Languageacquisition and development is a continuous process in the life of aperson. It begins when an infant tries to repeat or bubble words(Diehl, Lotto & Holt, 2004). Kennison (2013) argues that languageacquisition is affected by biological and environmental factors.These variables determine the age at which acquisition is easiest.Brain development and stimuli are biological and environmentalfactors respectively (Kuhl, 2010). This paper discusses the factorsthat influence language acquisition at different ages of a person.
Kuhl(2010) argue that the stages of brain development shape the capacityof a child to learn. Kennison (2013) explains the psycholinguisticperspective of language acquisition which asserts that individualsare biologically predisposed to learn languages as the braindevelops. Stimuli only trigger innate mental processes to beginlanguage acquisition (Kennison, 2013). Furthermore, this theory ismore effective in the acquisition of secondary language than thenative language (Kennison, 2013). It is evident for adolescents whoare preparing for an exam in the second language.
Thebehavioral perspective opines that language acquisition is the resultof input environmental stimuli (Kennison, 2013). For example,children bubble words or imitate words from the mothers or closepeople to respond to what they hear, see, and feel. Learning inchildren occurs without possessing knowledge of the meaning of words(Kennison, 2013). Later, they concentrate on words that have meaningsand enhance communication. Kennison (2013) argues that environmentalconstraints will dictate the phrases they will appreciate. Theinteractionist approach employs mental abilities and stimuli inlanguage acquisition. Adults who learn a secondary language usingsoftware employs the interactionist approach. According to Kennison(2013), older people uses their experience as well as what they hearlanguage users say when they are learning a new language. Thesoftware only enhances the cognitive abilities of individuals so thatthey may be able to respond appropriately to stimuli from thelinguistic environment (Morales, 2014).
Babies who are born prematurely have delayed brain development.Therefore, their ability to acquire language is lower than thosewhose brains are developing normally. Since stimuli from thelinguistic environment are more in children than adults, babies learnnew languages more quickly than older individuals (Kennison, 2013).Biological factors enhance the acquisition of secondary language morethan the first language. Stimuli play the central role in acquisitionof the native language.
Diehl, R. L., Lotto, A. J., & Holt, L. L. (2004). Speechperception. Annual Review Psychology, 55, 149-179.
Kennison, S. M. (2013). Introduction to Language Development.SAGE Publications
Kuhl, P. K. (2010). Brain mechanisms in early languageacquisition. Neuron, 67(5), 713-727.
Morales, N. E. (2014). Use of Computer Assisted Language Learning.Education and Human Development Master`s Theses. Paper 391
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LANGUAGE ACQUSITION 3
ELLstudents are learners with the inability to communicate fluently inEnglish since in their native countries or home, they have not beenspeaking in English. When these students come to America, they have ahard time to comprehend the lectures. Continuous learning of Englishas a unit helps them catch up with the other students, and they mighteventually do very well.
Natureof the ELL language
ELLstudent writing is social. Social language is developed from socialactivities like watching games or television and is majorly assistedby the non-verbal cues and is usually cognitive undemanding. On theother hand, academic language is learnt in a regular set up, forexample, a lecture or classroom. There is more of persuasivearguments which require definitions and explanations with minimalnon-verbal cues (Combs,2012).
Linguisticcharacteristics of the language samples
Thereis over-reliance on pictures and diagrams to understand the questionsasked. Another characteristic is that the students appeared fatiguedin lectures by noon especially if pictures did not accompany thelectures. There was limited use of vocabulary in the ELL studentswork due to comprehension problems and incorrect use of theadjectives. Lastly, they did not differentiate between active andpassive voice and had significant difficulties in distinguishing thetenses.
Comparisonbetween the ELL language sample and Krashen`shypothesis or Cummins cup model.
Therewas a correlation between the language sample and Krashen model inthat the learner showed the ability to possess the English language.The time taken to learn in their mother tongue also determined howfast the learner grasped English. Another point taken was that thelesser the years spent learning in the first language, the quickerthey understood and mastered English (Malone,2012).
IncreasingELL language proficiency
Someof the tips to increase academic language proficiency include havingthe students read different textbooks and summarizing according totheir understanding and also having an introduction of vocabularyrepeatedly in the students’ authentic contexts. Engaging ELLlearners in peer discussions and class presentations helps themmaster the language and gain confidence in their expression. Theparents should be supportive and motivate their children to make iteasier for the teachers in the learning process of the secondlanguage (Robertson,2016).
Malone,S. (2012). Theoriesand research on the second language(1st ed., pp. 5-7).
Combs,M. (2012). Second theory(3rd ed., p. 3). Tucson: University of
Robertson,K. (2016). FiveThings Teachers Can Do to Improve Learning for ELLs in the
NewYear | Colorado.Colorincolorado.org.Retrieved 29 March 2017, from
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