Functional approach

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The Functional Approach is considered to be the second paradigm of psychology. This idea focuses on the function of the mental processes which involves consciousnesses. (Gordon, 1995) This approach was developed by William James in 1890. James was the first American Psychologist and wrote the first general textbook regarding psychology. In this approach he reasoned that the mental act of consciousness must be an important biological function (Schacter et al., 2011) He also noted that it was a psychologist's job to understand these functions so they can discover how the mental process operates. This idea was an alternative approach to the structuralism, which was the first paradigm(Gordon, 1995).

In second language acquisition (SLA) functional approaches are of similarities with Chomsky's Universal Grammar (UG). Focus is on the use of language in real situations (performance), as well as underlying knowledge (competence).

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