Study Of Cross Linguistic Influences In L2 Development

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Assessment Type

Case Study

Word Count

200 words




2 Days

Assignment Criteria

Different theoretical perspectives approach the study of crosslinguistic influences in L2 development differently. Compare and contrast the key factors in L2 development considered by the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis and by socio-cultural perspectives.
Instructions on how to respond to the question
You must structure your response to the question in the following way:
An introductory paragraph that 1) states the topic and 2) states the argument that you are going to develop.
An explanation of the focus of Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) including its assumptions about language learning, and how the CAH explains crosslinguistic influences on L2 development.
An explanation of the focus of the socio-cultural perspectives including their assumptions about language learning, and how the socio-cultural perspectives explain crosslinguistic influences on L2 development.
A synthesis of your analysis of each approach, and an evaluation of how classroom teachers can benefit from the insights from each perspective.

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Assignment Solution

First language learners learn through imitation and practice (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, Pg 48) whereas second language learners produce sentences that are not like the ones they hear signifying the cognitive processes they go through when their prior knowledge interacts with the language they hear around them (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, Pg 48). 

The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis assumed these errors to be due to transfer from first language to the second. A simplified version of the CAH predicts that errors would be bi- directional which has been proved to be false in L2 acquisition.

Socio cultural theory assumes an interlinking of thinking and speaking as tightly interwoven (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, Pg118). Cognitive processes are seen as external socially mediated activity that become internalized (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, Pg 120) during social activity (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, Pg119).

A synthesis of CAH and socio cultural theory's cross linguistic influences on L2 signifies to the L2 teacher that practice as indispensable to the acquisition of L2 (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, Pg 117). This is because CAH assumes that errors made by the L2 learner signify cognitive processes of transfer from L1 and socio cultural theory postulates that cognitive process of L2 acquisition is a social activity that becomes internalized with practice, so put together they stress the importance of practice of L2 to the L2 teacher.

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