Friday, October 19, 2007

Critical Period

I understand that the 'critical Period' hypothesis can be a little easy to hold as an all encompassing reason for the difficulties that we face in the classroom. Yet, I still feel that we need to have it as a consideration. Especially after discovering an updated version of the ‘critical period hypothesis’
“DeKeyser argues that although it is true that there is a critical period, this does not mean that adults cannot learn a second language perfectly, at least on the syntactic level." (wikipedia,takenAug,6,3:30p.m,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_Acquisition_Device).
Also John. B. Carroll talks of ‘Language learning aptitude’, or the “prediction of how well, relative to other individuals, an individual can learn a foreign language in a given amount of time and under given conditions.” (Wikipedia, Language aptitude, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_aptitude
I think that with enough practice, the right motivation, and the right personality, it is quite possible to achieve a high level of competency. Yet, how many of our students can be said to fulfill all these qualifications? As you have said, most of us out there have various responsibilities that take away our time to study, or restrict us in some way.
I just wanted to point to the Critical Hypothesis as a thing to consider in making judgments about our future plans and actions. If it is possible, as Carrol, B., and Pimsleur, P., suggest, we need to gauge in some way, our student’s capacity to learn. Leading us back to the thing I was talking about earlier – Tests. Arghhh! However, there does need to be some thought given to how much are my students ready for what I’m about to present. Depending on the learner’s capacity to learn, we can therefore make judgments on how to proceed. Steven Mondy