An overview of chapter 7 from meyerhoff article on language acquisition

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An overview of chapter 7 from meyerhoff article on language acquisition

Ever wondered what effects does a second language has on your cognitive processes and on your first language? Read on to know more about them! Introduction For many years, it was believed that knowing more than one language would lead to negative consequences such as mental retardation.

However, research done by Peal and Lambert revealed that being bilingual can bring about positive benefits and outcomes.

In the same way, second language is defined as the language that an individual acquires subsequent to their native language Matthews,and is sometimes referred to as the foreign language or L2.

Multilinguals, who are individuals that know more than one language, outnumber monolinguals in the world. More specifically, we will be referring them as bilinguals since we are focusing on acquisition of a second language.

That is, by acquiring a second language, new thought processes are created within an individual.

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The correlation between the two variables — L2 and cognitive processes, can be demonstrated by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which was devised and coined by Hoijer The hypothesis states that language either determines or influences our cognitive thoughts and the ability to form conceptions of the world, with the former being the strong view and the latter being the weak view of the hypothesis.

There has been extensive research done regarding these topics, such that interested readers are often overwhelmed with several differing opinions and conflicting evidence regarding the effects of second language acquisition on thought and language.

This WikiChapter would be focusing on two main bodies of the topic. They are, specifically, how the acquisition of a second language may affect our cognitive processes, and how it may affect our first language.

In the paragraphs below, second language acquisition effects on different aspects of cognition will be discussed. Concepts Several studies have investigated if bilinguals and monolinguals have different concepts in their minds.

One study examined the concepts of Japanese speakers — whether they are affected or modified by the acquisition of English as an L2, particularly for shape and material Cook, Bassetti, Kasai, Sasaki, Takahashi, The hypothesis was that Japanese L1 speakers would categorise shape and material differently, depending on whether they had English as an L2.

The things they had to categorise includes complex objects, which are factory-made artefacts having complex shapes and specific functions e.

Nivea cream laid in a reverse C shape. The hypothesis was supported by findings from the study: Japanese speakers with English as an L2 had a stronger bias for shapes over materials in the classification of complex objects and a stronger bias for materials in the classification of simple objects and substances.

An overview of chapter 7 from meyerhoff article on language acquisition

In addition, the study suggests that language specific mass or count distinctions result in differences in the classification of simple objects, suggesting an intricate link between language and concepts. Findings support the multi-competence hypothesis as well, which refers to the hypothesis that L2 users possess a new conceptual system, distinct from L1 users.skills can actually interfere with language acquisition.

Learner characteristics Anxiety about speaking • Most child learners are willing to try to use the • In Chapter 4, we will see evidence that second language learners draw on what they already know. About us. John Benjamins Publishing Company is an independent, family-owned academic publisher headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


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Evidently, the acquisition of a second language has effects on one’s first language. In both studies, it is shown that there is language transfer from one’s L2 knowledge and skills to their native language skills. Taking into account how the language system in the first language is highly likely to affect the rate of acquisition of the second language, teachers can make use of the similarity of the surface structures in the two languages in order to accelerate the learning of the second language in a student.

An Overview of Chapter 7 from Meyerhoff Article on Language Acquisition ( words, 2 pages) Reflection 4After reading the assigned articles and chapters from Meyerhoff, I found many of them to be interesting.

MacWhinney, B. (Ed.) Mechanisms of language lausannecongress2018.comale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. {Chapter 12} *Pinker, S. (). Resolving a learnability paradox in .

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