L1 Language And Second Language

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In linguistic studies, a person’s first language the mother tongue is known as the L1 language. Consequently, the second language, acquired in addition to this first language is referred to as the L2 language. To understand their significance and difference it is necessary to identify the methods and terminology used in the acquisition of one’s first language.
This study of language acquisition is an important aspect in ESL. Since not only is there a relationship between the two, but the first language can define the learning process of a second language known as L2. (Cook, The relationship between First and Second Language Learning Revisited, 2010).
According to studies, L1 it is characterized by various aspects. As a first language, it
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This is because it involves children being taught their first language, L1. As such they cannot merely be viewed as mere ‘mini adults’. According to a study carried out by Brown in 1973 and an earlier study carried out by McNeil in 1966, a child’s language differs somewhat from the adults.
In L1, teaching, in the traditional sense of instruction, doesn’t ordinarily occur. Instead, ‘instruction’ is more intuitive, relying on more unconscious techniques. Children develop the ability to intuitively acquire concepts on correctness in L1.
Some scholars often view child language as a defective version of language, possibly as their language skills are still under an early developmental stage, certainly in the in the case of very young learners.
However another opinion in linguistics suggests that child language is not merely a fragment of an adult language system, but a language system of its own right (Cook, First and second language acquisition, 2008).
This also draws a parallel to studies into L1 language acquisition have shown that adults alter their language, when talking to children, which could be a factor in further aiding in L1 language
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Learners with a primary language L1 in Chinese, will make a common mistake with plurals, omitting the necessary “s”. However when students are challenged or corrected they will demonstrate knowledge of plural nouns.
The reason for this is down to the Chinese language itself, there being no distinction concerning a singular or plural noun. This is an example of the syntax of the Chinese language influencing the learning of English.
Although over time the student improves proficiency in English and the instances of this error is reduced, it is important that a teacher is aware of interlanguage influences to improve the effectiveness of learners. As the approach for a Chinese speaker will be different from a speaker of a different language, such as Russian, the outcome will be different (Wyss Jr. & Thrush, 2007).
To conclude, it is important to understand that both L1 and L2 are different not only in their regards to techniques used but the learning process itself. It is important to understand this difference and interlanguage interference can produce variables in the learning process. Understanding interlanguage interference allows the teacher to amend or adjust one’s teaching according to the specific needs of the students being
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