1 In Linguistics

Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

언어를 공부에 input이나 output은 더 중요하다고 생가하세요?

It has always been thought that input is more important for SLA. In classes, teachers tend to spend more time ‘teaching’ and introducing new knowledge rather than focusing on student’s output (writing/speaking). Most likely, focus on output is limited to correcting of wrong sentences in the homework.

However, research has lead to interesting findings on the importance of output. Increase in output (practice speaking/writing) not only helps to improve fluency, but it also helps in learning the language. This can occur with or without external feedback.

With external feedback

We all know that when teachers or other proficient speakers correct your sentences, you realise where you made a mistake and hence learn from it.

output –> external feedback –> trigger improvement –> increase in L2 proficiency

Without external feedback

Even without external feedback, an increase in output also helps to improve their L2 performance. When you try to form sentences in L2, sometimes you struggle with finding an appropriate word. Or sometimes, you pause and think ‘that sounds a little strange, is that the correct grammar structure?’. By pausing, you notice a gap in your L2 knowledge and hence would try to ‘fill that gap’ by asking your teachers or friends.

Output –> realise that you don’t know something –> trigger the need to learn –> find out the answer –> increase in L2 proficiency

A good balance of focus in both output and input can help to maximise efficiency in L2 learning. In my opinion, focus on input and teaching is more important in the initial stage of L2 aquisition. When students gain adequate knowledge and are able to start expressing their thoughts and opinions in the L2, focus on output can lead to a rapid increase in L2 skills.

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