Language attrition

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  • Publicado : 27 de abril de 2011
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A language can become vulnerable when it comes on learning it. Despite the fact that the first language (L1) has a more solid base within the individual because it has been developed since birth; asecond language (L2) could be the one which is more desired by the individual. The desire of learning a second language can be brought over the first language. According to Elder’s “The Handbook ofApplied Linguistics” there is an issue called ‘Language Attrition’ which is the reversal of a language acquisition (Elder, C. 2004, p. 210) . When it comes to the acquisition of a language, it depends onthe notion of frequency of reinforcement and not the time that it has taken to learn a language; the language you learn the best is the one least vulnerable in the matter of losing a language.
Theframeworks when learning L2 are very important for the individual; age, gender, socioeconomic background, and education are the objective factors when it comes to learning. On the other hand there aremore subjective factors that affect the context of bilingualism which are attitude, motivation, emotion and exposure to the language. These subjective factors are the main influence on learning L2.The importance behind this is to understand the psychological and sociological facts that cause L1 language attrition due to the individual’s background of learning.
There are four brain mechanismsthat help define language attrition which are:
1. Plasticity
It consists mostly on the learning of L1 within the first years of life. It is based that synaptic connections are not completely matureand it makes harder the quickly adaptation to new situations in which the dominant language switches into a non-dominant language.
2. Activation
It is the frequency of the usage of a language. Itis important for a language to be in constant use in order for it to be acquired; meaning that attrition of L1 is developed by the lack of use of a language. In this case, L2 could be the one that...
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