The Theory of Language Reflexes

1. We only learn a language by understanding and using it (employing our HLLP ability) …but we can't make use of that HLLP ability if we don't have any language to start with

2. Low-Level Language Processing is the instant, spontaneous and automatic reactions to language input resulting in comprehension or production of text and utterances. We call these Language Reflexes

3. High-Level Language Processing can only operate and be realized upon the Language Reflexes that have already been acquired, making them the foundation and building blocks of language

4. With the right tool, Language Reflexes can be trained in a systematic, efficient & rapid way to jump-start language learning

5. The teacher only has to provide natural, meaningful, context-rich opportunities for communication for real language acquisition to take place

 

1. We only learn a language by understanding and using it employing our High-Level Language Processing (HLLP) ability …but we can't make use of that HLLP ability if we don't have any language to start with

• High level language processing ability refers to our indefinable intelligence, aptitude and natural language acquisition abilities which analyse, organize, relate, deduce and create language to understand or construct complex grammar, text and utterances in context and in real time, a concept that has yet be fully understood. Everyone is born with an innate ability to learn a language and although debatable, that ability remains with us into adulthood.

 

2. Low-Level Language Processing is the instant, spontaneous and automatic reactions to language input resulting in comprehension or production of text and utterances. We call these Language Reflexes.

• Low-level Language processing is responsible for converting language particles between their different representations (e.g. as sound, text or meaning). These particles in the form of distinct lexical items are natural, automatic, spontaneous like reflexes between a particular metalinguistic meaning and its lexical representation. Unlike High level language processing, these individual items are either instantaneously understood or not, and although less complex than the former, still require multiple associations between the underlying meaning and the arrangement of sound, text and images

• A language reflex needs to be 'triggered' by language input, such as hearing a sound, seeing a picture, reading a word or thinking of an idea

 

3. High-Level Language Processing can only operate and be realized upon the Language Reflexes that have already been acquired, making them the foundation and building blocks of language

• Only the few basic combinations of sound, text and image reflexes need to be acquired for input to become comprehensible in the subsequent correlating exposure provided in the classroom.

 

4. With the right tool, Language Reflexes can be trained in a systematic, efficient & rapid way to jump-start language learning

• High level language processing requires a complex, multi-faceted acquisition process, whilst low level language processing can employ systematic training.

• High-level language processing skills are dependent on individual abilities and affective factors, and may be maximized when exposed to natural, meaningful language, acquired through a student centred, heuristic learning environment, provided by a dedicated and effective teacher. This 'art' has yet to be perfected.

• The time consuming, arduous task of acquiring thousands of low-level language processing items requires self-study or high exposure to the L2 or both – A prolonged classroom process that can be accelerated through the use of a computer. If used effectively and in an interesting way, a computer can train the basic sound, text and image (combination) reflexes in an organized, efficient and systematic manner, essentially 'priming' the students for the classroom experience in which they develop further reflexes whilst employing their higher-level language processing skills to generate 'communicative language'.

 

5. The teacher only has to provide natural, meaningful, context-rich opportunities for communication for real language acquisition to take place

• With an accelerated comprehension level, classroom content can focus on effective methods in providing natural meaningful communication in context, playing to the students high level language processing skills, based on the low level language already acquired, which now becomes redundant. In essence, the student's rate and level of comprehension determines the level and amount of input to which they are exposed.

• This is provided that the curriculum and classroom content immediately draws on and builds upon the low level language acquired in the computer laboratory, meaning an interconnected and congruent syllabus and set of materials.

• Internalized low level language must be given more meaning such as abstract, emotional and other sensory inducements for its 'meaning spectrum' to expand.

• Internalized low-level language must be given context, usage and a framework in which it fits within the whole language, where associations to related language/concepts, experiences and thoughts are formed. Aspects of language creativity and ambiguity must also be discovered.

• The same principles exercised in the laboratory (such as heuristic, natural, deductive, right brain acquisition) must be transferred to the classroom to ensure learning consistency and coherence.

• The classroom content should enlarge the 'acquisition arena' by providing other effective language learning strategies such as songs, movement, drama, crafts and a wide variety of games. Furthermore, other skills should be taught in the classroom such as problem solving, responsibility, leadership, social development, discipline, and respect amongst many others.

• Most importantly, the classroom content instills student 'trust' and 'confidence' in using the language as a functional, two-way communicative tool, which translates into real life actions and responses.

 

PreviousNext >> Language Processing