Age and acquisition - Dr Swathi Vanniarajan LLD 108 Second...

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Dr. Swathi Vanniarajan LLD 108: Second Language Development
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Age and Acquisition Guide questions: How does L1 acquisition differ from L2 acquisition? Why is it children are able to learn better than adults? What can we learn from L1 acquisition? What are the neurological, cognitive-psychological, affective, linguistic, and social variables that can affect adult second language acquisition?
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Some obvious reasons: Children are exposed to language all the time. Children have a communicative necessity to use language. Children start with sounds, then move on to words, and then to sentences. Comprehension precedes production in child language acquisition.
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Some obvious reasons (contd.): Listening and speaking are language skills while reading and writing are literacy skills. With children, language skills precede literacy skills. Children do not translate. Why should adults? Children do not learn grammar? Why should adults?
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Innatism Brain is a biological organ Critical period hypothesis – there is a biological time table for language learning. Critical point for language learning occurs around puberty (Lenneberg 1967) Exposure is necessary at the right time for LAD to get activated.
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Neurological considerations support only the weaker version of critical period hypothesis. Lateralization: assignment of different functions to different parts of the brain.
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