PML6lwe_8Yi8AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Comments are welcome.
Avatar do usuário RenanKenplers 55 1
2. Parents usually correct young children when they make mistakes
Parents usually focus on correcting meaning, not form (grammar and pronunciation).
I don't know if I can believe this because it directly contradicts my upbringing. I think that such widespread generalizations are too broad to be true in every socioeconomic region. In my experience, if a child makes a mistake and says , "Mommy, I goed outside!" the mother does not say, "No, sweetheart, you can't say, "I goed outside because the verb "to go" is irregular and the past tense of 'to go' is I went". Mommy will just correct her and say, "No, honey, you went outside." "Oh yeah, I went outside, Mommy."
https://www.englishexperts.com.br/0 ... n-grammar/


I agree. Even at school this sometimes happens, let's suppose we're in the portuguese class and the teacher just ordered us to write down the words they speak in order to practise our listening comprehension, if this individual reads/writes it wrongly, the teacher will not correct you by using grammar reference, will he? He'll just say the right way to do without detailing very much. On top of that, at least in Brazil, teachers recite words in order to practise the little students' handwriting and listening comprehension when they are iniciating the school-learning process. As they grow, then it can be demanded some grammar to make 'em understand their language in a whole.