Five Cornerstones for Second Language Acquisition

Ollie Kjellin. Five Cornerstones for Second Language Acquisition — The Neurophysiological Opportunist's Way. From the "Introduction and Summary":

Recent research into language acquisition and into the neurosciences have revealed interesting, fundamental similarities between first and second language acquisition, even on a primary, neurobiological level.  Based on some of these similarities, an attempt is offered here at an interdisciplinary synthesis of linguistic and neurobiological research results. This paper will advocate a focus, in second-language (L2) teaching and learning, on five factors that are essential cornerstones for the normally perfect success of first-language (L1) acquisition, viz. hearing, prosody, statistics, categorical perception, and compensatory articulation. Suggestions are offered how these factors can be pedagogically adapted to the adult learner's situation and implemented in the classroom as strategies for a higher-than-usual ultimate attainment of L2 competence and performance, particularly pronunciation. This interdisciplinary synthesis is based on the author's training as a speech scientist and 30+ years of experience as a second language teacher (with a particular interest in pronunciation), interwoven with medical training and practice in radiology (with a focus on the speech and swallowing apparatus), in audiology, and in the neurosciences involving learning and its opposite, the dementias.