What is Second Language Acquisition?
In simple term it means accidental learning of a second language other than your mother tongue. 'Mother tongue’ is the first language of an individual, i.e. language one grows up listening to and being exposed to at all times at home and outside. Thus second lingo acquisition takes some efforts from learner's side. So, does it mean 2nd language acquisition cannot just happen but with some conscious learning?
First language acquisition is the language one hears right from the time when inside the womb until he/she is able to speak that language. However, in a bilingual or multilingual home where an individual grows up with more than one language, he/she develops language rules/ language system for those many languages. Actually, the language which used most turns out to be the dominant lingo with native like competency in that language and other language will remain to be the second language with near native competency.
So, does it mean second language acquisition happens without conscious learning?
Yes and No.
There isn't a definitive answer to this because we do learn our first language without being taught. But this kind of L-1 acquisition comes with limited capacity. For example, if not taught we will not be able to read or write in L-1.
Similarly, in the case of second language acquisition/ learning does take place depending on the extent of exposure and conscious learning of the language. In strict linguistic sense there is a difference between ‘Acquisition and Learning’.
Why does second language acquisition happens?
In today’s time it’s inevitable.
We live in a ‘jet set go’ age where it has become a necessity for most people to know more than one language. The world has become a global village with internet, technological advancement and faster modes of transportation. Multinational Companies recruit and relocate their employees in any corner of the world. Thus, bilingualism or multilingualism has become by-product of the changing times.
Moreover, a whole new set of modern ideologies has swept across the world. Individuality is the hallmark of this era. I mean we see more cross Cultural/ National alliances today than ever before.
Look at the inter-cast, inter-religion, inter-national marriages. Consequently we see a large number of families which speak more than one language. In such bilingual set up, it is a common feature to see one language as the dominant or main language and the other as the second language of the household.
Is English Second Language or First Language for you?
In either case you would need a good number of vocabulary words to excel in your field. Take a look at this e- book wordlists free download and decide words for learning.
ESL Vocabulary (English as a Second Language) learners need to pay special attention to the pronunciation, spelling and usage of the words because; most ESL users carry influences of their mother tongue to their second language vocabulary like- sentence structure, pronunciation etc.
Therefore, if you know how language acquisition happens or second language learning takes place, you can use some of the elements of L-1 or your first language to learn vocabulary in ESL in a more natural fashion.
What are the main reasons for Second Language Acquisition
Two main reasons for mandatory learning English as a second language are:
1. Because of School educational policy.
2. Work requirement.
3. You moved to a new country and had to learn Country's language, a second language for you to survive or you picked up that language subconsciously by simply being present there.
Return from Vocabulary in Second Language Acquisition to English Vocabulary
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