By Birgit Harley
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Extra info for Age in second language acquisition
Thus, although the adult may get sufficient quantities of input, it does not all become intake (Krashen, 1981b:9). A further viewpoint on the kind of L2 input that is conducive to acquisition is provided by Scarcella & Higa (1982). They agree with Wagner-Gough & Hatch that in a natural setting the conversation demands placed on older L2 learners by native speakers are greater than for children, and show in an experiemental study that in coping with these demands, adolescent learners take a more active role than child learners in negotiating understanding and sustaining conversations.
The extent to which various features of the verb system have been acquired is analysed in relation to semantic notions such as time, aspect, modality, number, and person. The aims of the study are: (a) to determine whether there are differences in L2 acquisition that can be associated with particular starting ages for an immersion type of school program, and (b) to provide information of value to educators concerned with designing curricula for such communicative L2 programs commencing at different age levels.
Young children, Ausubel observes, "are limited to the much less efficient approach of discovering syntactical rules through repetitious exposure to models and corrective feedback" (Ausubel, 1964:421). Cummins (1983a) hypothesizes that relative cognitive maturity may be an advantage for acquiring only certain aspects of L2 proficiency. He conceptualizes language proficiency along two continua, one of which relates to the range of contextual support available for expressing or receiving meaning, and the other to the degree of active cognitive involvement in a task or activity.