Habit Formation Theory

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3.2. Contrastive analysis hypothesis
The habit formation theory as we saw in section 3.1 had a big influence on a pedagogic area. It was thought that L2 learner would have a trouble in acquiring linguistic items that have different features from their L1 and could acquire relatively easily linguistic items that have similar features to their L1 to the contrary. Then, on the basis of those thought, a new theory on a L2 acquisition and teaching theory appeared. The theory is called “contrastive analysis hypothesis (CAH)”. The CAH claimed that difficult features and items in L2 acquisition can be predicted by contrasting and analyzing in detail the features of L1 and L2 of learners and that learners should learn mainly different points in L2
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In other words, SLA researchers paid attention not to languages but to learners that is a subject to acquire a language. Shirahata (2006) cited Corder (1967) as proposing error analysis as a new approach for SLA research replaced by habit formation theory and the CAH. Error analysis is an approach to research a mechanism of language acquisition of learners by describing and analyzing systematically errors that are made in the process of L2 acquisition. He claimed that a developmental sequence of L2 learners can be clarified by knowing what errors they made. Through error analysis, it had been gradually revealed that the language use of L2 learners is not different only from that of a native speaker of the target language but also from a language system of their…show more content…
Shirahata (2006) cited Selinker (1972) as naming that linguistic system that L2 learners use and is different from their L1 and a target language as “Interlanguage”. He claimed that L2 learners have different linguistic systems of Interlanguage respectively and furthermore it has dynamic features and even the same L2 learners get to have different systems depending on their developmental stage and learning process. Interestingly, it was found from an analysis of interlanguage that some consistent errors exist in a linguistic system of language use of L2 learners and that L2 learners acquire L2 through a similar process even if their L1 is different, although it is possible to be somewhat different. As we mentioned in section 2.3, it was reported that L2 acquisition has a predictable acquisition order in morphology and syntax in common with L1 acquisition. In this way, from 1970s to 1980s, it had been gradually clear that L2 learners have possibility to acquire L2, using systematically some language systems on the basis of input of L2 that they
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