Essay about Second Language Acquisition

2697 Words Jan 25th, 2013 11 Pages
Second Language Acquisition


The subject assignment consists of answering this question:

According to Swain, ... producing the target language may be the trigger that forces the learner to pay attention to the means of expression needed in order to successfully convey his or her own intended meaning. (Swain 1985: 249)

In Swain's view, learners need not only input, but output: they need to use language in order to learn it. Krashen, however, as recently as 2009, stated that:

Research done over the last three decades has shown that we acquire language by understanding what we hear and read. The ability to produce language is the result of language acquisition, not the cause. Forcing
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Even so, the author points out: “The input hypothesis relates to acquisition, not learning” (Krashen,1982-21). In this regard, many EFL/ESL instructors can better serve their students SL learning needs by introducing various tasks in the classroom. Another consideration made upon this hypothesis is that a learner must not be forced to speak too early. That is, “a certain amount of comprehensible input must be built up before the learner is required to speak in a classroom”, (Brown, 2000:278). Indeed, Krashen illustrates that many second language learners go through what is referred by some as a silent period when learners gradually receive and build enough comprehensible input so that they can start to produce their own structures. The fifth hypothesis is The Affective Filter. Comprehensible input will occur during the language acquisition process when that acquirer’s affective filter is down or low. The Affective Filter Hypothesis states that a learner who is tense, angry, anxious, or bored will screen out input, making it unavailable for acquisition. Thus, depending on the learner’s state of mind or disposition, the filter limits what is noticed and what is acquired. The filter will be up or operating when the learner is stressed, self-conscious or unmotivated. It will be down when the learner is

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