The Role of Input and Interaction in Sla

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The role of input and interaction in SLA

Terminology

input –any language directed at the learner
intake –the portion of input that learners notice and therefore take into temporary memory. Intake may subsequently be accommodated in the learner’s interlanguage system (become part of long-term memory). However, not all intake is so accommodated. output –what the learner produces (spoken & written language) and how much he understands from the input input → intake → output

views on the role of input:
● behaviourist
There is a direct relationship between input and output. Acquisition is believed to be controlled by external factors, and the learner is viewed as a passive medium. They ignore the internal processing that takes place in learner’s mind. Input consists of: ▫ stimuli – with stimuli, the person speaking to the learner models specific linguistic forms which the learner internalizes by imitating them  ▫ feedback – it takes the form of positive reinforcement or correction. The possibility of shaping L2 acquisition by manipulating input to provide appropriate stimuli and adequate feedback  

● mentalist
They emphasize the importance of the learner’s ‘black box’. Input is still seen as essential for L2 acquisition, but it is only a ‘trigger’ that starts internal language processing. Learners have innate knowledge of the possible forms that any single language can take and use the information supplied by the input to arrive at the forms that apply in the case of the L2 they are trying to learn. Input is insufficient to enable learners to arrive at the rules of the target language.  

● interactionist
cognitive interactionist
Acquisition is a product of the interaction of the linguistic environment and the learners’ internal mechanisms, with neither viewed as primary. Input has a determining function in language acquisition, but only within constraints imposed by the learner’s internal mechanisms. social interactionist

Verbal interaction is...
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