College English teaching attaches great importance to the cultivation of the students’ communicative competence, and is developing towards the direction of autonomous learning, exploratory learning and personalized learning. Therefore, it is worth using the life to explore the reform concept to improve students’ comprehensive English literacy, and finally realize the development of college English.
Theory of Second Language Acquisition.
The theory of second language acquisition is based on the process and law of second language acquisition. The second language acquisition is a process of learning and absorbing the language outside of the mother tongue in the nature or in the direction of the guide. It is helpful to construct a highly effective language teaching system to learn and understand the theory of second language acquisition. Since the beginning of the seventies of the 20th century, people have been analyzing and studying the theory of second language acquisition from different levels of multi angle. There is a full range of and various kinds of achievements in research everywhere, which has a new meaning for language teaching. For example, Swain (1985), Input Hypothesis Comprehensible, said that «comprehensible input» is important, but «in addition to the need to understand the language, it is impossible to reach the level of fluency, like the native speakers, if there is no opportunity to try out the language they have learned». That is to say, second language acquisition not only needs enough comprehensible input, but also fully comprehensible output, thus can ensure the success of second language acquisition. Output is advantageous to the acquisition from the semantic level to the syntactic level, so as to reflect on the use of their own learning, correct their own learning, and improve their own expression.
After more than forty years of development, the theory of second language acquisition has become a collection of applied linguistics, cognitive psychology, social linguistics, pragmatics, and many other disciplines. It is a relatively independent of emerging cross discipline which has clear and complete theoretical system, research object, research methods and research purposes. In recent years, the application of the second language acquisition theory in the teaching of Chinese colleges and universities is mainly reflected in the nature of language learning methods. The use of listening and speaking can gradually push in-depth language acquisition process, stimulate students’ interest, and improve the active participation of classroom teaching, as well as the students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing ability, so as to achieve the accumulation and expansion of vocabulary.
Disadvantages of College English Teaching under the Theory of Second Language Acquisition.
The Teaching Position is not Accurate.
Comparing the «Senior High School English Curriculum Standards» and «College English Curriculum Requirements» respectively published in 2003 and 2005 by the Ministry of education, we can find that: they are close to or even the same in the curriculum setting, training objectives and teaching requirements and so on. In recent years, the reform and development of primary and middle school English was intensified, and the degree of emphasis on English was also improved, but the curriculum requirements of high school English and College English are similar, so that the actual level of high school graduates is close to the requirements of college. There are many teaching content repetitions, causing students to be complacent and lazy. The position of College English is still in the view of the basic English, and the direct consequence is to make the College English learning goal orientation in the CET-4, 6, the TOEFL and other tests. Besides that, the teaching evaluation system is simply linked up with the pass rate of all levels of examination, and the teaching process and teaching mode are more or less around the main test needs of college students. College English teaching almost becomes a replica or continuation of the middle school English, the difference between them just lies in emphasizing the autonomy of network learning embedded in modern information technology elements, resulting in students learning the English language without interest and motivation.
Students’ Autonomous Learning Ability Lags behind the Needs of the New Teaching Model.
The core content of the new teaching idea is reflected in the «make students as the body», which is to cultivate the students’ communicative ability, autonomous learning and exploration ability, as well as innovative thinking ability. Seen from the perspective of the theory of second language acquisition, people’s psychological change in the process of cognitive language is complex, which requires a sufficient language environment and external communication, so that to explore a certain language to engage in a certain language unconsciously and consciously. But due to inadequate teaching equipment in many domestic universities, it is very difficult for students to make use of modern teaching equipment and training practice; while some teachers fail to break through the traditional teacher-centered in teaching, and rarely give students real language experience, practice and training opportunities. The existence of these problems makes the students’ autonomous learning ability cannot have a good platform and opportunity to display and achieve, which mainly performs the lack of coordination ability between teachers and students. Besides that, the students cannot accurately determine whether the learning activities and learning materials are in line with their own learning objectives, and cannot effectively use the cognitive strategies to promote language learning.
Failed to Effectively Carry out Graded Teaching.
The real purpose of grade teaching is to realize the teaching implementation of the «people-oriented, and to teach students in accordance with their aptitude». In the course of College English teaching, the effect of grade teaching is poor. Most teachers think that if the students are graded according to the college entrance examination English, it is easy to hurt the students’ self-esteem. So there is no clear and unified implementation of teaching progress, which causes the students whose English is good to learn a little. The graded teaching lacking of hierarchical teaching of humanities concern idea is negative in a certain extent, but if making feasible plan to each classification in the process of grading scheme starting from the point of view of the students, students of different English levels can effectively improve the ability of English, which is worth people’s further research and discussion.
Development Strategy and Orientation of College English based on the theory of Second Language Acquisition.
Make the Students as the Object to Improve Their Language Ability.
To any language, the acquisition process cannot be separated from the 4 important steps: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The English teaching method of our country generally uses at present is also following the process of «listening and speaking practice first, while reading and writing practice later». Most of the teachers also recognize the importance of English environment in the teaching practice. Universities must pay attention to creating a natural learning environment for the teaching of English combining with the natural process of learning the mother tongue. At the same time, they should also regard the students as the object, and create a language environment for students with a variety of sensory effects combining multimedia and other teaching means and methods. Besides that, the teachers can also use sound images, video, and other strong sensory stimulation to stimulate students’ learning interest. Theory of second language acquisition thinks that, language input need to arouse the students’ interest, do not have to strictly comply with grammar as the teaching center, and mainly be completed through the input of a large number of language.
Create Situation, Graded Teaching, and Accurate Positioning.
Teachers should use rich and varied teaching methods and teaching tools to create a relaxed and pleasant learning environment for students to attract students’ attention, such as teachers can simulate real social language situation in the classroom, thus helping students to establish the direct contact between English and objective social language situation in the specific context by making abstract language visual and detail, timely contact and explanation can improve students to understand, remember and use English communicative competence better. Not too much to pay attention to the students’ expression, focus on the expression of meaning, timely give encouragement and approval to increase the confidence of students.
Teachers should pay attention to the individual difference of students, take scientific and effective hierarchical teaching, teach students in accordance with their aptitude, or organize unified practice test according to students’ voluntary stratification to complete graded teaching. Besides that, teachers should also ask students questions according to their degree in class, and patiently guide those students whose basic English is poor. At the same time, the teachers should help them to build up self-confidence, and create active classroom atmosphere together.
Set up the Concept of Cross Culture Teaching; Revise the Teaching Target and Principle.
Globalization has accelerated the internationalization of English. Under the trend of globalization, the College English teaching should build cross-cultural teaching philosophy, and train students’ international vision and English communication skills. At the same time, they should not be based on grading and getting credits only, but respect for the diversity and richness of the English learning, broaden the English practicality and graduate employment channels by making English as communication method, thus reflecting the necessity, progressive and tolerant of English development.
The formulation of College English teaching aims and principles is directly related to the achievements, effectiveness, speed and evaluation mechanism of teaching development. Therefore, in the formulation of teaching aims and principles, the teachers should be in full compliance with the development trend of diversification of today’s society, and break the evaluation rules of CET-4, 6. At the same time, the teaching goals should not only be limited in the English mastery and understanding of the application, but also the training of students’ comprehensive application ability and establishment of the concept of internationalization. The theory of Liu Yongbing (2010) believes that learning can monitor and re-edit the content from the overall height, so as to improve and transform the deficiencies and errors in the acquisition process.
People should seek development in the change. Education is the process of gradual improvement in the unceasing reform and excellence. The theory of language acquisition is a new teaching mode for College English Teaching in our country. It needs to be further studied, explored and perfected. The theory of second language acquisition will lead the trend and direction of future education development. In order to improve the quality of College English teaching, the teachers should make practice as the basis, and the listening, speaking, reading and writing ability as the premise to improve the level and quality of English teaching.
- Krashen S. P. (1981). Second Language Acquisition & Second Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamo Press.
- Swain M. (2000). The Output Hypothesis and Beyond: Mediating acquisition through collaborative dialogue. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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- Wang Rongying. (2008). Output teaching theory of College English. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiaotong University Press.
- Long M. H. (1983). Native speaker/non-native speaker Conversation and the Negotiation of Comprehensible Input. Applied Linguistics. 88(4), 68–69.
- Dai Weidong. (2008). Research on the questions of discipline construction of second language acquisition——Study of second language acquisition and foreign language teaching in China. Shandong Foreign Language Teaching, 28 (4), 3–5.
- Swain M. (1985). Communicative Competence: Some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. Rowley M A: Newbury House，36(14), 121–130.
- Liu Yongbing. (2010). Two kinds of epistemology orientation of western theory of second language acquisition – The enlightenment on foreign language study in our country. Journal of Northeast Normal University (Philosophy and Social Sciences, 33(4), 86–92.