THE ROLE OF INSTRUCTION IN ESL: LEARNING AND ACQUISITION
It is a common belief that children acquire their first language naturally (Tchalo n.p.) i.e. without instruction. A closer examination of the dynamic and interactive context in which language is acquired, however, shows that instruction, formal and informal, does play a significant role in first language acquisition. Moreover, I intend to give evidence herein to the fact that, according to many behaviorist and cognitive code theoreticians, second language acquisition essentially plays by some of the same rules as instruction. In other words, it appears clearly that acquisition--in the Krashen sense of the term--has a significant instructional component.
Indeed, there is no education without instruction. There is no open system (such as education) which does not contain closed subsystems (such as instructional ones). There is no process unless there are products to process. Linguistic processes are apt to vary widely with individuals and are dynamic by definition. Linguistic products are entitative, unique, inherent to a system, more static than dynamic, objectified else they could not be perceived. Thus, languaging is the individual's processing of linguistic forms. Instruction as a process can be extrinsic, i.e. provided by outer forces (teacher, book, f.i.), or intrinsic, i.e. provided by the learner's inner forces (awareness, motivation, f.i.); yet, in both cases the products of instruction are extrinsically provided to be embedded in the individual's neurological, cognitive, and affective systems.
Some people contend that linguistic forms are best learned, whereas linguistic processes are best acquired. Learning, in this context, is the encryptation of "conscious and explicit knowledge about language" (Krashen 35). It is developed "by explicit or formal instruction, and is thought to be aided by the practice of error correction" (Krashen 35). Acquiring, on the ot...