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Language, Acquisition, and Teaching - Essay Example

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Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (1985) has stipulated the supposition that language is a necessary construct, in which human beings have to create in order to remember human experiences…
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Language, Acquisition, and Teaching
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Download file to see previous pages This highlights the lively discourse pertinent to the process of language acquisition, specifically, when dealing with the issue of first language acquisition vis-a-vis second language acquisition. In this context, this research will delve on two significant issues, namely, “How far can the process of first language acquisition be taken as a model for the acquisition of a second language? What are the implications for the second language teachers?” For purposes of limitation and clarification, for this study the term “first language” pertains to the native language of a person, which has been acquired without undergoing formal learning processes to acquire the language, since it is the mother tongue of the person. It is the language the child learns from his/her parents, family, relatives, and from others (Yaz?c?, Ilter, and Glover, 2010). On the other hand, second language is another language acquired by the person, aside from her mother tongue. Second language is a language learnt after the first language and it is often contrasted with ‘foreign’ in terms of function and location (Cook 2006; 2008). For example, a four-year-old Indonesian child who speaks Bahasa Indonesia at home, while the child’s family reside in Netherlands, and therefore she studies Dutch. As such, the child is acquiring SL. On the other hand, a four-year-old Indonesian child whose family resides in Indonesia, speaks Bahasa Indonesia, studies Bahasa Indonesia in school; is therefore developing FLA alone. This distinction serves as a guide in understanding these two terms as it is used in the entire research. The paper recognises the broadness of the offered connotations of first language and second language. Nonetheless, what is essential is that through the minimal distinction provided between the two concepts, a parameter is set, thus, enabling the possibility of distinction between FLA and SLA. In addition, the paper also defines language acquisition as the subconscious process of developing language ability and that it is fostered in a non-threatening environment (Krashen, 1981). On the other hand, language learning is also a process of developing language ability, however, it occurs in academic setting and there is a conscious effort in knowing the syntax and semantics of a particular language (Krashen 1981). From this perspective, the paper asserts that aside from chronology and contrast with the term ‘foreign’, second language acquisition (SLA) is a process wherein the person as a student in an academic setting learns another language. It is a conscious endeavour to acquire a second language aside from one’s mother tongue. In this regard, the necessity of a shared framework between first language acquisition (FLA) and second language acquisition (SLA) becomes feasible as it offers the paradigm in which FLA becomes the initial framework in which sense and meaning of the second language is apprehended. In this regard, second language teachers are challenged to recognise not only the academic, language, and cognitive development of the learner, but they also have to learn to factor the socio-economic and cultural processes and other affective factors that influence the person as she goes though SLA. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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