Learning and Acquiring a Language

Learning and Acquiring a Language

Language is essential in conveying ideas from one person to another; therefore language acquisition is necessary and is part of human development. Language learning differs from language acquisition in several ways. Through interaction with parents and those around the children acquire mother tongue language. Language acquisition is innate, and the child does not involve following of grammatical rules unlike in language learning which requires one to follow the rules strictly. This subconscious language learning is better explained by nativist theory which argues that language development is innate which means that human beings are preprogrammed.

Krashen’s theory of acquisition learning has two independent systems namely learned the system and acquired the system. When growing up, children learn the first language, but later one may need to learn a second language to ease communication (Kumar,&Nazneen, 2016). On the contrary, in the learned system, one follows specific instructions, and he/she learns consciously. When learning a new language, one is expected to adhere to grammar rules. In learning monitoring is essential but in acquisition utterance is what matters and correctness is not necessary.

Learning a second language requires a lot of time to plan, edit and make corrections. When learning a second language monitor should be used to polish appearance (Saville, &Barto, 2016). Some learners overuse it, others underuse it, and there are those who use it appropriately so referred to as optimal users(Kumar, &Nazneen, 2016). The degree at which a learner uses monitor depends on his/her courage as well as whether he/she is an introvert or an extrovert. Extroverts are under-users while introverts and those who lack self-confidence are over-users.

Learning a new language requires hard work and dedication and mastery of grammar rules. The ease or complexity of becoming fluent depends on the teaching method applied. When learning a new language, one has to start with the basics such as verbs and sentence structure(Kumar, &Nazneen, 2016). After learning there is a need for practicing both in writing and verbally to be fluent. Sometimes it becomes difficult to use a second language even after learning because when one does not practice it will be forgotten because it is acquired consciously not natural. When learning a new language, one goes through five stages that can be predicted.

In the first stage which is reproduction the learner has minimal comprehension and cannot communicate verbally using the language. This stage lasts for 0-6 months, and the learner advances to early production where he/he understands some keywords and phrases and can produce some response(Kumar, &Nazneen, 2016). In this stage, one has masterly of use of past tense and in the next stage which is speech emergence he/she acquires the ability to construct sentences although they contain both pronunciation and grammatical errors. The intermediate level learner understands the language and the grammatical and pronunciation errors are limited. The final stage of second language learning is advanced fluency whereby the student can communicate both verbally and in written form like a native. To reach this stage however one has to learn for more than five years.

Although the movie might be entertaining, it might be challenging to comprehend whatever is going on especially when there are no translations in the language that one understands. It feels weird and frustrating to watch and listen to such content because to understand the message delivered in the movie one should be able to relate the visuals with the audio (Alma, 2017). The frustrations do not only occur in the media platforms but also in real life situations when you are in a group of people who use a language that you cannot comprehend. It becomes embracing when one is unable to respond to basic communication such as greetings. The situation becomes worse if the communication is from a person who is not aware that you do not understand the language. In this case, the person is likely to assume that you are ignoring him or her. It is also frustrating because networking will be impossible as one becomes a passive audience. The shortcomings encountered are what motivates an individual to learn a foreign language.

The challenges can be encountered by dedicating sufficient time to listen to foreign speech to master sound units which are connected to form spoken language(Sotillo, 2002). Listening frequently helps in making hears used to the speech, so patience is needed. The learning can be more natural if one interacts more with the native speaker. One benefit of making use of face to face conversations as compared to recordings is that in the former the speaker can slow down the pace and can also use facial expressions as compared to the later where there is no facial expression. Additionally, taking both oral and written tests can help in learning a language.

Teaching a foreign language is beneficial especially to children as they get to appreciate cultural diversity (Boutte, 2002). Language is one of the tools that can be used to solve racial discrimination because children will be taught how to interact with people from diverse origins. Foreign language education can also help in improving networking skills. Since children learn faster than adults, the education curriculum should be designed to include foreign languages and parents should be enlightened on the importance of studying languages.



Alma L. M., (2017). CómoMatar a unesposomuerto [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhRGlMQHYMs

Boutte, G. (Ed.). (2002). Resounding voices: School experiences of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Allyn & Bacon.

Kumar, E. S., &Nazneen, S. (2016). A Literature Review of the Theories of Learning and Varieties of Learning with Emphasis on Second Language Acquisition. Language in India16(7).

Saville-Troike, M., &Barto, K. (2016). Introducing second language acquisition. Cambridge University Press.

Sotillo, S. M. (2002). Constructivist and collaborative learning in a wireless environment. TESOL Journal11(3), 16-20.

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