Topics: Language acquisition, Linguistics, Second language acquisition Pages: 9 (3321 words) Published: January 15, 2014
Module 3:

Research study sheet:

1- First Language can only be acquired. This acquisition is the natural process in which children subconsciously
possess and develop the linguistic knowledge of the setting they live in. In contrast, second language learning takes place where the target language is the language
spoken in the language community that differs from the mother tongue. L1 ACQUISITION:

L1 acquisition is genetically triggered at the most critical stage of the child's cognitive development. The 'engine' of language – its syntactic system – is 'informationally encapsulated' – which means that children are not even aware of developing a complex, rule-governed, hierarchical system. Most L1 speakers do not even realize this is what they are using. The L1 is typically acquired at the crucial period of cognitive development; pre-puberty, when L1 and other crucial life-skills are also acquired or learned. Children never resist L1 acquisition, any more than they resist learning to walk. Given even minimal 'input' during critical pre-pubescent development, all humans acquire the L1 of the society or social group they are born into as a natural and essential part of their lives. Even brain-damaged and/or retarded children usually acquire the full grammatical code of the language of their society or social group. In short, L1 acquisition is an essential, biologically–driven process. It is part of every individual's evolutionary history and development in the most critical stage of that individual's acquisition of essential life-skills.

L2 learning is not genetically triggered in any way unless the child grows up bi-lingually (in which case, it is not really L2 learning at all). The syntax of the L2 is not acquired unconsciously, or at least not in the way L1 syntax is acquired. Few L2 learners develop the same degree of unconscious, rule-governed insight into and use of the L2 which they demonstrate with the L1. The L2 is not learned as part of the learner's general cognitive development. It is not an essential life-skill in the same way that the L1 is. There is often great conscious or unconscious resistance to L2 learning. Many highly intelligent individuals with impressive learning skills often have great problems learning an L2. Many L2 learners 'fossilise' at some stage, so that even if they use the L2 regularly, and are constantly exposed to input in it, they fail to develop full grammatical or 'generative' competence. L2 learning is not a biologically driven process. It is not an essential aspect of an individual's general development. especially when the L2 is simply another subject on an already overloaded school curriculum or something that has to be undertaken by people with busy lives and heavy work-loads. Therefore, first language is an natural acquisition, not learned. 2-Acquisition-learning hypothesis: According to Stephen Krashen's acquisition-learning hypothesis, there are two independent ways in which we develop our linguistic skills: acquisition and learning. This theory is at the core of modern language acquisition theory, and is perhaps the most fundamental of Krashen's theories. Acquisition of language is a subconscious process of which the individual is not aware. One is unaware of the process as it is happening and, when the new knowledge is acquired, the acquirer generally does not realize that he or she possesses any new knowledge. According to Krashen, both adults and children can subconsciously acquire language, and either written or oral language can be acquired. This process is similar to the process that children undergo when learning their native language. Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language, during which the acquirer is focused on meaning rather than form. Learning a language, on the other hand, is a conscious process, much like what one experiences in school. New knowledge or language forms are represented consciously in the learner's...
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