"unnatural" adult second language performance. The children may be building up acquired competence via input, and several recent studies (Gary, 1974; Postovsky, 1977) imply that less insistence on early oral performance may be profitable for children and adults studying second languages in formal settings.
The L1 plus Monitor Mode
First language influence can thus be considered as unnatural. One could theoretically produce sentences in a second language without any acquisition: the first language surface structure can be used with second language content lexicon inserted. The Monitor may then be used to add some morphology and do its best to repair word order where it differs form the L2. One can only go so far with this mode, as one is limited by the competence of the conscious grammar and one must appeal to it with every utterance. The adult can, however, produce sentences right away in the target language using this mode, and this may help to account for reports of more rapid progress in early stages for adults than for children in second language performance (Snow and Hoefnagel-Hohle, 1978). It is a temporary advantage, however. Acquisition may be slow, but it is, in the long run, much more useful when language is used for the purpose of communication.1
In English, the negative particle appears after the auxiliary, as in
(1) I can not go,
but before main verbs, with do-support, as in
(2) I don't know.
In German, however, the negative particle appears after both auxiliaries and main verbs, as in
(3) Ich kann nicht gehen, I can not go,