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11_adult_language

11_adult_language - Adult Language Learning For the...

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Adult Language Learning For the purposes of this lecture:“Adult” means someone over 12 years old Differences between child and adult language learning. Evidence whether adults can/cannot learn language the way children do. 1 Foreign and second language learning 1.1 Foreign Language Learning Foreign language: a language learned outside the community where it is commonly spoken, e.g.: Learning Russian in the US. Learning English in Japan. 1.2 Second Language Learning Second language: a language learned in a community where it is commonly spoken, e.g., Learning English in England. Learning Spanish in parts of the US. 1.3 Major differences between foreign and second language learning Input o Second language: in and out of the classroom o Foreign language: typically in the classroom Use o Second language: immediate use in the community o No naturalistic practice opportunity Need o Second language: knowledge of language may be essential for getting along in the community o Foreign language: typically, the need is not as pressing Motivation o Second language: typically high motivation to learn o Foreign language: not necessarily high motivation ° Second language better source of data on whether adults can learn language like children. 2 Reasons for the superiority of child language learning Rate of success o Under normal conditions, all children learn language o Many adults fail to learn a second language Degree of success o Children learn their first language with full success o Adults usually continue to make grammatical errors and have an accent Effort and spontaneity o Children learn language spontaneously and without conscious effort o Adults typically have to work hard at second language learning
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