The Second Language Acquisition English Language Essay

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Each language has own structure, so when we learn our first language our mind tunes into particular work and we pay attention to particular cues of the meaning , but when we learn new language ( foreign or second language ) our brain move automatically to apply our experience in first language to get new understanding for certain cues in new language. Second language term can be defined as process by which people or (learners) learn new language in addition to their first language. In fact, language acquisition term became commonly used after stephkrashen contrasted with formal and non contrastive learning, but nowadays, most of scholars use the language acquisition and language learning in interchangeable way. Moreover, most of researchers focus on the English language as second language, because they consider English as international language and huge number of learners in the world are learning and teaching it. This assignment will shed light to the role of the first language (L1) and second language (L2) in teaching and learning in second language. Moreover, this assignment will shed light to some effective methods that can be contributed for effective teaching in second language.

2. Language teaching and learning for first language and second language

2.1 Language learning for first language and second language

In fact, Children learn their first language subconsciously without any kind of stress epically, when the circumstances of language learning are normal. Children learn their first basic structures and vocabularies of their native language in first four years of their life and their language continues to develop through life in sophistication and complexity way by depending on their level of education. In general, learners have had the ability to learn any number of languages during their lifetime. Adult learners of the (second or foreign language) consider target language learning is difficult to understand or pronounce. And any learner attempt to master for another language knows that it is a time consuming and challenging effort.

Language study dose not mean only the memorization of vocabulary and sentence structures with fair of pronunciation. But, it means more extensive than that. According to Freeman and Freeman (2004) stated that the written explanation of the components of language which one needs to know in order to teach language. In other words, the linguistic components for the learners and the teachers need to delve into are syntax (sentence structure), phonology (sound system), lexicon (vocabulary), semantics (meaning), and pragmatics (usage). In fact, language learning is not only linguistic components. But it also has several sociolinguistic and psychological reasons, which can effect on the way that the learners learn second language.

2.2 Language teaching for first language and second language

Languages can be taught and learned in many places, whether informal settings or, formal contexts, such as, classrooms, and regardless of the method used in teaching second language or foreign language the learners can achieve mastery in target language in different degrees. Second language development follows a developmental process and it resembles of the first language. Second language for adults is totally different than children, adults learners are often more critical of themselves and they have fears, while children do not have pervious experience. So, the adult learners can be affected by the type of language input as a result to their pervious experience ,and they can control its quantity and quality, meaning that they can either "tune out" the language if so desired, or they can seek opportunities to speed up the learning process. According to that Cummins (1988) has divided language skills into two major categories of proficiency. Firstly, Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) which is typically requires a few years to develop. In other words, the language learners are able to converse for daily life affairs and they can appear to be competent users of the language, and they can fluent and have the ability to respond to the concert stimuli. Secondly, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP), (CALP) term refers to the ability and it can allow to the learner to discuss and study conceptual, academic, material in the second language.

Some ways that can be used to effect on teaching in second language

Errors analysis

Errors analysis term in SLA was established in 1970 by S.B Corder and colloquies. Errors analysis was an alternative to contrastive analysis term, and consider as an approach influenced by behaviorism approach .Moreover, it can be used to distinguish between first language learners and second language learners to predict the errors. Furthermore, the errors analysis term plays vital role to study language transfer between L1 and l2. In fact, errors analysis between L1 and L2 can be classified as an over errors, which can be used out of the context and covert errors in the context. In addition, errors analysis can be classified according to the level of language. Such as, phonological, vocabulary and lexical errors. Finally, errors analysis considers as an effective way in teaching L2and it deal with learner's production in speaking and writing.

Interaction and Explicit teaching approach

Interaction approach plays vital role in language acquisition. Nation (2002) related between negotiation and generative use of the word, that the using of words in new context help the learners to understand the meaning of the words easily. While, explicit instruction approach must take in learner's first language, and it concerns with phonology, grammar and vocabulary areas, and it may lead to mix results. Moreover, this approach can give positive effect by helping the learners to distinguish the most important aspect of input of language and higher -level aspect of language. Such as, socio-pragmatics, and discourse analysis.

Cooperative learning, collaboration and intercultural development.

Collaboration approach depends on collaborative style in learning and teaching and it can be used not only to convey the content, but also to reinforce learning activities. Moreover, this method can be used to examine the teacher knowledge, and intercultural approach considers as model of collaboration approach. Johnson and Johnson (1989), Roger and Johnson (1999) stated that the main aim for collaborative approach is the teacher, in order to work in collaborative way with peers, to improve the professional development class room instruction, and learning out comes from their English language as second language learners.

How does first language effect on the second language learning and acquisition in case of input and out put of the meaning?

The meaning term focuses primarily on the tasks and can carry a heavy cognitive load. Learners are not merely focus on what to say or what is being said, but also they focus on how to say and how it is being said. Lameta-Tufuga (1994) stated that the learners discuss a task in their first language before carrying it out in writing in the second language. So, the learners have had the opportunity to understand the content of the task through the medium of their first language, before they perform the written task in English language. Moreover, Lameta-Tufuga (1994) stated that the tasks in first language discussion have some interesting features. Firstly, the learners were all very actively involved in coming to grips with the ideas. Secondly, the discussion in first language can include a lot vocabulary in the second language and these vocabularies can be used in the later task. So, the discussion in first language is not merely help the learners to get on top of the content, but it also help them to control on the vocabulary in L2 and to be supportive for them in L1 context.

In fact, there are many ways to convey the meaning for an unknown word. Such as, pictures, or a diagram, a real object, L2 context clues, and L1 translation. But in terms of accuracy of conveying the meaning, none of these methods are intrinsically better than the others methods. In other words, that all methods basically depends on the particular word. According to Lado, Baldwin and Lobo (1967), Mishima (1967) and Laufer and Shmueli (1997) stated that the first language translation approach considers as one of the most effective way to convey the meaning to the second language, and they consider L1 translation way as clear, short and familiar way in conveying the meaning. While, other studies consider using the dictionary as effective way in teaching second language.

Common factors effecting on teaching and learning English language as second language

There are many reasons effect on language teaching and learning English language as second language. According to that MJAL (2009) categorized these reasons into two kinds that can effect on language learning and teaching of English language as second language in India. Firstly, the regional of language considers as medium of study from the primary level and the other consider English language as the medium of study. The problem of teaching English for Indian learners starts from the pre-schooling. And the second kind called environment and family background, as MJAL (2009) mentioned that the majority of people in India are farmers, and they are not interested in educational background for their children. Moreover, the low income for families obligates the children to engage in some jobs to earn money rather than interesting in education. In addition, the infrastructure factor plays vital role in learning and teaching English language as second language.

MJAL (2009) mentioned in the second category, that the learners have enough background in basic education since their parents are educated but they do not depend on the nature much. and Many of second category learners are joining in English medium schools and therefore, they do not find much difficulty in pursuing their higher education. in addition , the majority of second category families are dwelling in towns and cities

And therefore, the students in second category can access easily in quality education. While, the students in first category can score good marks in the exams that they had conducted and that proves that they have good writing skill in English language. But, they are weak in oral English communication. And so, they need training program in oral communication and it should be framed in pre-schooling.

Encouraging L2 use

There are several reasons for why learners use the L1 when they should use L2. And these reasons include, low proficiency in the L2, the naturalness of using the L2 to do certain jobs, and shyness in using the L2. Nation (1997) mentioned to some ways that can be used to avoid these obstacles and encouraging L2 use. Firstly, the teacher should choose manageable tasks that are suitable for learners' levels proficiency. Moreover, prepare the learners for tasks by pre teaching the language items and skills needed. Secondly, the teacher can use staged and graded tasks that can bring learners up to the level required. And the teacher can inform his /her learners of the learning goals for each task and help them to achieve theses goals. Thirdly, the teacher can setup a monitoring system to remind the learners to use the L2. Finally, the teacher should not use threaten task, and let the learners choose their own groups and let them prepare well for the tasks.


In conclusion, first language and second language acquisition and learning play vital role in teaching of second language, and there are many methods can be used in second language teaching. Such as, errors analysis, collaborative and intercultural approach and interaction methods. Moreover, there are many reasons effect on second language teaching. Such as, low educational background and low income for families. In addition , first language knowledge can be used effectively in second language teaching by focusing on tasks discussion ,and first language is not merely help the learners to get on top of the content, but it also help them to control on the vocabulary in L2 and to be supportive for them in L1 context. Finally, this assignment mentioned to some methods that can be used to encourage using second language. As we have mentioned above.