Theories Of The Second Language Acquisition

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Infants start without language, but by the time they reach five years old they have fully developed language system. There are two major theories that explained the developed language system. One is the behaviorist theory proposed by B.F. Skinner. His theory is suggesting that language is learned through operant conditions, in other words children learn their first language through imitation and by reinforcement of correct responses. Another theory was from Noam Chomsky, he demonstrated that when children are exposed to and imitated they are able to produce language and unique utterances. This explained his hypothesis about what he called innate language acquisition device (LAD) where children can figure out the rule of the language by themselves through exposure to sample of natural language. He refers these rules as Universal Grammar. Once the child LAD is activated and children can identify the rules for the structure of their language or languages, they can develop an infinite number of unique, grammatically correct utterances (Wright, 2010, p. 36). Chomsky’ theory that focuses more on first language acquisition gave influence on Second Language Acquisition (SLA) researchers and theories. Many researchers didn’t agree on the statement about learning a second language is the same way as learning our first language. This point out that second language learners goes through the underlying rules of Universal Grammar about the language that are based on the input they acquired (Wright, 2010, p. 38). However, second language acquisition (SLA) is learned in different circumstances or process compare to learning on first language acquisitions, where SLA is divided into five stages, which are preproduction, early production, speech e... ... middle of paper ... ...y teaching schedule. This is usually used for ELLs who are in the beginning stage of English proficiency and finished by the time the students reach intermediate level (Wright, 2010, p. 82). One of popular instruction that Vygotsky came up is Scaffolding Instruction which is based on the idea at the beginning of learning where students need a great deal of support but this support is taken away to allow students to try their independence (Wright, 2010, p. 42). Using this strategy is when a student is having difficulty doing one task and teacher could use scaffolding by giving the student support system to help student experience success until they are able to do the task by themselves. Lastly is Cooperative Learning, this strategy is letting student learn to read, write and think by having them engage with other students, usually students are engage with their peers.

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