Acquisition, Learning and Teaching Language

Subject: Linguistics
Pages: 3
Words: 958
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Undergraduate

Britton, J. (1984). Teaching English: an International Challenge. London: Heinemann Educational Books.

The author recollects the experience she had with her little son talking, singing and citing poems in his sleep. The way he recreated the words learned, the songs heard, the names of relatives living in another part of the world, served as a very surprising revelation for the author and reinforced her perception of the great potential children have for learning and developing in terms of linguistics. At the end of the article, the author claims that the monologues children may produce at night are wonderful proofs of theories about the natural processes of language acquisition occurring in children and urging them to perform various literary dissections.

In my opinion, the natural process of language acquisition is reflected in the sleeping dialogues of Simon. There is much said about the language acquisition processes for children from 3 to 5 years old, so I think that parents should not interfere much with the process of acquisition, but should only guide it in the correct direction.

Ellis, R. (1994). A Theory of Instructed Second Language Acquisition.

The author presents a theory of instructed language learning and explores the contradictions and problematic issues concerning its implementation for L2 acquisition. He notes that the theory is interactive, relies on pedagogical principles and conforms to the theory of development. The concepts of competence and performance are distinguished, and the ability to use the acquired language is juxtaposed to the formation of linguistic implicit grammar knowledge. Formal instruction is viewed as contributing to the explicit knowledge formation alone, and implicit/explicit knowledge is thought to derive from different learning processes. Other language forms are seen as heavily influencing the patterns of L2 acquisition; the balance between communicative efficiency and linguistic norms is emphasized as a need.

I agree that there are certain differences between implicit and explicit language acquisition as well as their reflection in the linguistic performance of a learner. They cover different competencies of the learner (the communicative and grammatical ones, for example). Special attention has to be paid to these forms because the long-term effect of instruction depends on the form of knowledge learners acquire, and the outcomes of studying as well.

Lantolf, J.P. (2007). Conceptual knowledge and instructed second language learning: a socio-cultural perspective.

The author speaks about cultural mediation as the source of mental processes in higher forms, and states that the responsibility for educational activity is in promoting the development through appropriation of scientific concepts. The authors of the socio-cultural theory argue that the school as the learning environment is unable to provide empirical learning because it is detached from the everyday world. Hence, the emphasis in the SCT should be made more on the formal language instruction, at the same time helping to improve the practical activity of people.

I share the opinion about the appropriation of scientific concepts through education as this stage actually represents the mediation from science to the practice. However, I do not agree on the issue of school’s detachment from the real world and its inability to provide sustainable educational environment. There are a number of devices and techniques used to enhance the efficiency of language learning in school settings, so it may be truly efficient in teaching both implicit and explicit knowledge.

Beaumont, M., & Gallaway, C. Articles of Faith: The Acquisition, Learning and Teaching of a and the.

The author uses the theories of language description as producing influence on teaching and grammar, and explores the broad theoretical perspective to help teachers make decisions on grammar strategies in teaching about article use. The descriptions of article use are theoretical and pedagogic; besides, the issues of using articles by adult native speakers, learners of the first and second language influence the choice.

I am confident in the propriety of choosing methods for teaching article use individually by every teacher for the application in a certain classroom. Individual differences of students, their studies of English as the first or second language, their age etc. are powerful influential factors that define the instructional method.

Gallwey, T. (1974). The Inner Game of Tennis.

The author speculates on the internal mechanisms of learning and the obstacles existing within the human conscious and sub-conscious that prevent the individual from learning, improvement and better performance. The human obstacles include fears, anger, expectations, poor concentration etc. The author advises to resemble children in their natural learning without restraints, and suggests that people should let go their egoistic self 1 to give way to the unrestrained self 2 enabling individuals to achieve much higher proficiency.

In my opinion, the mechanism of learning, avoiding trying too hard, and incentive to non-judgment are really powerful tools for learning. It is true that sometimes people’s inner obstacles are the main challenge in learning, and their individual characteristics shape their ability to learn. As soon as one can let go the exaggerated expectations, will not concentrate on the process of learning, and will perceive outcomes with confidence, effectiveness will be much higher.

Schmidt, R. (1995). Attention and Awareness in FLL. University of Hawaii Press.

The article is dedicated to the issues of intentional and unintentional learning and the combination of both to produce higher effectiveness of studying and material retention. The basis for the discussion is the difference between implicit and explicit learning, so the debate over traditional instructional learning and modern technologies of rhetoric instruction is still going on.

In my opinion, both methods are necessary in learning because of the individual peculiarities of students; some of them perceive unintentional learning techniques better, while others react only to formal instruction. Hence, I am sure that each teacher has to look for an optimal combination judging the individual profile of his/her group.