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What are points of similarity and difference between Acculturation Model and the Accommodation Theory of SLA.

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Schumann’s Pidginization Hypothesis and Acculturation Model of Second Language Acquisition (1976) is a composite of eight major variables that, according to research, help to enforce, or altogether extinguish, the process of second language learning.

Contrastingly, the Giles's Accommodation Theory of Second Language Acquisition (1991) is, as the term states, a theoretical framework that illustrates how individuals do not have a set and defined way of using a second language. Instead, individuals tend to switch, change, intone, and mold the language depending on who they are speaking with, what they are talking about, or also depending on the circumstances of the discourse.

Now, if we semantically analyze the terms "acculturation" (assimilation) and "accommodation" (fitting the language "in") both terms would almost amount to the same thing, which is the acquisition of the target language.

Some similarities include:

  • Acculturation and Accommodation are complimentary processes and both aid in the SLA process.
  • They are both related to how students learn languages.
  • Both process take place simultaneously through social interaction.
  • Both form what Piaget referred to as "equilibrium".
  • In both processes there is a form of problem-solving taking place; in acculturation the ELL has to "beat the odds" of the social variables; in accommodation, the ELL has to decide how to use the target language.

However, some possible points to consider when it comes to stating main differences include:

  • Acculturation is a model of social and cognitive language learning, while Accommodation is a theory of language learning adaptation.
  • Acculturation contends that the language can be acquired if the majority of the eight possible variables are effectively infused.  Accommodation entails that language is already nearly mastered enough to add variations to it.
  • Acculturation presents a number of SLA scenarios to consider when researching about ELLs. Accommodation is a scaffolding system of learning used by ELLs where they add on information as they go along the learning process.

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