The Importance Of Learning A Second Language

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Language is a mean of communication used by human around the globe. It is a tool that bonds people to share their daily activities with one another. While first language is known as the mother tongue, the second language is an additional language that helps one broadens his networking and horizons. Unlike other factual disciplines, like Geography or Mathematics, language it is not a theoretical process. Yet it is still taught in formal education in schools. Thus, Stephen Krashen, raised a question on which would be better in enabling one to master a second language? Will it be better through formal in-class lessons or through acquisition and experience from the surroundings? According to Krashen, acquisition is a subconscious process where…show more content…
In order to learn a second language, one needs a teacher to teach the correct way to pronounce and write the words of the intended meaning to suit its context of the language. The outcome of learning a new language by only copying a conversation may lead to the wrong usage of word choice. The use of different tones may bring about different meanings. A good example would be Mandarin. Almost every Mandarin word carries four different tones, bearing four distinct meanings. Let’s take the word /zhu/, as an example. When pronounced with the first tone, this means “live”, but with the fourth tone, this word means “a pig”. On the other hand, in some languages, words of a different spelling may sound alike and meaning can only be differentiated through contextual clues. The words /key/ and /quay/ sound rather similar. When the first refers to “a shaped metal inserted to open a lock”, the second means “a harbour”. Only through learning, a student is able to understand the word in a correct context, correct pronunciation, precise meaning and accurate spelling. Another example would be the word /perang/ in Bahasa Melayu has two different meanings when the letter /e/ is pronounced differently. It can bring the meaning of either “brown” or “war” depending on how they are used in a sentence. Besides, leaning may be easy if the new language uses the similar register of writing with one’s first language. For example, we learn Bahasa…show more content…
In most situation, learning takes place when there is a proper schedule provided throughout a certain period; for example, five times a week, and 30 minutes a session. Since a second language is a new language, it is crucial for a learner to keep on revising and practice using it. Acquisition may come in a meaningful context however, it serve a very limited space to practice the same situation as frequent as it is needed. In learning, situations are created in a context where relevant vocabularies are repeated to sharpen pronunciation and enhance the ability of using the words in proper context. Thus, learners are taught using what is better known as “a syllabus”. This, by all means, will help them learn the language step by step; right from the basic. From the word level to the sentence level. From a single word that represents multiple meanings to numerous words with different shades of meanings. As a guarantee of consistency, learning also comes with homework whereby with homework, one will not only learn during class but also after class hour. Homework also helps the teacher to measure the students’ understanding. This is important in ensuring that the learner will not only copy or memorize a word or a sentence, but to also fully understand the language in order to make his communication effective and understood by the people

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