Fossilization as supreme

In FL teaching theory, fossilization became a major issue. The theory went that incorrect forms, once learned, could not be unlearned. That appears to foreshadow the concept of acquisition. IMHO, this may be part of the strict avoidance of any chance of an incorrect form appearing in either input or output; so powerful is fossilization that no incorrect form can appear lest it be imprinted forever on the brain.
What is so odd about that is that somehow the corollary, that correct forms would imprint themselves and so any brief exposure would result in acquisition as easily as
exposure to incorrect forms would result in disasters.
Doesn’t that seem odd?

One Comment

  1. 伟思礼 says:

    What if we’re exposed to both correct and incorrect forms early on?

    I’m inclined to think fossilization depends on the person. I thought I would never get over the bad habit of pronouncing the ‘n’ at the end of most Dutch -en words, but recently I’ve noticed it starts to be fading in my speech. On the other hand, I met a fellow from Alabama who had lived in Guadalajara for ten years, yet his Alabama accent was still often incomprehensible to locals.

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