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Language Learning Autobiography - Essay Example

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The author of the essay entitled "Language Learning Autobiography" provides his/her experience concerning learning English. As the author states, "My parents immigrated to Canada five years ago from South Korea and I was placed in an ESL class when I entered high school"…
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Language Learning Autobiography
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"Language Learning Autobiography"

Download file to see previous pages On reflection, I realize that my first strategy was to imitate. Although I did not completely understand the teacher’s instructions, I was able to follow by imitating and taking the lead from peers. The English teacher would usually teach a new language point and then start with class choral work before moving on to a small group, pair work and then individual responses. This allowed me the opportunity to imitate the other students and thus not only improve my language knowledge but to improve my pronunciation. My experience, therefore, provides evidence to Skinner, who states that imitation through repetition is important in the early stages of acquiring a first language and learning a second language. I learnt and acquired English not only by study but by social interaction with teachers and peers (both local and ESL students) which necessitated me to pull on or extract the language I already knew and manipulate it for the situation at hand; in other words it provided me the opportunity of having to use English for communicative purposes rather than for classroom intent. Different cultures and curriculum proved difficult for me at first but I was able to catch up with other studies because my ESL teachers and other proficient English speaking peers helped me to adapt to the new curriculum. The school also provided similar conditions for me to work with more proficient peers in the classroom and I know that this interaction helped me in first learning and then acquiring my second language. Vygotsky (1978) (cited in Coelho, 2004) states that when a child is acquiring their first language they learn best by interacting with peers that are at a higher level in language development than themselves they will learn better. He calls this the child’s proximal development zone, which is defined as the level just beyond where the child is at. I now know that a similar process is evident in acquiring a second ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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