English Exercises on language acquisition

 English Exercises on language acquisition


1. This approach is based on the assumption that language acquisition is innately determined and that  we  are  born  with  a  certain  system  of  language  that  we  can  call  on  later.  Numerous  linguists  and  methodologists support this innateness hypothesis. Chomsky, who is the leading proponent, claims that  each human being possesses a set of innate properties of language which is responsible for the child’s  mastery  of  a  native  language  in  such  a  short  time. According  to  Chomsky,  this mechanism,  which  he  calls  the  ‘language  acquisition  device’  (LAD),  ‘governs  all  human  languages,  and  determines  what  possible form human language may take’.  Which theory is it?

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a) The Affective Hypothesis

b) Communicative Language Teaching

c) Creative Construction Theory or the Naturalistic Approach

d) The Cognitive Approach 

2.  Cognitive  psychologists  claim  that  one  of  the  main  features of  second  language  acquisition is  the  building  up  of  a  knowledge  system  that  can  eventually  be  called  on  automatically  for  speaking  and  understanding.  At  first,  learners  have  to  build  up  a  general  knowledge  of  the  language  they  want  to  understand and produce. After a lot of practice and experience they will be able to use certain parts of  their  knowledge  very  quickly  and  without  realizing  that  they  did  so.  Gradually,  this  use  becomes  automatic and the learners may focus on other parts of the language.  Which theory is it?

a) The Affective Hypothesis

b) Communicative Language Teaching

c) Creative Construction Theory or the Naturalistic Approach

d) The Cognitive Approach 

3. This approach has its origins in the changes in the British language teaching tradition dating from the late  1960s  and  more  generally  in  the  developments  of both Europe  and  North America.  This  approach  varies  from  traditional  approaches  because  it  is  learner­centred.  Generally,  this  approach  focuses  on  communicative and contextual factors in language use and it is learner­centred and experience­based.  Which theory is it?

a) The Affective Hypothesis

b) Communicative Language Teaching

c) Creative Construction Theory or the Naturalistic Approach

d) The Cognitive Approach 

4. About Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition, 

I  –  He  distinguishes  between  acquisition  and  learning. Acquisition  is  supposed  to  be  a  subconscious  process which leads to fluency. Learning, on the other hand, is a conscious process which shows itself in terms of learning rules and structures. 

II – Furthermore, he claims that there are three internal processors that operate when  students learn or  acquire  a  second  language:  the  subconscious  ‘filter’  and  the  ‘organizer’  as  well  as  the  conscious ‘monitor’. 

III – The ‘organizer’ determines the organization of the learner’s language system, the usage of incorrect  grammatical  constructions  as  provisional  precursors  of  grammatical  structures,  the  systematical  occurrence of errors in the learner’s utterances as well as a common order in which structures are learnt. 

IV  –  The  ‘filter’  is  responsible  for  conscious  learning.  The  learners  correct  mistakes  in  their  speech  according to their age and self­consciousness.  V – The ‘monitor’ is responsible for the extent to which the learner’s acquisition is influenced by social  circumstances such as motivation and affective factors such as anger or anxiety.  Which is the correct alternative?

a) III, IV and V are correct; I, II and are wrong.  

b) IV and V are correct; I, II and III are wrong.  

c) I and III are correct; II, IV and V are wrong.  

d) I, II and III are correct; IV and V are wrong. 

5. Although there is little discussion of learning theory in the Communicative Approach, there are still  some elements that, according to Richards and Rodgers,  can be defined as  communication principles, task principles and meaningfulness principles. They are: 

I  ­  The  first  one  includes  activities  that  involve  real  communication  which  are  supposed  to  promote learning. 

II ­ The second element describes activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks  which are also supposed to promote learning. 

III ­ The last one states that language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.  Which is the correct alternative?

a) I, II and III are correct.  

b) I, II and III are wrong.  

c) I and II are correct; III is wrong.  

d) I and III are correct; II is wrong. 

6. A central aspect in Communicative Language Teaching is communicative competence. Hymes defines  competence  as what a  speaker  needs  to  know  in  order  to  be  communicatively  competent in  a  speech  community.  Widdowson  presented  a  view  of  the  relationship  between  linguistic  systems  and  their communicative  values  in  text  and  discourse.  Moreover,  Canale  and  Swain  found  four  dimensions  of  communicative competence that are defined as:

a) Grammatical competence, sociolinguistic competence, discourse competence and strategic competence.  b) Learning competence, instructional competence, sociolinguistic competence and discourse competence.  c) Approach competence, learner’s competence, grammatical competence and sociolinguistic competence.  d) Strategic competence, instructional competence, learner’s competence and discourse competence. 

7.  This  model  connects  processing  mechanisms  with  categories  of  attention  to  formal  properties  of  language.  Consequently there  are four  cells.  The  first  one refers  to  focal  automatic  processes  like the  student’s  performance  in  a  test  situation  or  a  violin  player  performing  in  a  concert.  The  second  one  characterizes  focal  controlled  processes  such  as  the  learner’s  performance  based  on  formal  rule  learning.  The  next  cell  refers  to  peripheral  controlled  processes  such  as  the  phenomenon  of  learning  skills without any instruction. The last cell focuses on peripheral automatic processes and can be related to a learner’s performance in situations of communication. Controlled processes are capacity limited and temporary, and automatic processes are relatively permanent.  This model is called:

a) Brown’s Attention­Processing Model

b) Bialostok’s Attention­Processing Model

c) McLaughlin’s Attention­Processing Model

d) Hyme’s Attention­Processing Model 

8. Based on Chomsky’s LAD, Heidi Dulay, Marina Burt and Stephen Krashen developed their Working  model for Creative Construction in L² Acquisition. They believe that: 

I ­ language acquisition is an interaction between the  child’s innate mental  structure and the language  environment. 

II  ­  macro­environmental  factors  such  as  the  naturalness  of  the  language,  the  learner’s  role  in  communication and the availability of concrete referents profoundly influence the learner’s performance. 

III ­ three internal processors, the subconscious filter and the organizer as well as the conscious monitor  operate when students learn or acquire a second language. 

IV  ­  the  three  educational  principles  of  Awareness,  Autonomy  and  Authenticity  provide  teachers  with  strategies and help them develop their own techniques to put those principles into practice.  V ­ social interaction is the vehicle in order to start the process of second language learning. They exactly  defines the starting point as well as the preconditions of the learning process and takes into account the individual learner’s cognitive aspects such as learning styles and strategies.  Which is the correct alternative?

a) III, IV and V are correct; I, II and are wrong.  

b) IV and V are correct; I, II and III are wrong.  

c) I and III are correct; II, IV and V are wrong.  

d) I, II and III are correct; IV and V are wrong. 

9. Many contemporary learning theories suggest that learning (in terms of language learning) has to be related to the existing knowledge of the learner. Moreover, the learner has to become aware of the object  of learning and the material has to reach the student. From the angle of second language learning Leo  van Lier’s approach, we can affirm: 

I  ­  In  contrast  to  Dulay/  Burt/  Krashen’s  approach  of  comprehensible  input  and  L²  acquisition,  which resembles  the  acquisitions  of  L1  ,  van  Lier  defined  a  curriculum  which  is  based  on  the  foundation  principles of Awareness, Autonomy and Authenticity. 

II ­ This curriculum should be seen in a holistic sense, which means that interaction between every part of the curriculum remains an elementary particle, and in a process­oriented sense, which means that great  emphasis  is placed on  the  student’s learning process rather  than  on  test  scores,  assessment  and  the level of certain competences. 

III  ­  Van  Lier  formulates  the  three  educational  principles  of  Awareness,  Autonomy and  Authenticity  to  describe how language is organized and processed in the learner’s mind. 

IV ­ Contrasting van Lier’s model Krashen regards social interaction as the vehicle in order to start the  process of second language learning. He exactly defines the starting point as well as the preconditions of the learning process and takes into account the individual learner’s cognitive aspects such as learning  styles and strategies.  V  ­  Van  Lier  formulates  the  three  educational  principles  of  Awareness,  Autonomy and  Authenticity to  provide teachers with strategies and, to help them develop their own techniques to put those principles into practice.  Which is the correct alternative?

a) I and II are correct; III, IV and V are wrong.  

b) I, II and V are correct; III and IV are wrong.  

c) I, II and III are correct; IV and V are wrong.

d) I and V are correct; II, III and IV are wrong. 

English Exercises on language acquisition

10. Autonomy is based on the learners’ natural tendency to take control over their own learning, which  means that they initiate and manage their own learning, set their own priorities and agendas and attempt to control psychological factors that influence their learning. Even if learners do take control, this does  not imply, however, that they are autonomous. In order to be regarded as autonomous, learners not only  have to try to take control of their learning every now and then but they have to do it systematically; and it is the role of the teacher to encourage and assist them in doing so. If autonomy is to be seen as a goal of language education, teachers and educational institutions should attempt to promote autonomy through  practices that will encourage and enable learners to take more control of all aspects of their learning and  will, thus, help them to become better language learners. 

In the last few years quite a lot of research has been done on learner autonomy and its effects on and implications for foreign language teaching. According to Benson, fundamental findings on autonomy are: 

I ­  Learner  autonomy means  for  the  learner  to  take  an  active,  independent  attitude  to learning  and  to  undertake a learning task independently and, thus, is beneficial to learning. 

II ­ The concept of learner autonomy is supported by some evidence that language learners have a natural tendency to exercise control over their learning. 

III ­  Learner autonomy is a systematic capacity of effective control over various aspects and levels of the learning process; and this personal involvement of the learner in decision making leads to more effective learning.  Which is the correct alternative?

a) I, II and III are correct.  

b) I, II and III are wrong.  

c) I and II are correct; III is wrong.  

d) I and III are correct; II is wrong.


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Answer

  1. C
  2. D
  3. B
  4. D
  5. A
  6. A
  7. C
  8. D
  9. B
  10. A

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