SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Prof. Miguel Villanueva Coaguila
The process of acquiring a second or foreign language TakenfromAppliedLinguisticsDictionary Oxford It is the process by which people learn a second language in addition to their native language(s). Takenfrom www.wikipedia.com
Second language acquisition (SLA) is defined as the process of becoming competent or proficient in a second or foreign language, from the first use of a language item to its advanced applications at a later stage
The purpose of SLA studies is to describe and explain the way second languages are learned in terms of both linguistic and communicative competence.
From a sociolinguistic perspective, acquisition through organized instruction occurs in classrooms with the help of teachers and instructional materials. Acquisition through immersion occurs in social situations using contextual clues.
Klein identifies ‘spontaneous’ and ‘guided’ acquisition. The first focuses on everyday communication, whereas the second targets the mastery of the language system.
Krashen distinguishes between ‘acquisition’ and ‘learning’. In his analysis of the process of mastering a second language, he reserves ‘acquisition’ for the subconscious process of learning a language by being exposed to it. ‘Learning’, according to him, is the conscious process of mastering a language by studying it.
Chomsky focuses on the results of SLA, which he defines as ‘competence’ and ‘performance’. According to him, ‘competence’ in a second language is the mastery of the internalized grammar that the ideal speaker or hearer, not a real one, has of the whole language. Performance’ in Chomsky’s Generative Transformational Grammar, on the other hand, refers to a person’s actual use of a language in the understanding and production of sentences.