Factors Affecting Second Language Learning

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Second language learning, L2, briefly means a process of learning or acquiring a second –third or fourth- language other than the native language. As Mitchell says “The learning of any language, to any level, provided only that the learning of the ‘second’ language takes place sometime later than the acquisition of the first language “ (1998). Second language acquisition field is a subdiscipline of applied linguistics but it also creates research areas for other disciplines, such as education or psychology. Second language learning refers to what learners do while acquiring the second language but it also is about how teaching process affects the second language learning.
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Motivation is necessary for almost everything in life and each person is motivated differently. There are two types of motivation; extrinsic and intrinsic. While extrinsic one is desired for achieving success in order to earn something or avoid punishment, intrinsic one is for self-achievement; for person’s own sake. It could be said that having motivation for tangible reasons is called extrinsic and having motivation because of more personal reasons is called intrinsic. And it should be remembered that learners’ emotions change. One day an extrinsic learner can feel more intrinsic. People need motivation for living, studying, working, and even for getting out of bed. It can be said that it is a key to success so, motivation is really important for second language…show more content…
And this is not all about the learner. There are opportunities that one creates for oneself and there are opportunities that created for one. An individual should be able to create opportunities for her/himself. For instance, going abroad and try to talk with strangers is a perfect opportunity to improve. Starting conversations, getting in situations that requires talking, and getting in touch with locals are examples for that. Cognitive factors affect success in second language learning too. Danili and Reid ‘s definition of cognitive factors shows its importance in second language learning. As they claim; Cognitive factors refer to characteristics of the person that affect performance and learning. These factors serve to modulate performance such that it may improve or decline. These factors involve cognitive functions like attention, memory, and reasoning (2006). Intelligence, memory, and aptitude are significant factors and they correlate with academic language skills, such as exams or writing assignments. But they are not highly significant when there is no attitude towards using them for
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