Summary How Languages are Learned 4th edition

ISBN-10 0194541290 ISBN-13 9780194541299
128 Flashcards & Notes
11 Students
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This is the summary of the book "How Languages are Learned 4th edition". The author(s) of the book is/are Patsy M Lightbown Nina Spada. The ISBN of the book is 9780194541299 or 0194541290. This summary is written by students who study efficient with the Study Tool of Study Smart With Chris.

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Summary - How Languages are Learned 4th edition

  • 8 Glossary

  • accessibility hierarchy:
    A ranking of relative clauses developed by Keenan and Comrie (1977). Different languages use relative clauses to modify nouns in different grammatical roles. According to the accessibility hierarchy, for example, most languages allow relative clauses for sentence subjects, while fewer languages allow them for the object of comparison. 
  • accuracy order: 
    The relative accuracy of grammatical forms in learner language. For example, learners are often more accurate in using plural -s than in using possessive ‘s. Some researchers have inferred that an accuracy order is equivalent to a developmental sequence. 
  • action research: 
    Research carried out by teachers, often in their own classrooms or in collaboration with other teachers. The research goals and questions are local and specific to their own teaching environment. 
  • active listening:  
    A teaching technique in which students not only listen but also show their comprehension by their responses. 
  • additive bilingualism:
    Learning a second language without losing the first. 
  • American Sign Language (ASL): 
    The gestural language used by many North Americans who are deaf or who interact with others who are deaf. It is a true language, with complex rules of structure and a rich vocabulary, all expressed through motions of the hands and body. 
  • audiolingual approach:  
    An approach to second or foreign language teaching that is based on the behaviourist theory of learning and on structural linguistics, especially the contrastive analysis hypothesis. This instructional approach emphasizes the formation of habits through the repetition, practice, and memorization of sentence patterns in isolation from each other and from contexts of meaningful use. 
  • auditory discrimination: 
    The ability to distinguish language sounds, for example minimal pairs such as ship/sheep.
  • behaviourism:  
    A psychological theory that all learning, whether verbal or non-verbal, takes place through the establishment of habits. According to this view, when learners imitate and repeat the language they hear in their surrounding environment and are positively reinforced for doing so, habit formation (or learning) occurs. 
  • bilingual education: 
    Schooling in which students receive instruction in two (or more) languages, usually their home language and a second language. 
  • bilingualism:  
    The ability to use more than one language. The word itself does not specify the degree of proficiency in either language. 
  • brain imaging: 
    A variety of techniques that allow researchers to observe and track activity in the brain. 
  • child-directed speech: 
    The language that caretakers address to children. In some cases, this language is simpler than that which is addressed to adults. In some cultures, it is also slower, higher pitched, more repetitive, and includes a large number of questions. 
  • chunk: 
    A unit of language that is often perceived or used as a single unit. Chunks include formulaic expressions such as Thank you or What’s that? but also bits of language that frequently occur together, for example, ice cream cone or significant difference. 
  • classroom observation scheme:  
    A tool (often in the form of a grid) that consists of a set of predetermined categories used to record and describe teaching and learning behaviours. 
  • cognate:  
    word in one language that comes from the same origin as a word in another language and has the same meaning, for example, ‘nation’ in English and nation in French or vaca and vache (cow) in Spanish and French. The term false cognate is used to refer to words that may come from the same origin but have evolved to have different meanings, for example, librairie (bookstore) in French does not have the same meaning as library in English. 
  • cognitive:  
    Relating to how the human mind receives, processes, stores, and retrieves information. The focus is on internal learning mechanisms that are believed to be used for learning in general, not just language learning alone. 
  • cognitive maturity: 
    The ability to engage in problem-solving, deduction, and complex memory tasks. 
  • collaborative dialogue:  
    A conversation between learners in which they work together to solve a problem, for example, reconstructing a story they have heard. While the focus is on the task, learners may also focus on the elements of language that they need to complete the task. 
  • communicative competence:  
    The ability to use language in a variety of settings, taking into account relationships between speakers and differences in situations. The term has sometimes been interpreted as the ability to convey messages in spite of a lack of grammatical accuracy. 
  • communicative language teaching (CLT): 
    CLT is based on the premise that successful language learning involves not only a knowledge of the structures and forms of a language, but also the functions and purposes that a language serves in different communicative settings. This approach to teaching emphasizes the communication of meaning in interaction rather than the practice and manipulation of grammatical forms in isolation. 
  • competence:  
    Linguist Noam Chomsky used this term to refer to knowledge of language. This is contrasted with performance, which is the way a person actually uses language—whether for speaking, listening, reading, or writing. Because we cannot observe competence directly, we have to infer its nature from performance.
  • comprehensible input:  
    A term introduced by Stephen Krashen to refer to language that a learner can understand. It may be comprehensible in part because of gestures, contextual information, or prior knowledge/experience. 
  • comprehensible output hypothesis:  
    The hypothesis that successful second language acquisition depends on learners producing language (oral or written). Swain (1985) proposed this hypothesis in response to Krashen’s (1985) comprehensible input hypothesis. 
  • comprehension-based instruction: 
    A general term to describe a variety of second language programmes in which the focus of instruction is on comprehension rather than production. 
  • connectionism: 
    A theory of knowledge (including language) as a complex system of units that become interconnected in the mind as they are encountered together. The more often units are heard or seen together, the more likely it is that the presence of one will lead to the activation of the other. 
  • content and language-integrated learning (CLIL): 
    An approach to content-based language teaching that has been developed primarily in secondary schools in Europe. 
  • content-based language teaching (CBLT): 
    Second language instruction in which lessons are organized around subject matter rather than language points. For example, in immersion programmes, students study science, history, mathematics, etc. in their second language. 
  • contrastive analysis hypothesis (CAH):  
    The expectation that learners will have less difficulty acquiring target language patterns that are similar to those of the first language than those that are different. 
  • control group: 
    In experimental studies, a group of learners that differs from the experimental group only in terms of the single variable that the researcher is investigating. Performance of the control group is used to show that the variable in question is the best (or only) explanation for changes in the experimental group. Also sometimes referred to as ‘comparison group’.
  • corpus (plural: corpora): 
    A principled collection of oral or written language samples that can usually be accessed and explored with computer- based tools. Some of the most famous corpora contain millions of words from, for example, newspapers. Samples of the language produced by learners have also been collected for second language acquisition research. 
  • corpus linguistics: 
    An approach to the study of language that is based on the analysis of language corpora. See corpus. 
  • corrective feedback:  
    An indication to a learner that his or her use of the target language is incorrect. 
  • correlation:
    A statistical procedure that compares the relative frequency or size of different variables in order to determine whether there is a relationship between them.
  • counterbalance hypothesis:  
    The hypothesis that learners’ attention will be drawn to classroom events that are different from those they are accustomed to. 
  • critical period hypothesis (CPH):  
    The proposal that there is a limited period during which language acquisition can occur. 
  • cross-linguistic influence:  
    The effect on knowledge of one language by the knowledge of another. This term is preferred over previous terms such as interference to indicate that knowledge of one language can be beneficial to learning another. The term also reflects the fact that the influence can go from a known language to the one being learned but also from the new language to one already known. 
  • cross-sectional study: 
    A study in which participants at different ages and/or stages of development are studied. This contrasts with longitudinal studies. 
  • declarative knowledge:  
    Information that we have and know we have. An example would be a rule such as ‘the verb must agree with the subject to form a correct sentence’. In some skill learning theories, it has been hypothesized that all learning begins with declarative knowledge. This contrasts with procedural knowledge. 
  • descriptive study:  
    Research that does not involve any manipulation, change, or intervention in the phenomenon being studied. The researcher’s goal is to observe and record what is happening. This contrasts with experimental study. 
  • developmental features: 
    Those aspects of a language which, according to Pienemann and his colleagues, develop in a particular sequence, regardless of input variation, learner motivation, or instructional intervention. 
  • developmental sequence:  
    The order in which certain features of a language (for example, negation) are acquired in language learning. Also called developmental stages or order of acquisition. 
  • display question:  
    A question to which the asker already knows the answer. Teachers often ask these questions (for example, What colour is your shirt?) to get the learner to display his or her knowledge of the language. 
  • enhanced input: 
    Input that is altered in an effort to make some language features more salient to learners. It can be more or less explicit, ranging from explicit metalinguistic comments to typographical enhancement (bold type or underlining) or exaggerated stress in speaking. 
  • ethnography:  
    Descriptive research in which the observer seeks to understand a group or community from within its own perspective. The research requires extensive periods of observation as well as consultation with group members to validate the observer’s descriptions. 
  • experimental study:  
    Research designed to test a hypothesis about the impact of one or more specific variables on another variable. A strictly experimental study would have ‘experimental’ and ‘control’ groups that differ from each other only in the presence or absence of the variable(s) of interest. In educational research, it is often difficult to create all of the conditions that permit a study to be termed as a ‘genuine’ experimental study. In this book, the term is used in a non-technical sense to refer to research in which an attempt has been made to investigate a single variable in an educational setting. 

  • field independent/field dependent:  

    This distinction has been used to describe people who differ in their tendency to see the forest or the trees. That is, some people (called field independent) are very quick to pick out the hidden figures in a complicated drawing. Others (called field dependent) are more inclined to see the whole drawing and have difficulty separating it into parts. 
  • first language (L1, mother tongue, native language): 
    The language first learned. Many children learn more than one language from birth and may be said to have more than one ‘first’ language. 
  • foreigner talk: 
    The modified or simplified language that some native speakers address to second language learners. A special category of foreigner talk is teacher talk. 
  • foreign language learning: 
    This refers to the learning of a language, usually in a classroom setting, in a context where the target language is not widely used in the community (for example, learning French in China). This is sometimes contrasted with ‘second language learning’, where the language being learned is used in the community (for example, learning Italian in Florence).
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Grammatical morphemes
Dont know
zone of proximal development (ZPD):
The metaphorical ‘place’ in which a learner is capable of a higher level of performance because there is support from interaction with an interlocutor. In Vygotsky’s theory, learning takes place through and during interaction in the learner’s ZPD.
working memory (WM):
The cognitive ‘space’ in which we actively process new information or information that is currently in focus. Also called ‘short-term memory’.
willingness to communicate (WTC):
The predisposition of learners toward or away from communicating in a second/foreign language. Several factors contribute to WTC including social, individual, situational, and motivational.
A way of speaking and using language that is typical of a particular regional, socioeconomic, or ethnic group. The term ‘dialect’ is sometimes used. Some language varieties are stigmatized as ‘uneducated’ but each language variety has its own rules and patterns that are as complex and systematic as those of the so-called ‘standard’ language. Among the most studied non-standard varieties of English are British Cockney and African- American Vernacular English.
variational features:
In contrast to the developmental features in the framework developed by Pienemann and his colleagues, variational features (for example, vocabulary, some grammatical morphemes) can be learned at any point in the learner’s development.
An element or characteristic that can be measured or defined. Variables can differ in different groups or change over time within a group or individual. Some examples of variables that are commonly examined in language acquisition research include the amount of time a person has been learning the language, scores on aptitude tests, and performance on measures of language knowledge.
This term is sometimes used in a general sense to refer to what a learner notices and/or retains in second language input or instruction. Lyster and Ranta’s (1997) definition refers to a learner’s observable immediate response to corrective feedback on his/her utterances.
universal grammar (UG):
Innate linguistic knowledge which, it is hypothesized, consists of a set of principles common to all languages. This term is associated with Chomsky’s theory of language acquisition.
transfer-appropriate processing (TAP):
Cognitive psychologists have observed that when we learn something new, we also internalize some aspects of the circumstances and thinking processes that were present when we learned it. The TAP hypothesis is that knowledge is easier to retrieve if we are returned to or can recreate those circumstances and thinking processes.