A Philosophy of Second Language Acquisition

Yale University Press
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divdivHow does a person learn a second language? In this provocative book, Marysia Johnson proposes a new model of second language acquisition (SLA)—a model that shifts the focus from language competence (the ability to pass a language exam) to language performance (using language competently in real-life contexts).

Johnson argues that current SLA theory and research is heavily biased in the direction of the cognitive and experimental scientific tradition. She shows that most models of SLA are linear in nature and subscribe to the conduit metaphor of knowledge transfer: the speaker encodes a message, the hearer decodes the sent message. Such models establish a strict demarcation between learners’ mental and social processes. Yet the origin of second language acquisition is located not exclusively in the learner’s mind but also in a dialogical interaction conducted in a variety of sociocultural and institutional settings, says the author. Drawing on Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and Bakhtin’s literary theory, she constructs an alternative framework for second language theory, research, teaching, and testing. This approach directs attention toward the investigation of dynamic and dialectical relationships between the interpersonal (social) plane and the intrapersonal (individual) plane. Johnson’s model shifts the focus of SLA away from a narrow emphasis on language competence toward a broader view that encompasses the interaction between language competence and performance.

Original and controversial, A Philosophy of Second Language Acquisition offers:
·        an introduction to Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and Bakhtin’s literary theory, both of which support an alternative framework for second language acquisition;
·        an examination of the existing cognitive bias in SLA theory and research;
·        a radically new model of second language acquisition.
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About the author

Marysia Johnson is assistant professor of linguistics at Arizona State University, where she works extensively in the area of second language acquisition research.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Yale University Press
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Published on
Oct 1, 2008
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780300129410
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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James W. Heisig
The aim of this book is to provide the student of Japanese with a simple method for correlating the writing and the meaning of Japanese characters in such a way as to make them both easy to remember. It is intended not only for the beginner, but also for the more advanced student looking for some relief from the constant frustration of how to write the kanji and some way to systematize what he or she already knows. The author begins with writing because--contrary to first impressions--it is in fact the simpler of the two. He abandons the traditional method of ordering the kanji according to their frequency of use and organizes them according to their component parts or "primitive elements." Assigning each of these parts a distinct meaning with its own distinct image, the student is led to harness the powers of "imaginative memory" to learn the various combinations that result. In addition, each kanji is given its own key word to represent the meaning, or one of the principal meanings, of that character. These key words provide the setting for a particular kanji's "story," whose protagonists are the primitive elements. In this way, students are able to complete in a few short months a task that would otherwise take years. Armed with the same skills as Chinese or Korean students, who know the meaning and writing of the kanji but not their pronunciation in Japanese, they are now in a much better position to learn to read (which is treated in a separate volume). For further information and a sample of the contents, visit http: ///www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/miscPublications/Remembering_the_Kanji_l.htm.
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