1. What’s The First Language?
A first language (also native language, mother tongue,
arterial language, or L1) is the language (s) a person has
learned from birth or within the critical periode, or that a
person speaks the best and so is often the basis for
In some countries, the terms native language or mother
tongue refer to the language of one’s ethnic group rather
than one’s first language. Sometimes, there can be more
than one native or mother tongue, (for example: when
the child’s parents speak different languages). Those
children are usually called multilingual.
multilingual person, in a broad definition,
is one who can communicate in more than
one language, be it actively (through
speaking, writing, or signing) or passively
(through listening, reading, or perceiving).
speakers have acquired and
maintained at least one language during
childhood, it’s so called first language (L1).
The first language (sometimes also
referred to as the mother tongue) is
acquired without formal education, by
mechanisms heavily disputed.
linguistics, first language acquisition is
closely related to the concept of a “native
speaker”. According to a view widely held
by linguistics, a native speaker of a given
language has in some respectsa level of
skill which a second (or subsequent)
language learner can hardly reliably
A. What’s SLA?
Second Language Acquisition (SLA) refers
both to the study of individuals and groups
who are learning a language subsequent
to learning their first one as young
children, and to the process of learning
short, SLA is the process of learning
other languages in addition to the native
speaker. For instance, a child who speaks
Hindi as the mother tongue, starts learning
English when he starts going to school.
English is learned by the process of
second language acquisition. In fact, a
young child can learn a second language
faster than an adult can learn the same
most scholars use the term
“language learning” and “language
acquisition” interchangeably, actually
these terms differ. Language learning
refers to the formal learning of language in
the classroom. On the other hand,
language acquisition means acquiring the
language with little or no formal training or
The additional language is called a
“second language” (L2), even though it
may actually be the third, fourth, or tenth
to be acquired.
TL It is also commonly called a target
language (TL), which refers to any
language that is the aim or goal of
More detail of the TL
Target Languge (TL) is the language learners
are studying, and also the individual items of
language that they want to learn, or the teacher
wants them to learn.
Example: The teacher first presents the target
language, learners practise it, and then there’s a
production staage where the target language is
used in a free activity.
-> Lessons aims may be based around
target language, e.g, “Learners will be
able to understand the difference between
“ I didn’t need to, and “I needn’t have”
is acquired during early chilhood;
normally beginning before the age of
about three years and those, they are
learned as part of growing up among
people who speak them.
Acquisition of more than one language
during early chilhood is called
2. What’s a Second Language?
Sometimes it is necessary for us to make
further distinctions according to the
function the L2 will serve in our lives.
These differences may determine the
specific areas of vocabulary knowledge
following are distinctions commonly
made in the literature:
A second language is typically an official
or societally dominant language needed
for education, employment, and other
basic purposes. It is often acquired by
minority group members or immigrants
who speak another language natively.
foreign language is one not widely used in
the learners’ immediate social context which
might be used for future travel or other crosscultural communication situations.
Library language is one which functions
primarily as a tool for further learning through
reading, e.g books and journals.
An Auxiliary language is one which learners
need to know for some official functions in their
immediate political setting, or will need to
purposes of wider communication.
Other restricted or highly specialized functions
for “second languages are designated language
for specific purposes, e.g French for Hotel
Management. One such prominent area is
English for Academic Purposes (EAP).
3. Frameworks of SLA
of SLA can be categorized as primarily
based on linguistic, psychological, and social
frameworks. We should keep in mind that there
are extensive interrelationships among them.
There have been foci (plural of focus) for the
study of SLA from linguistic perspective since
1960: Internal and external.
The first linguistic framework with an internal
focus is Transformational Generative Grammar
(Chomsky 1957, 1965). The apperance of this
work revolutionized linguistic theory and had
profound effect on the study of both first and
This framework was followed by the Principles
and Parameters Model and the Minimalist
Program, also formulated by Chomsky.
The most important linguistic frameworks
contributing to an external focus on SLA
are categorized within Functionalism.
Approaches based on functional
frameworks have dominated European
study of SLA and are widely followed
elsewhere in the world.
There’re three foci in the study of SLA from a psychological
perspective: languages and the brain, learning processes, and
learner differences (individual differences).
1.Languages and the brain
The location and representation of the language in the brain has
been interest to biologist and psychologist since the nineteenth
century. Lenneberg (1967) generated great interest when he
argued that there is a critical period for language acquisition
which has neurological basis, and much age-related research on
SLA is essentially grounded in this framework.
2. Learning processes
The focus on learning processes has been
haevily influenced by computer-based
Information Processing (IP) models of learning.
Process ability is a more recently developed
framework which extends IP concepts of
learning and applies them to teaching second
Connectionism is another cognitive framework
for the focus on learning processes.
3. Learner differences (individual differences)
The focus on learner differences in SLA has
been most concerned with the question of why
some learners are more successful than others.
It arises in part from the humanistic framework
within psychology, which has a long history in
that discipline, but has significantly influenced
second language teaching and SLA.
There are two foci for the study of SLA from
this perspective microsocial and macrososial.
1.Micro Sosial Focus
The concern within the microsocial focus relate
to language acquisition and use in immediate
social contexts of production, interpretation,
and interaction. The frameworks provided by
Variation Theory and Accomodation Theory.
2. Macrosocial focus
The concerns of the macrosocial focus relate
language acquisition and use to broader
ecological context, including cultural, political,
and educational settings.
The Ethnography of Communication framework
extends the notion of what is being acquired in
The frameworks provided by Acculturation
Theory and Socisl Psychology offer broader
understandings of how such factors as identity,
status, and values affect the outcomes of SLA.