Second Language Acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis is the only book on the market to provide a diverse collection of perspectives, from experienced researchers, on the role of the Critical Period Hypothesis in second language acquisition. It is widely believed that age effects in both first and second language acquisition are developmental in nature, with native levels of attainment in both to be though possible only if learning began before the closure of a "window of opportunity" – a critical or sensitive period. These seven chapters explore this idea at length, with each contribution acting as an authoritative look at various domains of inquiry in second language acquisition, including syntax, morphology, phonetics/phonology, Universal Grammar, and neurofunctional factors. By presenting readers with an evenly-balanced take on the topic with viewpoints both for and against the Critical Period Hypothesis, this book is the ideal guide to understanding this critical body of research in SLA, for students and researchers in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition.
This book takes a hard look at some of the assumptions that are customarily made concerning the role of age in second language acquisition. The evidence and arguments the contributors present run counter to the notion that an early start in second language learning is of itself either absolutely sufficient or necessary for the attainment of native-like mastery of a second language. Another theme of the book is a doubt that there is a particular stage of maturity beyond which language learning is no longer fully possible. In short, the book presents a challenge to those who take it as given that second language learning is inevitably different in its essential nature from language acquisition in the childhood years and that second language knowledge acquired beyond the critical period is in all circumstances and in all respects doomed to fossilize at a non-native-like level.
In language learning, the rule of thumb is: the earlier the better. Children exposed to language from birth are uniformly successful in first language acquisition (L1A), whereas those deprived of contact with language during childhood are pathologically deficient. In second language acquisition (L2A), the difficulty of learning after puberty is routinely attested anecdotally and has been the subject of numerous scientific studies. It is widely believed that age effects in both are developmental in nature. Native levels of attainment in L1A and L2A are thought to be possible only if learning began before the closure of a "window of opportunity"--a critical or sensitive period. Increasingly, this popular wisdom is being called into question. Triggering this reevaluation is evidence that some late-starting learners achieve native-like competence in a second language and evidence of age effects past the presumed closure of the window of opportunity for learning. As the debate takes shape, some of the most renowned researchers in the field are weighing in on the issue. Their thoughts and evidence are presented in this volume. The chapters approach the Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) from diverse perspectives and are evenly balanced in favor of and against the CPH-L2A. Each of the contributors brings authority and an international reputation to the question. As the papers encompass many domains of inquiry in L2A--syntax, morphology, phonetics/phonology, Universal Grammar, and neurofunctional factors in language--this volume should appeal to a wide audience of researchers and advanced students.
Is there a critical period in second language acquisition?
Author: Sabine Starzer
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
Category: Literary Collections
Seminar paper from the year 2013 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2, University of Vienna (Anglistik), course: Proseminar Linguistik, language: English, abstract: When it comes to learning a language, there seems to be a certain period in which a child must acquire the basic competences in order to be able to understand and use language. This ́window of opportunity ́ is also called ́critical period ́ and has been the subject of much research over the last decades. Especially for future language teachers, the question about the existence of such a critical period for second language acquisition as well arises. This paper examines the actual research on critical period for second language acquisition and sheds light on the on-going academic discussion. The paper proceeds as follows: section 2 provides a short description of the Critical Period Hypothesis and sheds light on biological and neurological aspects of language learning. In section 3 recent findings of research according to critical periods in second language acquisition are presented and discussed. Section 4 contains a list with personal characteristics and strategies having emerged out of different studies. These characteristics might help second language learners to gain more success in their goal to reach the status of native speakers. This of course can also be useful for language teachers who want to support their learners. Section 5 provides a short conclusion.
This book is a systematic attempt to address the issue of fossilization in relation to a fundamental question in second language acquisition research, which is: why are learners, adults in particular, unable to develop the level of competence they have aspired to in spite of continuous and sustained exposure to the target language, adequate motivation to learn, and sufficient opportunity to practice?
Studienarbeit aus dem Jahr 2015 im Fachbereich Anglistik - Linguistik, Note: 1,7, Universität Paderborn, Veranstaltung: Second Language Acquisition, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: It is a widespread belief that the acquisition of a foreign language is much easier for children rather than for adults. It is said that the younger the learner, the better the outcome will be. The same applies for the assumption that an adult learner of a foreign language cannot reach native-like competence, no matter how long the process of acquisition will take, whereas a child indeed can acquire a perfect language without even the hint of a foreign accent. Furthermore, there is a common notion that the age of onset of the acquisition of a second language plays a role in it's further development. Indeed, the acquisition of a foreign language can be a frustrating and very tough experience for adults in, whereas it seems to be a facile and fast proceeding process for children or adolescents. A possible answer to these beliefs may be found in the Critical Period Hypothesis, which states that the age is a major factor for second language acquisition (henceforth SLA) and that there is a time span, where the acquisition of a language functions best. On the other hand, there are studies which want to make clear that in fact, the contrary is true or as well that age has no influence at all when it comes to SLA. This paper aims to find out if there indeed is a connection between the learner's age and his level of proficiency in the L2.
Studienarbeit aus dem Jahr 2013 im Fachbereich Englisch - Pädagogik, Didaktik, Sprachwissenschaft, Note: 3,0, Universität zu Köln, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: This paper wants to research into the question of the existence of a Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Further, since this theory was already introduced in the early 60’s, I will have a closer look at the modifications of the CPH, i.e. the Sensitive Period Hypothesis (SPH). By the help of taking some of the findings from different studies into account, I will try to answer the underlying question.
This book examines the various ways in which age affects the process and the product of foreign language learning in a school setting. It presents studies that cover a wide range of topics, from phonetics to learning strategies. It will be of interest to students and researchers working in SLA research, language planning and language teaching.
Written for students encountering the topic for the first time, this is a clear and practical introduction to second language acquisition (SLA). It explains in non-technical language how a second language is acquired; what the second language learner needs to know; and why some learners are more successful than others. The textbook introduces in a step-by-step fashion a range of fundamental concepts – such as SLA in adults and children, in formal and informal learning contexts, and in diverse socio-cultural settings – and takes an interdisciplinary approach, encouraging students to consider SLA from linguistic, psychological and social perspectives. Each chapter contains a list of key terms, a summary, and a range of graded exercises suitable for self-testing or class discussion. Providing a solid foundation in SLA, this book is set to become the leading introduction to the field for students of linguistics, psychology, and education, and trainee language teachers.
The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition presents an integrated discussion of key, and sometimes controversial, issues in second language acquisition research. Discusses the biological and cognitive underpinnings of SLA, mechanisms, processes, and constraints on SLA, the level of ultimate attainment, research methods, and the status of SLA as a cognitive science. Includes contributions from twenty-seven of the world's leading scholars. Provides an invaluable resource for all students and scholars of human cognition, including those in linguistics, psychology, applied linguistics, ESL, foreign languages, and cognitive science.