SLS 302

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SLS 302
2012-09-06 00:56:09

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  1. Developmental sequences
    The order of which certain features of a language (for example, negation) are acquired in language learning. Also called developmental stages
  2. Telegraphic speech
  3. Function words
    Words that are used mainly as linking or supporting words for nouns, verbs, adjective and adverbs. For example, prepositions (to, for, by) and articles (a, the) are two types of function words. They have little or no meaning when they occur alone, but they have an important effect on the meaning of the words they accompany
  4. Grammatical morphemes
    Morphemes are the smallest units of language that carry meaning. A simple word is a morpheme (for example, book) but when we talk about ‘grammatical morpheme' we are usually referring to smaller units that are added to words to alter their meaning (ie. the -s in 'books' indicates plural) or function words (ie. the) which are ordinarily attached to another word.
  5. Longitudinal study vs. Cross-sectional study
    Longitudinal Study: A study in which the same learners are studies over a period of time.

    Cross-sectional Study: A study in which participants at different ages and/or stages of development are studies. Inferences about sequences that would apply to the development of individual learners are sometimes drawn from cross-sectional studies
  6. Metalinguistic awareness
    The ability to treat language as an object, for example, being able to define a word, or to say that sounds make up that word
  7. Register
    A style or way of using language that is typically of or appropriate for a particular setting. For example, speaking and writing usually require different registers; the register used in writing a research report is different from that used writing a letter to a friend
  8. Variety
    A way of speaking a 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 studies non-standard varieties of English are British cockney and African-American Vernacular English
  9. Subtractive bilingualism
    Partially or completely losing the first language as a second language is acquired
  10. Additive bilingualism
    Learning a second language without losing the first
  11. Behaviorism
    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
  12. Innatism/Nativism
    Innatism: A theory that human beings are born with mental structures that are designed specifically for the acquisition of language
  13. Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH)
    The proposal that there is a limited period during which language acquisition can occur. The strong version of the CPH is that there are biological mechanisms specifically designed for language acquisition and that these cease to be available at or even before puberty. Thus an older learner has no use general learning mechanisms that are not designed for - and thus not as effective for - language acquisition. The weak version is that, even though the same learning mechanisms are involved, second language learning will be more difficult for older learners.
  14. Interactionsim
  15. 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 or speaking, listening, reading or writing. Because we cannot observe competence directly, we have to infer its nature from performance.
  16. 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 though and during interaction in the learner’s ZPD
  17. 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
  18. Interlocutor
    A participant in a conversation