Role of Interaction in Early Second Language Acquisition

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Topic: Brief Introduction on the Role of Interaction in Early Second Language Acquisition A. Introduction Various hypotheses have been made by scholars to study the second language acquisition (SLA) in order to benefit the understanding of the language learning process. According to Beller (2008), most hypotheses focus on the successive SLA, such as the behaviouristically oriented ‘contrastive hypothesis’, the nativist-oriented ‘identity hypothesis’, as well as the interlanguage hypothesis, while few of the studies have paid attention to the SLA of bilingual pre-school-aged children. With the increasing immigrants and importance of SLA realized by the bilingual parents, their children tend to learn the second language (L2) together with the first language (L1) at an early stage. As the limitation of the cognition and maturity, children learn language mostly from the outer environment stimulation created by their parents, educators and peers. The quality and quantity of language input, functioning as the stimulation, by interacting with the people around the children have a positive influence on children’s language learning (Bradley and Caldwell 1976; Clarke-Stewart 1973; McCartney 1984; and NICHD 2000). Therefore, it is beneficial for both parents and teachers to know how the interaction can improve the children’s English proficiency. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to introduce the role of the interaction in early L2 development and the implication of the interaction of children in education. This paper is going to introduce the topic in three aspects. In the first part, the literature review will include the interaction with the parents, the teachers and peers respectively. The second part is the implications of the int... ... middle of paper ... ...e language proficiency of pre-school children. The previous researches show that through interaction with parents, especially mothers, teachers and peers, the grammar, semantics and lexis of the L2 have been improved in certain degree. Given the positive effect of the interaction to the language proficiency, parents and teachers should apply the interaction skills in teaching the young children L2. Parents should pay attention to the use of open questions and take up different positions to stimulate communication with children, while the teachers should focus on creating a social interaction context to encourage verbal interaction of the children with teachers and their peers. However, due to the limitation of the author, the importance and methods of interaction may not be fully introduced. The present findings may also provide some advice for parents and teachers.
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