Mind & Context: Adult Second Language Acquisition | Essay Review

RESPONSE TO CHAPTER 15: ATTENTION AND AWARENESS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Almost every theoretical research garnered from the body of existing works on cognitive science and linguistic studies indicate a direct relationship between attention and awareness in second language acquisition. (Ullman, 2005) The highlight of this chapter is the same. The effect on the input and intake of the second language learner in terms of the instructional facilities available, the environment and the context of acquisitions often come into play while computing the procedural impact of age, attention, and awareness of the subject on his/her capacity to imbibe a foreign language.

Taking into account the immense range of psychological, physical and contextual variables, I can safely say that, all the studies conducted on the effects and importance of attention and awareness in SLA, especially in formal instructional settings like classrooms, unequivocally suggest a direct cognitive psychological pathway between attention, memory, retention of information and learning. Quite simply then, attention and awareness are primary requisites for a reliable, long term and relatively permanent acquisition of the grammars and rhetoric of L2.
However, I think the main thrust of the developmental studies on this research paradigm should be on the capacity of a simulated environment to create an optimum level of awareness and attention within the subject. That is, an input/intake methodology that can offer a cognitive approach to learning through technical/visual tools providing target stimuli to the brain, thus aiding attention and awareness of the subject.

A RESPONSE TO CHAPTER 17: NEUROCOGNITION OF SECOND LANGUAGE

The interconnectedness between varied academic disciplines spanning multiple knowledge bases and subject bodies has been of particular interest to me. My significant interest in this particular chapter on SLA is mainly centered on the various links drawn between neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and linguistic acquisition. Much of the studies associated with Second Language Acquisition in late learners have been encapsulated in an informed manner, providing a strong theoretical background for the reader. It helped me to navigate my way through the various dimensions of neuronal and cognitive processes associated with linguistic input and intake.

I believe that the conjunction of the bio-scientific bases with linguistic studies is an extremely important and innovative step towards an interdisciplinary interface of academics that provides a bridge between the arts and the sciences. I further found the body of neurocognitive research by Abutalebi, Hernandez, Mueller, Kotz, Indefrey, Schmidt and Roberts, among others, particularly illuminating in mapping the differential dynamics between L1 and L2 acquisition in neuroscientific terms. The summation of the four cognitive models is pithy and informative. The assessments of the Declaration/ Procedural Method, the Competition model, Pradis’ Model and the Convergence hypothesis are lucid and make a difficult subject comparatively easier to grasp, highlighting the brain systems functioning to compute and process linguistic and non-linguistic triggers. (Ullman, 2005)

In the end, after reading the data provided in this loaded chapter, I realize that gaps still exists in our knowledge of the neuronal, psychological and computational dynamics of the exact procedures of language acquisitions. (Ullman, 2005) However, with the steadily rising interest in linguistic studies and psychosocial approaches to the same, we are gradually moving towards a more comprehensive understanding of its methodology that will successfully bridge these gaps.

 

Reference
Ullman, M. T. (2005). “A cognitive neuroscience perspective on second language acquisition: The declarative/procedural model”. Mind and Context in Adult second Language Acquisition, 141-178.