ERIC Number: ED350864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
The Concept of Extensive Reading in the Light of the L1=L2 Hypothesis.
A review of the literature of second language teaching suggests that a significant gap exists between linguistic theory and language teaching practice. However, psycholinguistics has influenced development of language teaching policies to the extent that many language teachers have advanced a more semantic, social, and communicative view of language. An extension of this approach suggests that reading for pleasure from appropriate second language (L2) texts provides subconscious and progressively more difficult L2 input much like that essential for native language (L1) acquisition. The process is enhanced, it is proposed, by the interest and pleasure engendered by the texts. This hypothesis is supported by psychological principles of learning. The L1=L2 hypothesis suggests that L2 learning, like L1 acquisition, follows a highly predictable pattern. It is concluded that if the conditions of L1 acquisition are approximated by extensive L2 reading (i.e., substantial unconscious, comprehensible input), the L2 learner can achieve a native-like communicative competence in a formal instructional setting. A 37-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Communicative Competence (Languages), Educational Strategies, Foreign Countries, Language Acquisition, Learning Processes, Linguistic Theory, Reading Materials, Recreational Reading, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (26th, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 3-7, 1992).