Sunday, June 16, 2013

SLA Glossary D - I

Declarative knowledge
Knowledge about something, such as metalinguistic knowledge, in contrast to knowing how to do something, such as actually speaking a language

Derivational morphology

The creation of derivative words by adding morphemes such as prefixes and suffixes

Developmental order
The order of stages that a learner goes through in acquiring a single structure such as negation

Error analysis
An approach to SLA which analyses learners’ errors in order to understand interlanguage development

Explicit knowledge
Conscious knowledge that a person is aware of, such as the knowledge that enables a language learner to recall a rule and apply it

The response that learners receive to their language output, either in the form of explicit correction or implicit forms such as recasts

A learning style in which a global and holistic mode of information processing dominates

A learning style in which a particularistic and analytic mode of information processing dominates

Form-function mapping
The process of correlating the formal properties of the language and the meaning they encode

Formulaic sequence
A phrase or chunk that is acquired as a whole, without analysis into its component parts

Stabilization of interlanguage development at a stage where native-like proficiency has not been acquired

Free variation
Deviations in a learner’s interlanguage from the target forms, which is not explained by specific factors

An approach to SLA that views language primarily as a means to communicate

Fundamental Difference Hypothesis
The claim that L1 acquisition and (adult) SLA differ radically, illustrated by the difficulty for L2 learners to become native-like, lending support to the belief that L1 acquisition is guided  by innate mechanisms which are not available for adult SLA

Grammaticality judgment
A research technique which aims to measure learners’ underlying language competence by asking them whether each in a series of sentences is grammatical or not

The optimum level of language input which is just beyond learners’ current level of development

Identity Hypothesis
In contrast to the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis, the claim that the processes of L1 and L2 acquisition are the same

Implicit knowledge
Unconscious knowledge that a person is unaware of, such as the knowledge that enables proficient speakers of a language to produce correct utterances without consciously knowing the rules

Incidental learning
Learning aspects of a language when attention is not explicitly focused on those aspects, such as incidentally learning vocabulary while focusing on reading comprehension

Individual differences
Characteristics such as aptitude, personality and motivation which may influence how effectively a person learns

Inflectional morphology
The use of morphemes such as suffixes to carry meaning such as past tense or plural number

Information processing
A cognitive theory which posits that SLA involves progressive restructuring of knowledge in the brain as it proceeds from controlled to automatic processing

Initial state
The starting point for language acquisition, thought be some researchers to include access to Universal Grammar

All the language that learners are exposed to in a communicative context

Input enhancement
The highlighting of linguistic features in the input to make them more noticeable

Input Hypothesis
The view that comprehensible input is both necessary and sufficient for language acquisition to take place

Input processing
The strategies which learners use to notice the formal properties of language input and relate these to the meaning which is the primary focus of communicative activities

Instrumental motivation
Motivation which stems from a desire to achieve a reward such as passing an exam

The language within the input that learners actually notice and so are able to acquire

Integrative motivation
Motivation which stems from a desire to become part of the L2 speech community

Interaction Hypothesis
The view that in order for language acquisition to take place, learners need to use the language in interaction

The negative influence of an L1 feature which causes inaccuracy in L2

The developing system of language used by learners as they move towards target-like performance

Original definitions and selection of terms © 2013 Anglo-Hellenic Teacher Training


VanPatten, B.  & Benati, A. (2010) Key Terms in Second Language Acquisition. London: Continuum. 

VanPatten, B. & Williams, J. (eds.). (2007) Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction. London: Routledge

Doughty, C. and Long, M.  (eds.) (2003) Handbook of second language acquisition (2nd edition) Oxford: Blackwell.  

Mitchell, R., Myles, F. & Marsden, E. (eds.). (2012) Second Language Learning Theories (3rd Edition) London: Routledge 

Saville-Troike, M. (2012) Introducing Second Language Acquisition (2nd edition) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 

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