What is bootstrapping?
- Bootstrapping is the isolation of units of meaning [words, chunks] from the speech stream. These “big words” give learners the stepping stones to build the grammar in their heads.
- How do learners determine the components of syntax and grammar? It all starts with lexicon and finding meaning. e.g. isolating verbs is a stepping stone to building a mental representation of verbal morphology.
- But boundaries between words are not clear. How do learners segment the speech stream?
- In bootstrapping, learners might segment incorrectly,
- or may not be able to identify what the units are.
- they might categorize them incorrectly.
- Learners typically pay more attention to words at the beginning and at the end of the speech stream.
- However, these things work themselves out.
Does teaching help with bootstrapping?
- Yes, written input can help L2 learners in bootstrapping.
- Reading + listening can be a powerful combination to speed up acquisition compared to oral input alone.
Source: Bill Van Patten, Tea with BVP, https://soundcloud.com/teawithbvp/episode-55-bootstrapping