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ERIC Number: ED501918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 73
Abstractor: As Provided
Corroborating the Role of L[subscript 1] Awareness in FL Pedagogy
Paradowski, Michal B.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual International LAUD Symposium (33rd, Landau/Pfalz, Germany, Mar 10-13, 2008)
Underlying the mainstream of current SLA research is the Ansatz that some level of attention to the formal aspects of language is necessary for acquisition to take place. It is self-evident and commonsensical that focusing on specific linguistic aspects helps the learner to acquire and internalise them. Numerous recent studies investigated the complex relationships between the role of cognitive processes (consciousness, attention, awareness, detection) and the process of language learning, and there is nearly global consensus among researchers that some degree of attention to problematic aspects of the input seems be essential for understanding and learning to occur. At the same time, learning invariably proceeds by relating new facts to the already familiar (which is why we learn in terms of prototypes). This is particularly vital in the process of foreign language learning (FLL). In this context the familiar is, of course, the student's mother tongue (L[subscript 1]). It is therefore incumbent that this resource be actively capitalised on by the teacher. Drawing on the learner's L[subscript 1] (or another mastered language) and showing comparisons and contrasts between this and the target mirrors, facilitates, and accelerates the processes which occur independently in his/her mind. The role of pedagogic intervention is unquestionable, as transfer of operations from the L[subscript 1] to the FL usually requires additional correction and clarification (cf. A. A. Leontiev 1981:28). This is not, however, the end of the story. The basic reason why we look for familiar orientation points and similarities when in new circumstances is our natural need for safety. We feel more comfortable and at ease at home, in our district and city, than at a new venue, even though the latter may be objectively better-appointed, more attractive and safer, just because in the former we could take more things for granted. This is also why the target language should literally be taught in the framework of the learner's L[subscript 1]--as in the Language Interface Model (LIM; Gozdawa-Golebiowski 2003a). This proceeds from an explication of how grammar rules operate in the learners' L[subscript 1], through an explanation of relevant L[subscript 2] rules and subsequent modification of the L[subscript 1] rule to accommodate L[subscript 2] data, with practice first expecting the learner to apply the FL rules to L[subscript 1] (!) examples, to finally end with competence expansion. The LIM allows the learner to link new language items with his/her present knowledge or experience; i.e., placing them within his/her Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky 1934/1962). By such a gradual, multi-stage method the learners gain command of the FL system before actually starting to use the operational principles in the TL itself. The juxtaposition and use of L[subscript 1] and L[subscript 2] rules alongside help the latter merge with the former (leading to the development of linguistic multicompetence) and thus, hopefully, submerge to the subconscious, indicating that the material has become successfully automatized and internalized. This novel, eclectic method is supplemented with learner-friendly insights from generative syntax and cognitive semantics. A controlled longitudinal classroom experiment carried out on secondary-school students (n=284) across a representative range of grammar areas reveals appreciably improved results of experimental groups over control groups not only in a follow-up test, but also in a deferred post-test, thus corroborating the importance of explicit learning, attention, and L[subscript 1] awareness in interlanguage development. (Contains 2 tables and 39 footnotes.) [This paper was published in: 33rd International LAUD Symposium: Cognitive Approaches to Second/Foreign Language Processing: Theory and Pedagogy. Essen: Linguistic Agency University of Duisburg-Essen, 515-80.]
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A