Language Learning and Acquisition

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・APA ・2 Sources

Unlike the other hypotheses, this one focuses on learning language from the world. They establish their own grammar, according to active construction of grammar. Connectionists claim that the brain, like a machine, creates networks and learns languages. According to social interaction theory, a child's language is determined by his or her experiences with adults. acquirement
B.F. Skinner is the key adherent of this theory. He said that language acquisition was highly influenced by the climate (Taxler, 2012). As a result, children learn words by associating sounds with behaviors.
They also learn by copying adults thus the need for adults to use correct pronunciation of words so that the children get to copy what is right.

Critiques

Those who are against this theory argue that children acquire language rapidly that it cannot happen through learning. They also argue that there are so many words making sentences that a child cannot copy all of them. Children make mistakes like over regularizing verbs not learnt from adults

Similarity

This theory is similar to all the other theories of language acquisition in the sense that they all attempt to explain how human beings acquire speech. 

Differences

This theory focuses on learning language from the environment unlike the other theories. Active construction of grammar argues that they develop their own grammar. Connectionists believe that brain makes networks like a computer and learns a language. Social interaction states that the social interactions with adults determines a child’s language. acquisition.

How to Support Children Learning a Second Language in the Classroom

The learners of a second language can be supported inside the classroom by providing them with a lot of resources such as labels, books and posters. Word walls are also very important for these learners for instance the ones that are organized around alphabets, vocabulary, grammar rules and phrases among others.
Determining the relationship between the child’s home language and English is also important since the first language heavily influences how the child learns English for instance the child may have some pronunciation errors resulting from the influence of the first language (NAEYC, 2009). With this knowledge, the teacher can guide the student on the correct sounds, grammar and vocabulary.
Finally, the children can be supported by simplifying the language they are learning. Use simple words that are easy to understand and avoid the use of idiomatic expressions. Encourage them to say whenever they find difficulty in understanding a word.

Ways of supporting Families of Children Learning a Second Language

Children learning a second language require a lot of support with their families as the family has a role to play in the successful learning of a second language (NAEYC, 2009).  This can be done by involving the family actively in the early stages of learning such that they be part of the process and support the child while at home.
It can also be done by preserving and encouraging the use of home language in school. It is achievable by allowing the children to use their home language in school. This should be allowed whether the staff understand the language or not. The classroom should also be designed in a manner reflecting the home culture. Through this, appropriate English use can be easily moulded by the teachers.

Resources

One of the resources that can be used while planning for children learning a second language are flash cards containing words. Flash cards are the best since the children need to learn as many words as possible. The flashcards can be shown to the children then sentences be constructed using the words.  This will improve their mastery of the words and how to use them in sentences.
Research has found that children in preschool are the best and easiest to teach a foreign language. However, my question is, how many languages can a child in preschool learn at the same time?

References

National Association on the Education of Young Children (2009). On Responding to Linguistic and Cultural Diversity. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/diversity.pdf on 16th September 2017.

Taxler, M. (2012). Understanding Language Science. Willey Publishers: West Sussex.

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