Essay On Second Language Acquisition

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1.0 Introduction First language acquisition (FLA) is defined as the acquisition of a single language in childhood, regardless of the number of languages in a child’s natural environment. Second language acquisition (SLA) is the language learned after the first language (L1) where the language is used widely in the speech community. According to Houmanfar, Hayes, and Herbst (2005), the first and second languages are interrelated and the history of the first language is a participatory factor in the acquisition of the second language (L2) and its maintenance. The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis indicates that the structure and shape of the L1 of an individual are different from those the L2 that could create errors in speaking, reading and writing (Dulay et al., 1982). Similarities and differences between L1 and L2 acquisition will be outlined in terms of various theories. 2.0 Similarities between First and Second Language Acquisition 2.1 Developmental Sequences (Language Development)…show more content…
Three developmental stages have outlined by Rod Ellis (1984): the silent period, formulaic speech, and structural and semantic simplification. Both L1 and L2 language learners pass through these three stages. Silent period is the first stage where learners do not attempt to speak. Children acquiring their first language go through a period of listening to the language they are exposed to. Learners opt for a silent period when immediate production is not required from them in case of SLA. Second stage, formulaic speech is defined as expressions which are learnt as unanalyzable wholes and employed on particular occasions (Lyons, 1968, cited in Ellis, 1994). The third stage, structural and semantic simplifications. Structural simplifications take the form of omitting grammatical factors and semantic simplifications take the form of omitting content

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