Synthesis of Recent Research on Language Acquisition

Traditionally, researchers in the areas of linguistics, psychology, and sociology have all contributed major theoretical positions regarding how young children acquire their first language or mother tongue. More recently, research using various types of brain scans is contributing evidence that supports some of these theories and appears to contradict or call for revisions to other theories. This course will guide you to this brain-based research to complement the information other courses will provide about currently recommended approaches, methods, techniques, and strategies for language acquisition and learning.

When you look at the list of readings for this assignment, you may be tempted to count them and decide to skip several. What you need to know is that each of the ScienceDaily research reports is about one page in length and is a very simple, clear summary of research results for a particular study and each one presents a different aspect, issue, or context related to the topics in this module. While you may not choose to cite every one of the sources, you need to read all of them to determine which ones “build a case” for your particular way of synthesizing the information.

Keep in mind that you will use these resources to reinforce and/or contradict or modify the theories and hypotheses discussed in the presentations, other readings, and in other courses you have taken. Most textbooks for language acquisition courses and ESL methods courses do not include the type of research reported in these recent ScienceDaily reports, so they provide an excellent resource to use in confronting, debating, and clarifying the syntheses of research reflected in even the best-written and most current course textbooks.

In this module’s application, you will read brief reports on research related to language acquisition. You will synthesize the research consulted, cite sources accurately, and state conclusions that are consistent as they relate to the following three topics:

  • how language is acquired by babies and very young children.
  • how speaking more than one language impacts the way languages are acquired, developed, and learned.
  • how learning an additional language after adolescence or as an adult affects the learner.

 Directions for Completion:

  1. Your Module 3 Application consists of three parts, which will be included in one paper. Use the title, Synthesis of Recent Research for your main title with subheadings as specified in the assignment.
  2. Create a Word or text document for your response. Use 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font. Follow APA format.
  3. Create a title page in APA format.
  4. Compose introductory and concluding paragraphs for your paper.
  5. Part 1: Follow the directions for “Synthesis of Recent Research on Language Acquisition: Baby Talk” to complete Part 1 in the Word or text document.
  6. Part 2: Follow the directions for “Synthesis of Recent Research on Language Acquisition and the Impact of Speaking More Than One Language” to complete Part 2 in the Word or text document.
  7. Part 3: Follow the directions for “Synthesis of Recent Research on the Impact of Language Acquisition After Adolescence” to complete Part 3 in the Word or text document.
  8. Compose an introduction to establish context for the paper and a conclusion to summarize the research findings. 
    In order to situate your point of view and assist your professor in understanding your perspective, for this course in particular, your introduction to each assignment should mention the following:
    1. the setting and location where you currently work and/or live (if not currently teaching);
    1. previous contexts where you have taught English, ESL, or EFL, and
    1. your personal life experiences with learning different languages and living in different cultural and social settings.
  9. Follow the directions for submission to submit your final Word or text document.
  10. Use the references that are provided to you within the assignment. Please note that unlike journal references, ScienceDaily research reports follow the format for newspapers or daily/weekly online magazines that use the complete date in reverse order and the URL that goes directly to that article because they do not have volume/issue information.
  11. The authors of the research reports are the institutions that sent in the report to brag about what their scholars are doing. You may abbreviate the names of the institutions in the citations when it is clear which source you are citing, and you only need the year for the in-text citation, unless you cite more than one article from the same source in the same year.
  12. Please only use and cite the ScienceDaily articles you actually read, not the additional journal articles that may be cited in the ScienceDaily article. If you accessed and read those journal articles, of course, you may cite them; but this assignment intends for you to only use the brief research reports in ScienceDaily.

Part 1: Synthesis of Recent Research on Language Acquisition: Baby Talk

Directions for Completion:

  • Access and read the articles, and make notes on how language is acquired by babies and very young children.
  • According to the research reported in these brief reports, synthesize a point of view regarding how language is acquired by babies and very young children. The synthesis should be a maximum of 200 words. Use the subheading, Language Acquisition and Baby Talk Synthesis.
  • Cite at least two articles from which you drew your information, correctly using APA format.
  • Beware! If you look at the end of a ScienceDaily article for the APA reference and see quotation marks, that is the Chicago Style Sheet version. You have to click on the APA tab above the reference citation to get the APA formatting.

Part 2: Synthesis of Recent Research on Language Acquisition and the Impact of Speaking More Than One Language 

Directions for Completion:

  • Access and read the brief articles, and make notes on how speaking more than one language impacts the way languages are acquired, developed, and learned.
  • According to the research reported in these brief reports, synthesize a point of view regarding how speaking more than one language impacts the way languages are acquired, developed, and learned. The synthesis should be a maximum of 200 words. Use the subheading, Language Acquisition and the Impact of Speaking More Than One Language
  • Cite at least two articles from which you drew your information, correctly using APA format.
  • Beware! If you look at the end of a ScienceDaily article for the APA reference and see quotation marks, that is the Chicago Style Sheet version. You have to click on the APA tab above the reference citation to get the APA formatting. 

Part 3: Synthesis of Recent Research on the Impact of Second Language Acquisition After Adolescence

Directions for Completion:

  • Access and read the articles, and make notes on how learning an additional language after adolescence or as an adult affects the learner.
  • According to the research reported in these brief reports, synthesize a point of view regarding how learning an additional language after adolescence or as an adult affects the learner. The synthesis should be a maximum of 200 words. Use the subheading, Impact of Second Language Acquisition After Adolescence.
  • Cite at least two articles from which you drew your information, correctly using APA format.
  • Beware! If you look at the end of a ScienceDaily article for the APA reference and see quotation marks, that is the Chicago Style Sheet version. You have to click on the APA tab above the reference citation to get the APA formatting.

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