Vocabulary Learning Strategies and Foreign Language Acquisition / David Singleton

Second Language Acquisition, as a field of scientific research and a foundation of contemporary language instruction, is still a relatively young discipline. Historically, second language instruction was either not grounded on any scientific theory (e.g. the Grammar-Translation Method), or was grounded on conclusions partly derived from valid linguistic theories and partly from general theories of learning (e.g. the influence of structural linguistics and behaviourism on the development of the audiolingual method). The Grammar-Translation Method was based on the fundamental assumption that learners will learn the target language simply by following the teaching method, whereas according to the audiolingual method the learner is conceived of as a passive recipient of the programme whose intervention would seriously interfere with the desirable automatic reaction. These theories received severe criticism from the new opposing theories, such as the interlanguage theory that views the learner as a creator of rules and errors as evidence of positive efforts by the learners to learn (Selinker, 1972). The new theories incited two general directions in SLA research: Rubin (1975) begins her work on raising awareness of learners’ strategies of learning responsible for the language learning success, and Krashen (cf. 1981) proposes his influential theory which states that, for language acquisition to occur, learners need natural authentic communication, and not direct instruction. Due to this idea Krashen has often been recognised as the originator of the communicative approach to second language teaching. In addition to the above-mentioned approaches and methods, there is a host of other methods, often referred to as alternative, that have, in their own ways, influenced second language instruction. In general, language instruction today clearly reflects recognition and appreciation of the values and contributions of various methods and approaches.

SLA vocabulary-learning-strategies-and-foreign-languag
Categories: Lexis
Tags: Acquisition, vocabulary

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