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Choose and discuss which of the following factors greatly influence second language...

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shewa55 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 9, 2013 at 4:11 PM via web

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Choose and discuss which of the following factors greatly influence second language acquisition:

A. Second language aptitude. B) The role of first language. C) Routine and patterns. D) Individual variation. 1) Monitor over user. 11) Monitor under user. 111) The optimal monitor user. E) Age differences.

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM (Answer #1)

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Ideas about language acquisition or second language acquisition are many, but of the factors you list, I would choose routine and patterns.  Having an aptitude for languages helps a great deal just because it would be easier as does the age of the learner who is immersed in the second language, but I believe that routine use of the second language and the patterns which are established lead to the true acquisition of another language.  The role of the first language can be important as the addition of another romance language such as French when one already speaks Spanish; however, the role of English if you wish to add Spanish can be an obstacle because the base origins are so different.  If routine and patterns of another language are established early and corrections made as the vocabulary grows create a language speaker rather than one who sort of tries.  To be able to speak as well as a good native speaker is the goal, and each language has a pattern to the structure.  If the learner can internalize the pattern and use the routines established early with new word acquisition and sentence structure, another language can be truly acquired.  

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chrisyhsun | Student, College Freshman | TA | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:44 PM (Answer #2)

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I think the major factors in learning a second language are: B) The role of the first language, C) Routine and patterns, and E) age differences

  • B - The role of the first language: it is easier to learn languages that are in similar language families. A native Spanish speaker will most likely have more difficulty learning Chinese (which belongs to a different language family) than he will learning French.
  • C - Routine and patterns: this topic was a bit vague for me. I interpreted this as the routine and patterns in the actual language, such as sentence structure. In English, we generally follow the subject-verb-object pattern. However, (as far as I know) Japanese follows a structure more like subject-object-verb. This will make it slightly harder to pick up Japanese for an English speaker because the bare bones of the language, where you place the words, is already different.
  • E - age differences: numerous studies have been done that show younger children have an easier time of learning languages and this ability decreases as we age. Sure, it is definitely possible to learn a language later in life. However, this process will take much more work than if the language was learned as a child, when one is not yet so set in one's first language

As a sidenote, I think that another major factor in second language acquisition is immersion. Through personal experience and what I've seen from my friends, being surrounded by individuals who speak in the second language and being subsequently forced to communicate in that language make learning it infinitely more natural.

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