Effects Of Age And Second Language Acquisition

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Register to read the introduction… Some educator such as Chipongian (2000) believe” younger is better in the long run” but some educators think the opposite. The researchers who believe that younger children can acquire second language easier than adults attribute this to the human “critical …show more content…
Concrete operational stage --- ages seven to eleven
B. Formal operational stage --- ages eleven to sixteen
In Piaget’s outline, the affects of age on second language acquisition appear to occur at puberty which is between the ages eleven to sixteen. At this stage, a person becomes capable of abstraction which is formal thinking of concrete experience in life.
As first language acquisition, second language researchers assumed that second language acquisition has a critical time which is below puberty and children who want to succeed in learning a second language should start before this critical period of time. But some educators like John T. Bruer argued that “we always pay too much attention on when learning languages occur and too little attention on how learning might best occur” in his book The Myth of the First Three Years. (Chipongian 2000, P.1) These second language researchers suggest that “early start learning in a second language is neither a strict necessary nor a sufficient condition for the attainment of native-like proficiency”. (Chipongian 2000) They believe that timing is not everything. Studies have shown that there is almost five percent of adult bilinguals master a second language even though they are over the age of puberty. Researchers assume that the only aspect of language that has an effect following the critical period is accent. Second language learners who are above the puberty stage are unable to acquire a native-like accent. But we know second
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Krashen(1981) mentioned the relationship between self-esteem and oral production in ESL performs. A person with higher self-esteem tends to achieve better than those because the person would not feel embarrass if they make mistakes. However, if teachers try to correct mistakes from those students with introvert personality, teachers need to properly correct them without embarrassing them in front of other peers. For example, if Mary says” I go to school with my sister yesterday,” the teacher would respond, "You went to the store with your sister yesterday?" She has effectively provided corrected input while also continuing the conversation. If a student shuts down after an outright correction then opportunity for more input and practice has been lost.
Risk-taking is an important characteristic of successful in learning a second language. According to Brown(2002), “learners have to be able to gamble a bit, to be willing to try out hunches about the language and take the risk of being wrong.” (p.149) Risk-taking seems to be a closely connected to a self-esteem factor. For those who have extrovert personality students, their ability to learn a second language is much quicker than introvert students because they have a higher self-esteem.

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