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Order of acquisition In the s, several studies investigated the order in which learners acquired different grammatical structures.
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Furthermore, it showed that the order was the same for adults and children, and that it did not even change if the learner had language lessons.
This supported the idea that there were factors other than language transfer involved in learning second languages, and was a strong confirmation of the concept of interlanguage. However, the studies did not find that the orders were exactly the same. Although there were remarkable similarities in the order in which all learners learned second-language grammar, there were still some differences among individuals and among learners with different first languages.
It is also difficult to tell when exactly a grammatical structure has been learned, as learners may use structures correctly in some situations but not in others.
Thus it is more accurate to speak of sequences of acquisition, in which specific grammatical features in a language are acquired before or after certain others but the overall order of acquisition is less rigid.
For example, if neither feature B nor feature D can be acquired until feature A has been acquired and if feature C cannot be acquired until feature B has been acquired but if the acquisition of feature D does not require the possession of feature B or, therefore, of feature Cthen both acquisition order A, B, C, D and acquisition order A, D, B, C are possible.
Variability[ edit ] Although second-language acquisition proceeds in discrete sequences, it does not progress from one step of a sequence to the next in an orderly fashion.
However, most variation is systemic variation, variation that depends on the context of utterances the learner makes. Language transfer One important difference between first-language acquisition and second-language acquisition is that the process of second-language acquisition is influenced by languages that the learner already knows.
This influence is known as language transfer. If this happens, the acquisition of more complicated language forms may be delayed in favor of simpler language forms that resemble those of the language the learner is familiar with.
Stephen Krashen took a very strong position on the importance of input, asserting that comprehensible input is all that is necessary for second-language acquisition. Further evidence for input comes from studies on reading: He claims that such sequencing, as found in language classrooms where lessons involve practicing a "structure of the day", is not necessary, and may even be harmful.
For example, students enrolled in French- language immersion programs in Canada still produced non-native-like grammar when they spoke, even though they had years of meaning-focused lessons and their listening skills were statistically native-level.
The modifications to speech arising from interactions like this help make input more comprehensible, provide feedback to the learner, and push learners to modify their speech. This area of research is based in the more general area of cognitive scienceand uses many concepts and models used in more general cognitive theories of learning.
As such, cognitive theories view second-language acquisition as a special case of more general learning mechanisms in the brain. This puts them in direct contrast with linguistic theories, which posit that language acquisition uses a unique process different from other types of learning.
In the first stage, learners retain certain features of the language input in short-term memory. This retained input is known as intake.
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Then, learners convert some of this intake into second-language knowledge, which is stored in long-term memory. Finally, learners use this second-language knowledge to produce spoken output.
In the early days of second-language acquisition research on interlanguage was seen as the basic representation of second-language knowledge; however, more recent research has taken a number of different approaches in characterizing the mental representation of language knowledge.
Micro-processes include attention;  working memory;  integration and restructuring.
Restructuring is the process by which learners change their interlanguage systems;  and monitoring is the conscious attending of learners to their own language output. Of these three, planning effects on fluency has had the most research attention. Their effect on second-language acquisition is unclear, with some researchers claiming they help it, and others claiming the opposite.
For example, a learner may use more polite language when talking to someone of higher social status, but more informal language when talking with friends. Immersion programs are educational programs where children are instructed in an L2 language.Tips on good persuasive essay writing.
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