The Universal Invariant-Based SLA Theory: A View in the Binary Projection

The Universal Invariant-Based SLA Theory: A View in the Binary Projection

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2672-9.ch002
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SLA is a broad multilateral realm of theoretical and applied projections. The discipline being topical for the world community, its coterminous issues are rather summarily thrown together, but actually spread out or split up of the field originally meant as a more concentrated and closely-knit nucleus. The research mainstream branches out into numerous aspects of language acquisition, most of which are ‘cross-sectional'. The heterology of research approaches hinders the progress towards the development of a well-balanced unified SLA theory relying on the basics inherent in science at large. A theory like that is aimed at the elimination of any ambiguity and confusion, so that anyone could similarly interpret it. Although the idea sounds like a utopian goal so far, a number of steps could be taken for SLA integrity to get closer and ultimately to transpire. A holistic theoretical model of SLA requires that its modules be represented on the basis of the same property, or radix. In the model developed, the radix is identified as a minimal predicative unit being formed. The unit takes shape in the process of predication, which can be referred to as the act of joining initially independent objects of thought expressed by self-determining words—predicate and argument—in order to convey any idea. Predication is a most important function of language cognition due to which the real and individualized worlds converge in the learner's mind. Hence, predication is not just a common fundamental of language, social intercourse, and individual inner thought activity but actually a medium creating the environment in which all three spheres mentioned function cohesively. The SLA Universal Invariant-Based Binary Predication Theory is identified in terms of its domain, content and procedural phenomena, principles, rules and regularities, binary opposition logic. and idealized object.
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The previous chapter is mainly focused on the interdependence of SLA and SLTT reciprocally interconnected through the overwhelming realm of language acquisition. Since SLTT is reckoned to be made up by elements and qualities derived from SLA as an ultimate source, the end in view of the present Chapter infers a detailed analysis of relevant SLA characteristics including those considered in terms of complexity theory. The viewing of a few language learning theory idiosyncrasies given in the previous Chapter helps to develop an understanding of the main hindering factors preventing from a steady advance of the field. SLA theorizing is known to have been developing within a broad scope circumscribed by the extreme edges of language structure orientation and purely nativist position. Nevertheless, the diametrically opposed stances on SLA theory building do not unambiguously delineate its realm. Distinguished by an ample extent from boundary to boundary, the area of SLA is not marked off by any circumambient lines revealing the construction of the domain. In the absence of overall underlying frames established and acknowledged by the associated community, the current state-of-the arts in SLA theorizing is characterized by performance data being inevitably the researchers’ mainstay, but their “understanding underlying competence, not the external verbal behavior that depends on that competence, is the ultimate goal” (Doughty & Long, 2005, p.1). The authors set out the following.

Researchers recognize that SLA takes place in a social context, of course, and accept that it can be influenced by this context, both micro and macro. However, they also recognize that language learning, like any other learning, is ultimately a matter of change in an individual’s internal mental state. As such, research on SLA is increasingly viewed as a branch of cognitive science. (Doughty C.J. & Long M.H., 2005, p.1)

C.J. Doughty & M.H. Long especially emphasize the fact that the vast majority of SLA studies are not ‘longitudinal’ but ‘cross-sectional’, “with serious resulting limitations on the conclusions that can be drawn in some important issues” (p. 1). The researchers admit that “theory proliferation remains a weakness … but the experience of more mature disciplines in overcoming this and related teething problems is gradually being brought to bear” (p. 1). Nevertheless, the data on SLA has been in great demand on the part of both communities and individuals as “a widespread, highly complex, uniquely human, cognitive process, language learning of all kinds merits careful study for what it can reveal about the nature of the human mind and intelligence” (p. 3).

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