Home Forums Reflection Forum Reflection 3.1 – L2 Learners – Declarative vs Procedural Knowledge

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    • #2353
      admin adminadmin
      Keymaster

      Very interesting! The video explained this complex concept in a very efficient way!
      I agree with the conclusion that what learners are taught as rules is not what they know & use in communicative contexts. I had a very good example of this with one student who could communicate with great ease and fluency, who would naturally use some complex grammatical forms in a way we would consider ‘correct’, and others not so ‘correctly’ but effectively, nonetheless. However, he struggled massively in actual grammar class and in quizzes I could see him whisper to himself and make helpful hand gestures while struggling to think of and apply the rules. He clearly did not assimilate what he was taught formally, but had great command of the language and I was convinced would have no problem communicating. I wish we didn’t have to test students in such ways (e.g. in this institution teachers were required to give a weekly quiz…), nor teach rules prescriptively. I recognize there has been some departure from this in the form of inductive learning, but in too many cases there is still the expectation and sort of built-in sense of obligation to teach rules. Thoughts?

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/15/l2-learners-declarative-procedural-knowledge

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by admin adminadmin.
    • #3741

      It is better to learn and practice at the same time. These two processes must parallel side by side.

    • #4156

      Procedural memory and Declarative memory play vital role on students’ linguistic competence. And as language teachers, it is important that we know when to teach Standard English without compromising students’ communicative competence.

      Fluency and accuracy in English are both important for me. Though it is really impossible that students would remember and apply all the grammatical rules that we teach, what matters most is that they can communicate in the target language.

    • #4256

      What we teach as ‘correct usage ‘ of L2 in classrooms may have drastic variations on their real life exposure to L2 where there can be vast entities of pluralistic mixtures in day to day functions. Sometimes, if they are advanced learners, they’ll identify the variations or alternatives, but if not these variations themselves will embed in their memory and lead to fossilization ,and in formal or planned L2 contexts such as classrooms the teachers might find it hard to take the learners into the so called correct track of using English.

    • #4571
      Dauda PikawiDauda Pikawi
      Member

      I agree that what learners are actually taught is not what they may end up practically using. I am a good example of those endless rules that many atimes you forget while speaking, unless I become conscious I barely remember them.

    • #4729

      Declarative and procedural knowledge mutually operate in the human being’s brain. Most importantly, these two aspects help a learner in both L1 and L2 learning. When a child starts to learn his or her mother tongue, their procedural knowledge memory starts working. Basically, it makes an unconscious procedure. For instance, the child learns to listen and then speak the language he or she can hear from his or her parents. It is basically, babbling. Then, when it comes to the declarative memory, the procedure is complex because it has a conscious memory proceeding where a child starts to learn L2 language. For instance, learning English language (L2) at school, the proceedings are used such as Dictation, Writing essays, writing letters, speak the language. Basically, here the child needs to make an effort to acquire the language.

    • #4755

      That was a very interesting video! It also reaffirmed some of the things I learned as a speaking examiner for the Cambridge exams (PET, FCE, CAE). We learn that there is no such thing as perfection when assessing a candidate. We also learn that ease of communication is more important that total accuracy. Is the candidate intelligible? Is the candidate able to use the language effectively most of the time?

    • #5248

      Humanity is designed in such a way that no matter how professional you are, you are not immune from circumstances.

    • #5298

      Lifelong learning 4 evuh! 😀

    • #5310

      Rules can facilitate the learning process by setting the norms in each language. However, rules can often mean what authorities ask everyone to do in a language, and as this is the case it will not come naturally in using the rules in different communities because they are using varieties of rules to regulate the meaning and often just simply some are neglected. Prescribing abstractions from actual tokens coincide with Standard English for learners of English will teach the rules on how to communicate and what to offer in the interactions and transactions by the regulations of words and grammar in a context that advocates one form of English. Having said that, however, if we see Englishes as live entities that circulate among nations and people who are well educated for using the language to accommodate their needs, the declarative and procedural memory is best qualified to assist the process of learning the language.

    • #5329

      I used to teach English before moving to the UK. At the border I was asked ‘Dyv a fag, eh?’. This was the moment when I realised that everything I had learnt before should be considered useless.
      Then when I started to work in Doncaster, while the supervisor started to speak and explain what I had to do, I almost started to cry. I could not understand a word he said. Then when I got a job at a hotel and the owner was a Scotsman, I felt, he could even have said I would have been killed and then buried in the garden instead of explaining my task because I could not even grab a word.
      So, I reckon, it is obvious that I am on the side of accents and dialects than coursebooks.

    • #5369

      The video is very interesting. It explained this complex concept in a very efficient way! I agree with all the thins, it`s better to learn and practice at the same time. These two processes must parallel side by side.

    • #5445

      This video was fantastic and has clearly explained how learning occurs. I agree that we learn things or language through being conscious or as he calls is declarative knowledge and then with practice and repetition it becomes unconscious or procedural knowledge. However, it may be applied to language learning because as L2 learners we learn through conscious learning (grammar and/or standardised English) and then through lots of practice and repetition it is then that it becomes procedural learning. Very clearly explained.

    • #5484

      Students of L2 start learning Standard English. They do start learning consciously the language with a lot of effort and the newly acquired knowledge is stored in the declarative language. After repeated practice, language is stored in the procedural memory as an echo on the basis of an unconscious experience of meaningful input. Of course, learners are expected to develop knowledge of Standard English from their teachers and textbooks. But at the same time, learners are exposed to English with all sorts of pluralistic forms, which do not always conform with Standard English. They analyse it, detect the regularities and it is this procedural knowledge that they are going to use.

    • #5520
      Saul SantosSaul Santos
      Member

      “What learners are taught as rules is not what they know & use in communicative contexts” I agree with this conclusion, there are, however, a couple of things in the video that are not quite clear to me. The video favours the view tha declarative knowledge cannot become procedural knowledge (is there evidence of the oposing view?), and it would be easy to get, from that, the idea that what we do in the classroom may not play a role in the acquisition of the additional languaje, or that classroom-based learning equals standard English, and learning (aquisition) taking place elsewhere equals nonstandard Enlgish. But I belive that one as a language teacher can promote the use and learning of nonstandard English in the classroom, through procedures (a way of ‘teaching’) that are not necessarily conductive to the development of declarative knowledge…

      From some of the reactions above, I also get that some have undertood the video as saying that a model such as the 3P model may lead to learning the target language:During the first P students ‘learn’ declarative knowledge, but then, during the second and third P they develop the desired procedural knoeledge:
      “Students of L2 start learning Standard English. They do start learning consciously the language with a lot of effort and the newly acquired knowledge is stored in the declarative language. After repeated practice, language is stored in the procedural memory as an echo on the basis of an unconscious experience of meaningful input.”

    • #5589

      It isn’t easy to find a balance between what students are expected to do in real life and what they are expected to do at school. I can’t see academic testing changing too much in the near future, unfortunately. This means teachers will have to continue struggling between the two opposites.

    • #5598

      I agree with the notion of L2 acquisition as memorising a selection of rules. All too often, accuracy of grammar is prioritised during English instruction for test results. It is therefore important to view English differently to other subjects. Standard English should be emphasised for formal contexts but when grammar rules are taught there has to be an opportunity for the learners to practise them in a communicative context. In this section of the class, fluency and communication of meaning need to be prioritised over accuracy. As a result, the procedural and declarative areas of the brain are being utilised when learning grammar and it is more likely to be used in a real life context as a product of automatic repetition.

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