Second Language Observation

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In order to increase my understanding of how students acquire a second language, I observed four class sessions of students learning a foreign language. These classes included French 102, ASL 102, and two consecutive sessions of Engl 99R. The first two classes listed are students learning French and American Sign Language, while the third class is an ESL class. In these classes I observed interactions and methods as a non-participant in order to add to my knowledge of second language acquisition. Reflecting on the sessions, I noticed comparable themes emerging. Second language classroom teachers utilize a combination of language acquisition theories such as Vygotsky’s Sociocultural theory and B.F. Skinner’s Behaviorism theory along with aspects…show more content…
Skinner’s Behaviorism theory of language development. Repetition is a vital part of this theory wherein students imitate a correct version of a statement back to the interlocutor with positive feedback given to begin to form habits. Instructors used the method of repetition in various circumstances throughout the class sessions. For example, in French 102, the instructor introduced vocabulary words by having students imitate the words back to her one by one after she had said them correctly. When the students accurately repeated the words back, the instructor would give positive feedback such as nodding her head yes and saying “oui!” In ASL 102, students would watch the professor sign a word or sentence, and then imitate it to practice learning the correct…show more content…
She would also speak about the information on the slides as she went through them. This technique is advantageous to someone who is a visual and/or auditory learner. Similarly, near the end of the class the students pulled out their course readings and talked about the homework the instructor had assigned for that night. Students could look at at assignment and hear what they were expected to do to successfully complete the tasks. In Engl 99R the professor would draw pictures on the chalkboard that accompany his lessons. For instance, when the professor was teaching about topic sentences, he drew a piece of paper on the board and marked where the topic sentence goes in an essay. This took in consideration for students to learn both visually and

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