Authors and summary: This is chapter 3 of Diaz-Rico and Weed's The Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook. It covers second language acquisition and its methodologies and theories.
1. Grammar-Translation - second languages are learned by understanding their structures, mainly grammatical.strength - clearly defined success, curriculum can be carefully constructed and controlled
drawbacks - students have little choice in what they learn, little contact with native speakers, no language use in social situations, few creative stimuli
2. Structural Linguistics - second languages are learned by describing their structures, including sounds; by comparing languages with each other and classifying similar families
strengths - exotic languages could be seen and learned in the context of their langauge family
drawbacks - does not accurately predict leaners difficulties with a new language
3. Audiolingualism - second language is learned by habit formation, especially correct pronunciation
strengths - focuses on correct pronuncation
drawbacks - limits exposure to the target language and does not emphasize self-motivated learner acquisition
4. Direct Teaching - second language is learned by dividing what is to be learned into small units and using rote repetition, with much drill and practice
strengths - focuses on sub-skills and immediate remediation
drawbacks -students are seldom asked to set their own goals
5. Mastery Learning - similar to direct teaching but students can progress at their own rate instead of in locked unison
strengths - allows to students to progress at their own rate
drawbacks -same as direct teaching
Theories of SLA
1. Transformational Grammar - envision language as a set of rules the humans unconsciously know and use, which transformational grammarians attempt to describe
2. Krashen's Five Hypothesis -
3. Cummins's Theories of BICS and CALP -
Thoughts: This is a really great overview of the methodologies and theories, but does not give a ton of new information for those that have already read or studied about them in depth. I really like the section on brain-based learning and will be looking into some of the recommended texts as soon as possible.
Students do not have to relearn in a second language the essentials of schooling: how to communicate, how to think critically, and how to read and write. (p. 60)
Conversational skills have been found to approach native-like levels within two years of exposure to English, but five or more years may be required for minority students to match native speakers in CALP. (p. 60)
CALP represents the cognitive toolbox, entire systems of thought as well as the language to encode and decode this thought. Without the acquisition of CALP, students are incapable of acquiring the in-depth knowledge that characterizes the well-educated individual in a complex modern society.