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Learning a second language (L2) can not only be a considerably challenging and daunting task for many learners, but also a rewarding experience (Lennartsson, 2008). It takes time for a learner to study and adequately develop a language. My journey of learning English has always been demanding but within the learning, I learnt to overcome its challenges. Having been brought up in Germany and studying German for most of my childhood, I did not start learning English until when I moved to a secondary school in Singapore where I struggled to cope with the language and saw it necessary. After my secondary level, I was sent to Australia to further my education where I passionately perceived the language as pleasurable to learn. In understanding my learning outcomes as an L2 learner in English, this paper aims to examine my personal experience in the study of English in the secondary and tertiary level of my education by critically reflecting on two major factors. It discusses the ‘social context’ and ‘motivation’ for my L2 learning in relation to the changes in learning environment across the globe from Europe to Asia where I was brought up.
Looking back at my extraordinary language learning experiences in Europe and Asia, I am grateful for learning two languages in two different continents. Born in Bavaria, Germany, I was brought up there for most of my childhood. My parents, my father in particular, spoke to me in German and I adopted it as my first language (L1). At times, my mother, of Singaporean background, would speak to me in English and thus I gradually acquired it as my second language (L2). Although my English was limited and I was never compelled into learning it, German was regarded as my primary language of instruction and communication.
When I was twelve years old, in the mid-80s my family moved to Singapore where my learning of English as a second language began. Having completed
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She is trying to teach them vocabulary regarding food. She makes them look at the map and point out a place at the map. A child touch somewhere on the map and the slide moves on to the food specialty of that country. She targets at their imaginative skills by asking them to name the food they see on the screen.
Yet for a long period of time acquiring a second language was seen as natural to human beings, as somehow different from other types of knowledge. For this reason many of the psychological factors associated with the difficulties of learning a second language were minimalised or brushed aside.
In the community, the individual who can talk using a second language usually gain more friends and have more affiliations.
But there are also some people who seem to patronise their own language so much that they refuse or find it hard to learn a second language.
Hence, an understanding of second language acquisition can enhance the capability of mainstream teachers to provide objective education in culturally and linguistically diversified framework (Fillmore & Snow, 2000; Hamayan, 1990). Current studies encapsulating the theories of language acquisition have been developed through a thorough research in several interconnected fields such as linguistics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and neurolinguistics (Freeman & Freeman, 2001).
Aptitude also depends on our own learning style and our own ability to assess and quantify our progress. While aptitude is defined as being separate from intelligence it is extremely difficult to isolate for while a person may have aptitude in one subject, he/she may lack it in another. It is difficult to acquire a second language successfully if you lack any aptitude but it is not impossible.
Teachers mostly deliver their lectures in English, and the students are also encouraged to communicate with one another in English. The teachers adopt a certain methodology to teach English. They start it through making
ptions between teacher training and teacher development and further explains how mastery of the teaching process should go hand in hand with knowledge of language teaching to make the educator become more effective in imparting instruction.
Teacher development is used when an
the reference of the concept as Second Language Acquisition, this concept does not necessarily mean the process of acquiring a second language only, but also the process of acquiring a third, fourth, fifth or other subsequent languages. The common argument has been that the
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