International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064


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Research Paper | Linguistics | Sri Lanka | Volume 3 Issue 11, November 2014


A Linguistic Study on Excluding Formal Instruction in Second Language from Initial Grades One and Two: A Study Based on a State School and a Private School in the Central Province, SriLanka

K. K. Ruvini Wickramaratne


Abstract: Start age for formal instruction in second language varies throughout the world. Presently, In Sri Lanka, formal education in second language commences at grade three in government schools. However, deviation from the curriculum was observed as a common trend, especially in private schools. In the private school selected for the research, formal English education starts at grade one itself. This research uses two contradictory theoretical bases as benchmarks to investigate the hypothesis to be tested: On one hand there were naturists who pinned down the significance of role played by environment factor in SLA. On the other hand, there were the innatists pioneered by Chomskian theory of Universal Grammar that maintain the earliest possible commencement of language learning. These major SLA theories present two determinant factors of second language acquisition (SLA) ; environment and age. Consequently, it was hypothesized that by providing a language rich environment at the youngest possible age through formal second language instruction, school can expedite the process of second language acquisition of Sri Lankan students. The research employed both primary data and secondary data. A grammaticality judgment test was conducted in two grade three classes of a government school and a private school. The results of the tests were represented graphically and analyzed. The results of the two schools demonstrated a notable difference where the students of private school did far better. Therefore it was concluded that early start age of formal English education can have a strong positive impact on the expected level of second language acquisition in grade three.


Keywords: Formal instruction, Second language, Behaviorism, Innatists, start age


Edition: Volume 3 Issue 11, November 2014,


Pages: 1299 - 1306


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