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Natural Sequence

Natural Sequence

Natural Sequence research paper due and don't know how to start it? How about like this?

In their 1974 study, Bailey and associates investigated whether there existed "natural" patterns to how adult speakers of other languages acquired English language skills.

The authors set out to test two major, overlapping hypotheses:

  1. Regardless of mother tongue, all adults learning the English language encounter similar difficulties when acquiring certain functors (or grammatical morphemes).
  2. The sequences through which adult learners of English acquired these functors had more in common with the sequences evinced by children learning English as a second language than they did with the sequences evinced by children learning English as their primary idiom of communication.

Although the study involved adult speakers of a dozen different mother tongues, the results appeared to indicate that, regardless of linguistic background, adults did appear to employ similar approaches to learning a second language. This finding lent support to the first hypothesis set forth in the study. In addition, the authors' comparison of their results with data from research involving child learners of English as a second language indicated that adults acquire second language skills in a similar fashion to younger second language learners-a result that supported the second hypothesis. Based on these findings, the authors posited that there were two common orderings for the acquisition of grammatical morphemes: one for young learners of English as a first language and a second for both adult and young learners of English as a second language (as well as for aphasic, non-fluent adults). Taken together, the authors' findings and analyses were used to support the key arguments of the study: that adults needed instruction in second language acquisition and that adult ESL syllabi should be modified to reflect the seemingly "natural" sequence through which adult learners acquire second language skills.

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