miércoles, 22 de junio de 2016

What if...?

Chomsky´s nativist approach

Chomsky´s nativist approach
 Regarding Chomsky´s nativist position, it can be said that it is an alternative to understand and explain language acquisition. In fact, this approach has changed completely the way in which acquisition was interpreted up to that moment. For many years, acquisition was associated with Skinner´s theory of behaviorism. However, Chomsky comes to conceptualizes language acquisition as knowledge and it has nothing to do with behavior. That is to say, behaviorism cannot account for human beings´ language acquisition because it has been shown that the ´stimulus´ and `response´ argument is vague and, sometimes, stimulus is discovered from the response; whereas what we know is what really matters. Besides, many aspects of syntax, for example, cannot be learnt from outside. They are built into the mind, Chomsky explanation: “what we know innately.”

Chomsky claims that “acquiring language means progressing from not having any language, S0, to having full competence (efficient use of the language) Ss”. Here, he refers to states of the language faculty where we, as babies, are in an Initial ´state and reach a final state as adults. That is to say, we start from an initial S0 and go through a sequence of stages S1, S2 and so on, and finally we arrive at this “final stage”. It includes a core grammar which provides the principles and parameters of UG (universal grammar), `which is the common possession of all human beings´, and those, which are more variable, peripheral grammar and a mental lexicon of idiosyncratic items.

Taking into account The LAD model (Language Acquisition Device), the device is metaphorically known as a black box through which input, as primary linguistic data, is processed to produce output as a generative grammar. Chomsky refers to the goals of linguistic in three `levels of adequacy´: the observational, the descriptive and the explanatory. The first one has to do with the samples of language (data), the second one refers to linguistic competence and the third aims to provide a principled basis.

Regarding first language acquisition and the nature of evidence available to children, Chomsky states that children need some kind of evidence to acquire a language. There are different types.  One of them is got from observations within the observation they can learn from rules or deduce from the mistakes, that is to say, “learning as well as from what to do and what not to do”. Apart from that, the evidence can be positive or negative. Actually, Chomsky mentions three logically possible types of evidence for acquisition. The first one is the `positive evidence´ that set a parameter of the core grammar to a particular value. There is second evidence known as `direct negative evidence´ which correspond to the corrections of the speech community. The third is ` indirect negative evidence’ which refers to the forms that children usually do not hear. Finally, there are two requirements: occurrence and uniformity. Children need to be shown that something does occur but parental explanations of the Binding Principles actually do not occur. The conclusion is that “acquisition cannot crucially depend upon correction.”

To sum up, Chomsky´s nativist position has introduced this idea of “Innateness” and has shown how humans acquire language. It has left almost aside the paradigm of the “outside” and physical explanation for language acquisition.

sábado, 4 de junio de 2016

Profesora S. Racker 
English and its teaching III - 2016
Theme: The Weather
very young learners-2nd/3rd form primary school
Look at the video Zootopia - Funny moments. Teacher ask s the group of learners. What ´s the weather like?
Exchanging goods and services
Asking for and giving weather conditions
They, at least, will mention the vocabulary: Windy- raining-cold-sunny-foggy
In pairs talk about the scenes. One asks the other one if s/he  remembers what the weather is at that particular scene. The teacher monitors and helps them.  She will play a particular scene if it necessary. They will have a chart in which they will write the chosen option.
Exhanging personal information
For me, It´s windy  in scene 1./ or number 1: It is windy.Number 2: It is raining. No! For me it isn´t raining. It´s cold.
Decide what is the correct weather in each scene. Complete the chart. (E.g. Scene 1: It´s windy. Scene 2: it´s… ) Finally, they will check it.
Exchanging good and services
Expressing the weather
Use of It´s …       to express the weather. Previous vocabulary: Bunny-tiger-wolves-bear-mum dad-
Zootopia Scene Chat
Scene 1 Bunny
It´s windy
Scene2  Bunny and the tiger
It´s raining
Scene3  Bunny and the bear
It´s cold
Scene4  Bunny and mum and dad
It´s sunny
Scene 5 Bunny and the wolves
It´s foggy

The teacher will play the video twice. The first one will be the whole video, then the second just the useful scenes. (less than 3 minutes)And finally,  they will watch just the very specific parts in order to check the chart answers.