THEORY APPLICATION PAPER 8
The world is progressively becoming a global community, promptingindividuals to learn how to communicate in different languages. Thisexplains the emergence of foreign or second language learning, aswell as its instruction. Everyone that undertakes the initiative tolearn another language endeavors to be capable of eloquentlycommunicating and writing in the foreign language they learn. Unlikea young child learning a language for the first time, foreignlanguage learning differs because of the learner’s traits andsurrounding. In most instances, learners want to learn a secondlanguage within a short period of time and for specific reasons. Thediversity in reasons has prompted the emergence of numerous learningprograms. There exists diversity in the methodologies of learning andinstructing another language in all fields of study. These programsand methodologies are advertised for learners and teachers to selectthose they deem suitable. This paper evaluates an advertised programon language learning. It provides a summary of the advertisement,which includes the program’s assertions, strategy in learning andmaterials utilized. The paper also determines the effectiveness ofthe advertised program through identifying links with theories.
The advertisement advocates a program, which activates learningsenses in a simultaneous method. This ensures that learners arecapable of learning the foreign language via sight, listening, speechand practice, as is the similar technique applied in Englishlearning. Support for the program is based on the argument that thelearning methods engage the whole mind, making it possible tointeract in the foreign language within 24 days. Contrary toconventional techniques, which insist on reading and writing, theprogram in all-inclusive. Referring to Nobel Prize-WinningResearch, the program claims that an all-inclusive learningstrategy, which includes linguistic connection, mnemonics, realconversations among others, engrosses learners into understanding theforeign language naturally. The program is a combination of audio,visual and physical learning methods. Audio learning involveslistening to audio plays. When the plays are repeated, they allow thelearner to practice and easily recall words through stimulation ofthe left and right brain. Visual learning is facilitated throughprinted texts in both English and the foreign language. The texts areillustrated using maps, which make it easy for the reader toremember. Learners learn physically by emulating what they see andhear in the audio plays. The learning program comprisesaudiocassettes, guidebook, video, useful cards and games in additionto an instructive booklet.
Evaluation: Connection between Advertisement and Theories
The advertisement argues that the learning program is advanced, aswell as effective. This is because the program ensures that thelearner becomes acquitted with proper conversational skills. Indemonstrating the program’s effectiveness, the advertisementcompares conventional and modern foreign language learning models. Inopposition of conventional language learning technique is theargument that they insist more on how to read and write. Thetraditional grammar translation strategy was more concerned aboutensuring learners understood grammar rules then translate English tothe second language. This made it impossible for learners tocommunicate in the foreign language. According to the advertisement,learners should be trained through thinking in a different language.Behaviorism theory supports the program’s use of only the secondlanguage in teaching the target language. In reference to the theory,the first language is an impediment when learning a second language.Since learners study through listening and repeating, they do notneed to use their first language. This is especially the case whenthe first language differs from the foreign language (Celce-Murcia,2013 Saville-Troike, 2006).
Behaviorism theory further supports the advertisement by advocatingfor audiolingualism, which replaces the traditional grammartranslation learning strategy. Audiolingualism demonstrates languagelearning as a manner of developing behaviors and oral connections.This means that learners are merely required to listen and replicatewhat they hear and do not have to think about connotations(Celce-Murcia, 2013 Lightbown and Spada, 2006). The eventuality isthat they form habits due to recurrent practice. Audiolingualism alsoinvolves the use of learning aids like, images and audios to enhancecomprehension. It is important to note that the first language is notutilized in any of these interventions. Teachers can engage learnersin activities where they memorize, and imitate what is said in thelearning aids. The teachers listen to what the students say and theycorrect them (Celce-Murcia, 2013 Lightbown and Spada, 2006).Similarly, the advertisement incorporates audiolingualism as alearning approach. The program comprises of audio, visual andphysical learning. Learners listen to audio plays, which they can useto repeat what is said. The second language is printed and comprisesof learning maps. Physical learning involves imitating what learnerssee and hear.
Krashen’s acquisition-learning theory supports the statement inthe advertisement that learners study in the similar manner as theydid with English. Acquisition means that learning occurs naturally asis the case in small children learning their first language. Childrenare capable of learning a language without instruction, objective oflearning and lack discernment when learning (Lightbown & Spada,2006 Course handout W6). Learning refers to acquiring understandingof a language via conscious concentration, though effortlessly. Thismeans that foreign language understanding happens after learners areexposed to the language’s inputs, which they comprehendunconsciously (Lightbown & Spada, 2006). However, Krashen’smonitor hypothesis is against the statement that foreign languagestudying happens just like in learning English. Monitor hypothesisnotes that learned knowhow merely acts as an overseer, which observesthe truth and preciseness of individual output. Second languagelearners are active and conscious when learning hence, it is notpossible to learn through the advertised program. It is possible thatlearners will not become fluent speakers when they employ theadvertised program. This is because, as monitor hypothesis notes,conscious knowledge is for evaluating correctness and notcommunicating easily. Conversely, when referring to the socioculturaltheory, learning entails conscious premeditated objective orientedand consequential input. In informational processing fluency isachieved through progressive practice, which happens consciously(Lightbown & Spada, 2006 Course handout W6).
Krashen’s affective hypothesis and the interaction hypothesisconnect to the advertisement by supporting the statement that audio,visual and physical learning make language learning enjoyable. Thematerials used in aiding learning compel students to see, hear andspeak in the language they are learning. Affective hypothesis arguesthat acquisition happens when fear and self-consciousness levels areminimal. The same is replicated in the advertisement where theprogram commences with an engaging video, which introduces learnersto basic terms. The video makes it possible to comprehend new wordswithin 24 days. As a result, self-confidence enhances andself-consciousness fades. Interaction hypothesis aids learning viaavailing opportunities for pushed output, modified input andcorrective response. In modified input, strategies are employed toensure what the student is learning is more comprehensible. This isillustrated through the video used in the advertised program. Thehypothesis notes that understanding results in production, whichmakes the use of senses relevant (Lightbown & Spada, 2006 Coursehandout W6).
The input processing theory does not support the advertisement. Theadvertisement claims that through repetition of all plays to music,both the left and right brain are stimulated by the audiocassettes.Hence, connecting words becomes instant. Contrary, the theory notesthat it is hard, and impossible for learners to deal with meaning andform concurrently. Learners are incapable of concentrating on thelanguage’s form, the left-brain, and denotation, the right brain,concurrently since the processing capability is minimal (Lightbownand Spada, 2006VanPatten, 2004). The sociocultural theory alsodisputes one of the claims made in the advertisement. The programsupposes that it is possible to learn a foreign language withoutemploying the first language. The theory states that the brainfunctions due to a mediated procedure systematized through cultureartifacts, and ideas. Humans employ already present artifacts informing advent ones (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). This means that forsomeone to learn something new, you need to refer to what is alreadylearned. In this case learning a second language will imply referringto the English language already learned.
The advertisement claims to offer a current learning approach. Thisis because of the criticism towards conventional approaches.Conventionally, individuals may learn a second language, though at aslow pace because it entails learning one word at a go. Learning oneword at a go eliminates the need for learners to study in groups.This implies that they cannot communicate with others. The statementis supported by the sociocultural theory, which notes that feedbackfrom instructors or peers is relevant in language learning (Lantolf &Thorne, 2006). Learning alone means that one does not have someone tocorrect him or her immediately when a mistake is made. Although theadvertisement does not state if people can work in groups, it doesprovide learning material for learners to refer. This means that incase one makes a mistake they can correct it. The cognitive viewpointalso supports learning in units. The units are phrases that occur inunison, in place of learning a word at a time. Such learning makes itpossible for learners to communicate fast and repeatedly. However,the advertised program also differs with sociocultural theory andcognitive perspective as it insists on learning each phrase in adifferent manner, instead of learning units of words (Lightbown &Spada, 2006).
The theories highlight some of the shortcomings apparent in theadvertisement. This implies that for the program to be effective, itis necessary to make some amends. There are many language-learningprograms to choose from and learners should ensure that the programselected meets their needs and requirements. One of the issues thatneed to be corrected involves the need to emphasize on how learnerscan learn through word units in place of single words. Learners needto be informed on why they should learn words in units. Another issueinvolves ensuring that the program does not compare second languagelearning to first language learning. This is because the contextunder which both languages are learnt differs. By employing theguidelines of the interaction hypothesis, learners realize the roleof modified interaction when studying a foreign language. The setperiod ’24 days’ should be revised. Probably an anonymous periodcould be more appropriate. Although it may draw learners to theprogram, when they fail to learn the language within 24 days, theymay feel demoralized.
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Lantolf, J. P & Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural theory andthe genesis of second language development. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press.
Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2013). How languages arelearned (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford UniversityPress.
Saville-Troike, M. (2006). Introducing second languageacquisition. New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
VanPatten, B. (2004). Input processing in adult second languageacquisition. In B. VanPatten., & J.Williams (Eds.), Theoriesin second language acquisition-An introduction (pp. 115- 135).NewJersey, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.