Essay On Foreign Language Acquisition

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Foreign language acquisition deals with two types of learning. On the one hand, J. Cummins argues that a set of metalinguistic knowledge from the first language certainly influences the second language acquisition. On the other hand, S. Krashen explains that there are two independent systems which influence the second language learning. He calls them the acquired system and the learned system. The acquired system is responsible for producing subconscious processes without paying attention to form, whereas learned system is acquisition of language resulting from prolonged and extensive exposure to meaningful interactions in that particular language. When this exposure is minimal the problem of acquired system dominating the learning process…show more content…
Any language acquisition is based on how much we listen and read in that given language. Like we acquire our mother tongue through listening and speaking, initially imitating sounds moving on to words and sentences as infants. Reading and writing comes later when we attend school. But second language or foreign language acquisition always begins after a learner goes to school and starts with reading and writing; listening and speaking always take a back seat or rather not present at all. This situation is rather predominant in Arab countries since English is not used anywhere in their day to day affairs. A language has to be learnt in a formal controlled environment that is the class room. Most of the Arabic speaking teachers converse in the local language curtailing all possibilities of helping the students to acquire a foreign language. Actually, they indulge in Arabic to use it as a scaffolding technique but most of the time they get carried away and tend to continue with Arabic. First language should be used sparingly to explain a foreign language because the difficulties the learner endures in exploring the spelling, pronunciation, meaning and usage, in a way helps them to remember, learn and practice the same. Which is similar to the struggle of a butterfly that wrestles it way out of the cocoon and by doing so strength its wings for perpetual flying

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