Second Language Acquisition Processes in the Classroom: Learning Japanese

Second Language Acquisition Processes in the Classroom: Learning Japanese

Second Language Acquisition Processes in the Classroom: Learning Japanese

Second Language Acquisition Processes in the Classroom: Learning Japanese

Synopsis

This book is the first study to examine how interactional style develops within the walls of a foreign language classroom in the first two years of language study. Results show learners to be highly sensitive to pragmatic information and that learners can move toward an appropriate interactional style through classroom interactive experience. The book shows how learners are most often sources who offer assistance and correction, with errors serving most often to stimulate further thinking about what form is correct. Analysis shows learners to be active in seeking corrective information in the classroom setting, not only from peer partners but also from the teacher. They are active in noticing how the teacher's utterances--even when addressed to others--contrast with their own, and utilize corrective feedback intended for other students. In addition, the results show that teacher-initiated corrective feedback addressed to individual learners is only one source of corrective feedback. Learners are shown to be active in both teacher-fronted and peer interactive settings. In newer L2 teaching methodologies which focus on the use of peer interactive tasks, the teacher's role has been de-emphasized. This book, however, shows how important the teacher's role is. The final chapter examines how the teacher can act to maximize the benefits of peer interactive tasks through how they design tasks and present them to the class. First, the chapter looks at how learners use English--their L1--in the classroom, concluding that how teachers present activities to the class has an impact on the amount of L1 used by students during peer interaction. Following up on this finding, the chapter works to address questions that teachers face in lesson planning and teaching. It presents a useful list of questions teachers can ask when designing peer interactive tasks in order to maximize the effectiveness of a wide variety of language learning tasks.

Excerpt

In Chapter 2, we considered the role of private speech in the development of the seven learners. in this chapter, we move “outward” from private speech, an intrapsychological speech form, to interpsychological speech—social interaction as it occurs in the context of peer interactive tasks. It is through social interaction that the zpd is formed. in particular, we consider how peer interactive tasks promote the provision of help from learner to learner that results in assisted performance (Tharp & Gallimore, 1991), which forms building blocks for language development.

The Theoretical Basis of Peer Learning:
From the Social to the Individual

In chapter 1, a sociocognitive framework for understanding classroom language development was presented. in this framework, two key constructs that illuminate developmental processes were presented, the zpd and the general genetic law of cultural development. the general genetic law of development outlines how assistance in the zpd leads to learning and how social interaction forms the basis of the development of thought (Vygotsky, 1981). Through the enabling process that occurs in the zpd, and continued use of what the learner is working to acquire, internalization occurs as the learner becomes less dependent on assistance, and more able to individually control language as a tool of thought. in other words, the learner moves from other regulation—from being dependent on the guidance of others, to self-regulation, in which the learner is able to control . . .

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