Learning A Second Language Acquisition Essay

1253 Words Mar 7th, 2016 null Page
Second Language Acquisition Learning a second language is deemed mandatory in many secondary schools in various countries and also has many benefits, but studies show that many students — even if they excel academically in every other subject — struggle with foreign language classes. Most children will learn their first language through listening to the language spoken around them and imitate what they hear. It is known that if a child is raised in a household where multiple languages are spoken, they will begin to learn parts of both languages. This process usually happens before the child reaches the age of three. Many researchers have hypothesized that there is a reason why children who are exposed to multiple languages in early childhood have an easier time mastering a language once they reach primary school age. Originally hypothesized by Eric Lenneberg, the critical period hypothesis states that early childhood is a critical period for learning of language to occur. Language — especially second languages — should be taught to primary school children aged 3-12 so that a level of mastery can be achieved. Although the critical period hypothesis states that there is a biologically determined period of life when language can be acquired more easily, research suggests that there are other types of “periods” which define sensitivity to new information. Elissa Newport of The University of Rochester suggests that instead of a critical period, there is a sensitive period for…

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