Essay on Age and Second Language Acquisition

2164 Words Jan 16th, 2013 9 Pages
Age and second language acquisition

For over sixty years scientists and linguists have been doing the researches about the second language acquisition and bilingualism among children. It has been discovered that second language acquisition is a parallel of the first language acquisition but also there are a lot of differences.
At the beginning it must be said what the bilingualism and second language acquisition are. SLA (Second Language Acquisition) refers to the process by which people learn second language that means that they know one language and then start learning the other one. On the other hand, bilingualism refers to the ability to use two languages with equal fluency. But some scientists believes that even though those
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It means that all new elements of the language are developed as the acquisition of the first language.
In the age of 6-7 children start to recognize and separate two languages. They learn the second language rather than acquire due to the way that the language is taught. Also it is worth noticing that some of the sounds of second language can be weird for child and not always he or she is capable to pronounce words properly. It results with foreign accent. According to Stephen Krashen, child acquires a second language by receiving input in the target language which is a little bit above their current level of acquired understanding. What is more, according to Krashen’s Affective Filter hypothesis, high motivation, self-confidence, a good self-image, and a low level of anxiety play great role in the second language acquisition among children. Children learn also by the imitation of adults. What is more SLA depends on the quantity of input, so the quantity of the parents speech. The more child hears, the more efficiently and faster he or she acquires.
As I have mentioned, the second language acquisition makes a parallel of the first language acquisition but is slightly different. In 1983, Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell in their book The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the classroom (1983) distinguished five stages of second language acquisition among children. Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in United States organized them and listed.

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