THE RATIONALE OF AN INVARIANT-BASED TEXTBOOK THEORY OF SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

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Abstract. The elaboration of a textbook theoretical design is conventionally conceived as a manifold of broadly-focused premises establishing essentials relevant to the principled status of a theory in general. Moreover, a second language textbook theory (SLTT) derives from the broad-ranging theory of second language acquisition (SLA) reconstituting SLA patterns in transformed projections. Textbook theory thus being inextricably linked with the science of language acquisition, there inevitably emerges a controversy over the multiplicity, if not infinity, of SLA regularities and the necessitated selectivity of textbook basics. In this regard there emerge limited and limiting concerns. Certain assumptions about L2 learning which are prevalent in society and education now rest on the teacher-centered, or ‘delivery’ centered view of language acquisition, thus displaying short-term performance concerns. Current trends towards mastering real L2 communication in the forms of activities and tasks replicating those of real life often create an illusion of high-level performance demonstrated in class. Real-world task-use situation are highly fluid and infinite in number and therefore those specifically chosen and designed for language learning might verbally differ from actual occurrences in social intercourse. It is usually not the learner who chooses instructional tasks. Hence language acquisition gets
a tint of imposition and lack of motivation on the part of the individual. On the other hand, the longer-term developmental concerns of students and society at large are sidelined as the deep-rooted language essentials are marginalized and supplanted by a diversified set of language elements oriented at task-based activities. Hence the crucial issue of any textbook development is the proportion of theoretical to practical knowledge which generates the necessary and sufficient whole for the learner to master a language and be able to develop their competence further autonomously. The Universal Invariant-Based Binary Predication Theory offers a solution to the problem through the application of a minimal sense unit. It claims that the least meaningful unity is the result of two different language elements – argument and predicate – naturally fitting together. The Theory’s commitment to the overall content homogeneity of terms allows for a longitudinal representation of any textbook conception regardless of the approach chosen. The holistic model provides for an efficient inventory of theoretical premises and practical means of language acquisition.

Keywords: language acquisition, textbook theory, binary theory, binary predicative unit

Elena S. Orlova

N.I. Lobachevsky Nizhny Novgorod State University
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
e-mail: orlova_es50@list.ru

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