Briefly discuss the Acculturation Model of John Schumann.
Acculturation Theory is the social model of second language acquisition. In Acculturation Model, the acquisition of a new language is influenced by how the learners’ and the target language community view each other. Schumann puts the central premise of acculturation theory as second language acquisition is just one aspect of acculturation. And the degree to which a learner acculturates to the target language group will control the degree to which he acquires the second language.
Some social factors and psychological factors determine acculturation. Social factors concern the extent to which individual learners become members of the TL group and therefore achieve contact with them. According to Schumann, there are eight social factors.
Social Factors of the Acculturation Model
1. Social dominance: The L2 group can be superior, equal, or inferior.
2. Integration: The L2 group may acculturate or assimilate.
3. Enclosure: The L2 group may share the same social facilities or may have different social facilities.
4. Cohesiveness: This means whether the L2 group has frequent contact between them or they have seldom contact between them.
5. Size: Whether the L2 group is small or big in size
6. Cultural congruence: Whether the culture of the L2 group is similar or different to that of the TL group.
7. Attitude: Whether the TL group shows a hostile or positive attitude towards the L2 group.
8. Intended length of residence: The L2 group may plan to stay for a long time or a short time in the TL country.
Psychological factors concern the extent to which individual learners are comfortable with the learning tasks and constitute a personal rather than group dimension. It has four major components:
1. Language Shock: The L2 learners may have apprehension about the new language. When someone crosses the border, he/she enters into a new symbolic world. In that situation, someone may have language shock.
2. Cultural Shock: when someone comes into a new culture he or she can have initial euphoria. At this stage, s/she is happy with everything which he sees. Then one has culture shock when he is shocked by that culture. In the third stage, one has culture stress when one starts to recover gradually. Finally, one completely recovers from culture shock which is called full recovery.
3. Motivation: This means whether the learner is instrumentally motivated (ie. job, money) to acculturate or integratively motivated (i.e. to know people, to know culture)
4. Ego Permeability: The extent to which L2 learners perceive their L1 to have rigid or flexible boundaries.
The social factors are primary. The psychological factors only come into play when the social aspects are indeterminate.
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