Age affects the way a second language is learnt

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Dina Duque Padilla
Adquisiciòn de segundas lenguas
Essay i
February 22nd

Age: an important factor which affectssecond language acquisition
An outstanding factor on second language acquisition is age. It determines the way in which an individual approaches second language learning. There are many factors affecting SLA One of them is the motivation a learner has toward learning the language. It may be intrinsic or extrinsic. Anther factor is the exposure, either the student learnsinside a classroom or in the country where the language is spoken. Other aspects are; the aptitude, which not everyone has and intelligence which may vary from student to student and so on; however, this essay focuses on age.
According to Saussure a language is an example of the kind of entity which certain sociologists call “social facts”, It is a phenomenon from in a social world wheremany features are involved to develop one skill. When we talk of second language acquisition (SLA) a lot of factors will come to us; however, not all learners develop their skills in the same way, there are many involved in SLA. Some people learn faster and some others learn slower, some learn certain skills first and some learn other skills When we learn a second language (L2) we are going todeal with many different aspects, such as: social context, intelligence, aptitudes, socio-economic class, methods, ethnic background, sex, age, and others. Age is the focus of this essay. Some authors differ in their findings from others. According to what Ellis states It is recognized “that it is not age, sex, social conditions, or ethnic identity what determine L2 proficiency, but rather the socialconditions and attitudes associated with these variables” (Ellis, 1994; p.211) That is why I started this essay with what a language is. On my teaching experience I have faced different aspects which affect my students learning, unfortunately I used to believe they were only social factors; however, now I can realize there are a lot of them and this will help me be aware of the ones which affectthem the most.
Any L2 student may face different factors when learning a language, they may be intelligence, social context, aptitudes, motivation, and so on; However, age is factor on SLA that really influences learning. A student may be highly motivated or be very smart but age does play an important role on SLA.. The fact here is how well a learner can acquire a language accordingto his/her age Children from immigrant families are able to speak the language as if they were native speakers but their parents can not achieve mastering the language as well as their children. Young learners frequently get the language from an informal environment where they have no pressure to do it so they do it fluently from the beginning. Adults have to elaborate more sophisticatedutterances from a different way of life and from different situations they face everyday.
Studies of the relationship between age of acquisition and second language development have focused on learners’ pronunciation. (The critical period hypothesis) “These studies have concluded that older learners almost inevitably have a noticeable foreign accent” (Lightbown, 1999; p.61).In my opinion a younger studentgets a 2L in a more natural way and when an older person studies a 2L he/she is more conscious of the learning.
Factors involved in SLA are very related to age and they can not be separated, Patowisky found “that age of acquisition is a very important factor in setting limits on the development of native –like mastery of a second language and that this limitation does not apply only...
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