Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Teacher Talk Tuesday: Second Language Acquisition

Recent events in my department that I won't bore you with here have caused me to examine my philosophy of learning/acquiring a second language. I did a bit of study in and love the field of language acquisition/language development. I understand that acquiring one's first or native language is different than acquiring subsequent languages, especially if the environment is "unnatural" (like a classroom). I do believe, however, that when learning a second language, that certain similarities from language acquisition of L1 exist. For example, receptive language develops earlier than expressive language. Over-generalization of grammar rules can lead to apparent regression with regard to speaking correctly (kids learn to say "ran", then subconsciously over-think it and then say "runned" before they get it all sorted out). I also believe that anyone learning a language should be ENcouraged and not DIScouraged by nitpicking. I am a stickler for detail, but I think it's a natural tendency to shut down if all you are met with is criticism, so I try and keep it at bay. Children learn to speak well from adults who model good pronunciation, good grammar, broad vocabulary and expressive speech. They learn from being read to. I think that transfers to the acquisition of a second language as well.



Blogger Jane Vigliotti said...

Have you heard of TPRS?

It's got all of this and more!

I use it in my Spanish classroom and it's amazing what the kids can do!

4/02/2008 8:54 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

i agree.

you should write a book!

in teaching esl I had to try very hard not to correct some of the more obnoxious errors my kids would make when in casual conversation.

like "yesterday I am swimming all day"

or "We didn't went to the store"

these types of errors hurt my head, but I think I hope I have learned to just nod and smile.

4/02/2008 10:57 PM  

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