How Are Second Languages Learned

Universität zu Köln
Englisches Seminar 1
WS 2013/2014
Essay Writing II
Dr. Selwyn Jackson
Merle Mähler

How are second languages learned? Discuss various theories.

When writing about theories of second language acquisition (SLA) they can, for a better understanding, be divided into two major groups. The first group represents approaches which support the nativist theory, while the second one promotes believes of the environmental theory. The first group primarily explores the linguistic aspects of language acquisition and aims to give a correct answer about how languages are acquired by the individual learner. The theory only takes a secondary look on social factors ...

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strategies for each theoretical believe. Stephen Krashen's "Monitor model" will illustrate the linguistic process. As an example of the second perspective Wallace E. Lambert's "Social psychological modal" will be outlined.

"The development of language proficiency begins with language input, that is, language input that is understood"(Gardner 1985, 127). According to Krashen the only way to learn a language is being exposed to comprehensible input. His "Monitor modal" illustrates two different techniques a language learner can use to acquire the target language. Therefore he makes a distinction between language learning and language acquisition. He clearly states, that only language acquisition is responsible for spontaneous speech acts and language learning can alone be used to "monitor" language output. On the one hand, language learning can be described as a conscious process of rule learning. The monitor acts as the learners' conscious grammar, which helps her/him learn ...

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understands. The amount of input is of immense importance to learn a language. According to Krashen the only threat to acquiring a language can be the affective filter. This filter is comprised of negative emotions, being for example motivation, self-confidence and low anxiety and hinders the individual to acquire a language. The filter prevents the listener to productively take in the language input and process it. The strainer can only be lowered if the acquirer can for example be motivated or the environment changed into a more comfortable situation. Krashens theory which supports the linguistic process was criticized to be too generalizing. He does not explain his terminology and ...

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How Are Second Languages Learned. (2014, May 31). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from
"How Are Second Languages Learned.", 31 May. 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2018. <>
"How Are Second Languages Learned." May 31, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2018.
"How Are Second Languages Learned." May 31, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2018.
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Added: 5/31/2014 09:23:33 AM
Submitted By: mmaehler
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1351
Pages: 5

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