Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition by Vivian Cook (auth.)

By Vivian Cook (auth.)

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Extra resources for Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition

Example text

The scores were calculated in three different ways, which produced only slight variation. Taking the method in which only completely correct answers counted (I), the fOllOwing sequence occurred: 30 1 -ing Sequences in Second Language Acquisition 2 thela 3 plural -s 4 cop. be 5 poss. -s 6 aux. be 7 8 reg. 3rd person -s past 9 irreg. past Sequence of grammatical morphemes for 777 Japanese children (from Makino, 1980, p. 126) This sequence correlated statistically with the sequences of Dulay and Burt, and of Krashen.

Errors are 'a way the learner has of testing his hypotheses about the nature of the language he is learning' (Corder, 1967), and therefore vital to the L2 learning process. The concept of hypothesis-testing became an integral component in much SLA research. EHis (1982, p. ' Hypothesis-testing also played a role in the development of the communicative approach to language teaching, which devised pair-work and group-work activities so that the students could test out their hypotheses in the classroom.

Knowing a second language alongside the first is a normal part of human existence for most human beings, even if few know the L2 to the same extent as the LI. In officially monolingual countries, many of the inhabitants know more than one language: for example the population of the United States in 1976 included nearly 28 million people whose mother tongue was not English (Wardhaugh, 1987). 1 per cent of children in the London Borough of Haringey spoke languages other than English at horne (Linguistic Minorities Project, 1983).

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