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  • Welcome to the presentation Does age affect L2 learning?

    By Derek Cho

  • ReferenceH. Douglas Brown. Principal of Language Learning and Teaching. Pearson education Julia Herschensohn. 1999 The Second time around Minimalism and L2 Acquisition. University of Washington. John Benjamins Publishing CompanyRod Ellis. 1997. The Study of Second Acquisition. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language publishing companyJacqueline S. Johnson and Elissa L.Newport. Critical period Effects in Second Language Learning: The influence of Maturational State on the Acquistion of English as a Second Language. Cognitive psychology 21: p.60-99

  • Critical period HypothesisDefinition: There is a fix span of years during which language learning can take place naturally and effortlessly and after which its not possible to be completely successful (Ellis, 1997).

    Definition: Childs brain has a specified capacity for learning language a capacity that decreases with the passages of years (Penfield and Robert, 1959)

  • PubertyAgeLanguageProficencyPubertyOptimum Level12-13

  • Neurological Development As the human matures, certain functions are assigned or laternalized to either side of the brain.

  • Brain functions

  • Viewpoint for the critical period hypothesisScovel, Singleton:There is a critical period not only for first language but also second language acquisition.

    Implication: Children are better learners than adults.

  • Opposite Viewpoint for the critical period hypothesis

  • Levels of thinking skillsIdentification Extracting informationSequencingComparison AnalysisApplication

  • Version 1The exercise hypothesis: Early in life, humans have a superior capacity for acquiring languages. If he capacity is not exercised during this time, it will disappear or decline with maturation. If the capacity is exercised, however, further language learning abilities will remain intact throughout life.Implication: Second language acquisition should be equivalent in children and adults.

  • Version 2The maturational state hypothesis : Early in life, humans have a superior capacity for acquiring languages abilities for acquiring languages. This capacity disappears or declines with maturation.

    Implication: Children will be better in second language learning as well as first.

  • Types of Comparison and contrastChildAdultL1L2

  • ResearchSubjects: 46 subjects

    Early arrivals 23 subjects, late arrivals: 23 arrivals

    23 native speakers

  • Rule Types Tested in the Task1. Past tense2. Plural3.Plural4. Present Progressive5.Determiners6. Pronominalization7. Particle movement 8. Subcateogoration9. Auxillaries10. Yes/No questions11. Wh-questions12. Word order

  • ExamplesThe farmer bought two pigs at the market.The farmer bought two pig at the market.

    The little boy is speaking to a policemanThe little boy is speak to a policeman

    Yesterday the hunter shot a deer.Yesterday the hunter shoots a deer

  • The relationship between age of arrival in the United States and the total score correct on the test of English grammar

  • Correlation between the age of arrival and test score

  • Mean percentage of errors on L2 types of English rules

  • Effects1. Age of Acquisition and ultimate performance- Children have an advantage over adults in acquiring a second language.2. The effects of age of acquisition before versus after puberty- Subjects who arrived in the United States after puberty performed more poorly than those who arrived earlier

  • Effect3. Support the maturational state hypothesis- the age effect is present during time of ongoing biological and cognitive maturation and absent after the maturation is complete4. Age of acquisition and rule type- unclear what part of sentence or grammar she/he is having problems with

  • Conclusion: Other factors affecting second language acquisition1. Levels of thinking skills 2. Intervention of L13. Motivational factors4. Interlingual identification (Weinreich,1953)5. Storage of L2 information6.Personality

    Critial Per


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