Second language acqusition

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Name and surname(s) : Etson Alava Yahuarcani

Login : PEFPMTFL628385

Group : 24

Date : Sunday, September 27, 2009


Learning a second language is a new way to see the world. For one reason or another people want to learn it in order to communicate with the members of the target community. However during thisprocess many factors influence it in positive or negative way. When successful learning takes place it implies that learners get a communicative competence (Hymes 1972, in FUNIBER MA material, p. 70). On the contrary the pidginisation takes place and if it persists, fossilization takes place too (The Acculturation Model-Schumann 1978-, in FUNIBER SLA material, p. 39). Learning a second language isa very complex process. Researchers have studied this topic trying to explain this phenomenon. So they have different points of view about it. Having them as support I am going to make my explanations according to my experience.


I am a Spanish teacher of English in a secondary school near to Pucallpa- Peru called Marko Emilio Jara Schenone. My students are between 12 and 14years old. Age is important factor in learning L2. The earliest time it begins, it is much better. However every age has its characteristics about SLA. (All about Teaching English: A Course for Teachers of English: Pre-School Through Secondary by Raquel Varela Méndez. p. 22):

It is nowadays commonly accepted that younger learners do better in pronunciation, while adolescents do betterthan either children or adults in grammar and vocabulary when the length of exposure to the foreign language is held constant.

So, to have success in learning L2, exposure to it is important. My students are motivated because they are studying English for the very first time. This factor is very important. Age and motivation are very important for me because it allows me to develop theirinterlanguage little by little in the way to get the communicative competence. Selinker used the term Interlanguage and in order to understand it better I want to cite the following article titled “Notes on interlanguage” found in geocities web page:

‘Interlanguage’ is a term that refers to the integrated system of knowledge about the target language that the language learners are constructing intheir minds. It is very similar to the concept of competence in that it is the learner’s internalized and systematic knowledge or ability to use the target language to communicate. In fact, it could be considered a kind of competence. It differs from the general concept of competence however in the fact that the term "interlanguage" implies that the internal language system is still unfinished. Itis a work in progress. Whereas the term competence could refer to a native speaker, the term interlanguage is only used to describe a learner's incomplete knowledge in a second language. The learner is trying to construct a system of second language competence but still has not acquired all the target language rules.

Because of that I try to get profit to help students to construct their systemof second language competence through using different strategies. This process is called as creative construction and students receive information from many sources.

These sources include, assumptions based on the learners’ first languages, assumptions or generalizations based on what they already know about the target language, information they receive about the target language fromtextbooks, dictionaries, and teachers, or even the learners’ own attempts to communicate. (Idem)

However students learn only what they interest according their necessities about L2, and the teacher should motivate them to keep the interest about it in order to get the internalization. Citing the above mentioned article I want to clarify its definition.

(Internalization) refers to the...
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