Language Acquisition



Inthe recent past, researchers have intensified the effort forunderstanding factors that determine the capability of students tolearn the first and second language. The studies have identified thatseveral students are able to learn their first language quickly in aneducation setting, but they often have challenges in grasping secondlanguages. As a result, English teachers take special trainingdedicated to helping them acquire special skills for teaching bothnative speakers and ESL students. The objective of this research isevaluating the essential socio-cultural parameters required forcomparing and contrasting milestones of language acquisition at thetwo levels.

Socioculturalfactors that affecting first and second language acquisition

Oneof the major sociocultural factor affecting first and second languageacquisitions is siblings and parents’ input through communication.Children mainly know the speech they hear at home. They also developcomprehensive understanding of speech after continuous repetition oftelegraphic speech used in meaningful contexts during conversationsat home. Besides, first and second language students learn to applytelegraphic speeches in their own language through continuouslistening to dialogues they have with their parents and oldersiblings (Gass &amp Selinker, 2008).

Second,researchers claim that echoing is important during initialphonological acquisition. Nonetheless, semantic data is also criticalfor effective language communication. Previous studies haverecognized that repetition of root words creates a surfaceduplication of sounds that does not help students in developingcomprehensive ideas of the things the things they are saying.Instead, teachers emphasize on students’ understanding of thesemantic language level so that they can develop better comprehensionof the repetitive words (Gass &amp Selinker, 2008).

Lastly,a student can have a problem acquiring his or her first language ifthe speakers have varying accents. Studies have discovered thatechoing is among the salient strategies involved in early stages oflanguage learning. First language speakers may find it challenging tolearn the language if the teacher or surrounding persons havedifferent accents, as well as pronunciation. The different patterndrills generated by the varying pronunciation often fail to createsensible meaning (Gass &amp Selinker, 2008).

Milestonesapplication in ELD classrooms

Inputthrough communication

Englishlanguage Development (ELD) lesson is a special program endorsed byvarious states for assisting students whose English is not theirprimary language. First, the ELD educators encourage siblings andparents to communicate to the English as Second Language (ESL)students in correct English. For example, parents should say “thatdog” instead of “dat dog”, as the latter will make it hard forthe students to grasp the second language.

Second,the educators recommend that siblings and parents should avoidspeaking to the children in several languages for this willcomplicate the students’ capacity for understanding correct Englishcommunication. Researchers have discovered that ESL students with ahabit of communicating in many languages are often incapable ofcommunicating effectively in their primary language since thesemantic and sentence structure vary significantly between Englishand other languages (Gass &amp Selinker, 2008).


ESLeducators emphasize that students should understand the differentsemantic meaning of words that are pronounced the same way.Otherwise, the mere knowledge of correct pronunciation of rote wordswith no comprehensive understanding of the underlying meaning canundermine the ability of an ESL student’s ability for learningEnglish fast.

Second,teachers should provide the students with different opportunities forportraying their comprehension of the meaning of words in differentways. For example, formal conversations, discussions, and debates andcan allow educators suitable opportunities for portraying theirunderstanding of different semantic understanding of words with thesame root or pronunciation.

Third,EDL teachers should put ESL students in strategic positions so thatthey can get assistance easily, each time they have trouble withcomprehending the language. A suitable position could be next to anENL student or at the front of the classroom where a teacher caneasily reach on to them (Gass &amp Selinker, 2008).


Onthe other hand, an ELD student may find it hard to understand Englishlanguage if the speakers are using different languages or they havevarying accents. Incorrect pronunciation of words may create thewrong impression. Educators should follow the approach of giving thestudents an opportunity for saying something in order to createbetter understanding of the intended communication information (Gass&amp Selinker, 2008).

Comparisonof first and second language acquisition

Thefirst and second language students are similar in that, they bothundergo foreseeable stages. In addition, they also acquire givenstructures in a defined order. Some of the students often progressslowly throughout the phases however, they cannot skip theprocesses. Second, in both language acquisition processes, thestudents need using prior knowledge, context clues, and previousinteraction for developing better comprehension of language (Gass &ampSelinker, 2008).

Onthe contrary, first language acquisition primarily depends oncomprehending universal grammar. For second language learners, theyoften use their skills in the first experience as a platform foracquiring the second language (Gass &amp Selinker, 2008).

Anotherdifference is that first language acquisition students may find iteasier to learn the language in an academic setting than secondlanguage acquisition since they have much time for practicing thelanguage with native speakers, mainly the caregivers. On the otherhand, ESL students may have limited or even no opportunity forpracticing the language with native speakers (Gass &amp Selinker,2008).

Lastly,most people learn their first language naturally hence, ENL studentsmay not need putting as much effort as their ESL counterparts tolearn another language. However, learning a second language demandsunrelenting dedication and effort for a student to achieve success(Gass &amp Selinker, 2008).


Gass,S. M., &amp Selinker, L. (2008). Secondlanguage acquisition: An introductory course.New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.