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SLA: Monitor and Variable Competence Model

4. The Monitor Model 
Krashen’s Monitor Model has enjoyed considerable prominence in SLA research. However, as I shall attempt to show later, the theory is seriously flawed in a number of respects, in particular in its treatment of language-learner variability.
The Monitor Model consists of five central hypotheses;

The five hypotheses
1. The acquisition learning hypothesis
The ‘acquisition –learning’ distinction has already been considered. ‘Acquisition’ occurs subconsciously as result of participating in natural communication where the the focus is on meaning. And Learning occurs as a result of conscious study of the formal properties of the language. In storage, ‘acquired’ knowledge is located in the left hemisphere of the brain in the language area; it is not linguistic nature.

2. The natural order hypothesis
The natural order hypothesis draws on the SLA research literature that indicates that learners may follow a more or less invariant order in the acquisition of formal grammatical features.

3. The Monitor hypothesis
The monitor is the device that learners use to edit their language performance. It utilizes ‘learnt’ knowledge’ by acting upon and modifying utterances generated from ‘acquired’ knowledge.
Krashen gives three monitoring conditions for it’s use:
(1) there must be sufficient time,  (2) the focus must be on the form and not meaning; and (3) the user mus know the rule for fuller discussion.

4. The input hypothesis
It states that ‘acquisition’ takes place as result of the learner having understood input that is a little beyond the current level of his competence ( i + 1 level). Input that is comprehensible to learner will automatically be at the right level.

5. The affective filter hypothesis
Affective factor which determine its strength have to do with the learner’s motivation, self-confidence, or anxiety state. Learners with high motivation and self confidence and with low anxiety have low filters. And learners h\with low motivation, little confidence, and high anxiety have high filters.

Causative variables taken into account in the Monitor Model
Krashen also discusses a number of other factors, each of which figures conspicuously in the SLA research literature.
1. Aptitude
2. Role of the first language
3. Routines and patterns
4. individual differences
There is no individual variation in acquisition process. And Krashen indicates three types of  Monitor Users: (1) over-users, (2) under user, (3) optimal user (i.e those who apply conscious knowledge when it is appropriate).
5. Age.
Age influences SLA. Older learners are the better better suited to study language than younger.

The ‘acquisition – learning’ distinction  has been called ‘theological’ in that it has been formulated in order to confirm a specific goal, namely that successful SLA is the result of ‘acquisition.
Variable. The monitor model is a dual competence, that is “acquisition and learning (Krashen-labe,) it consists of variable performance, seen as a reflection of stylistic continuum,  and variable competence model best fits the known fact about SLA.

5. The Variable Competence Model
The model is based on two distinctions-one of which refers to the process of language use, and second refers to   language  product.
Language use is to understood in term of the distinction between linguistic knowledge (procedure).  It refers to the competence and capacity.
The following is from the process of language use that product.
1. a variable competence, i.e the user processes a heterogeneous rule system;
2. variable application of procedures for actualizing knowledge in discourse. The VCM of SLA claims that both occur..

To summarize, the Variable Competence Model proposes:
1. there is a single knowledge score containing variable inter-language rules according to how automatic and how analyzed the rules are.
2. the leaner process a capacity for language use which consists of primary and secondary discourse, or secondary process and cognitive process.
3. L2 performance is variable.
4. Development occurs as result of
(a) acquisition of new L2 rules through participation in various types of discourse.
(b) Activation of L2 rules which initially exist in either a non automatic dis-analyzed form or in an analyzed form so they can be used in unplanned discourse.

The VCM of SLA  attempts to account for (1) variability of language-learner language, and (2) the external and internal processes responsible for SLA. SLA is the result of the exchange  of linguistic process of discourse construction involving both the leaner and interlocutor.

There are seven theories of Second Language Acquisition. They are:
1. The Acculturation Model
2. Accommodation Theory
3. Discourse Theory
4. The Monitor Model
5. The Variable Competence Model
6. The Universal Hypothesis
7. A Neurofunctional Theory

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