Language AcquisitionAll children learn or acquire their first language (the language they speak at home) and their second language (English). There is a difference between “learning” language and “acquisition” of language. The term “acquisition” is used to emphasize the natural processes and ways that a child acquires a language.The term “learning” can be used generally or to emphasize “formal learning” of a language such as in a grammar class. (Enhancing English Language Learning in Elementary Classroom)Language Acquisition Theory- Acquisition vs. Learning, Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell
AcquisitionSubconsciousSimilar to first language developmentFocus is on needs and interest of studentsAll attempts at communication are praised and reinforced; errors are accepted as developmentalInvolves student-centered Situational activities
LearningConsciousKnowing about languageFocus is on grammarCorrections of errorsInvolves drills and grammar exercises
Implications for Classroom Teaching: Teachers should devote most class time to acquisition activities. Learning activities should play a smaller role in the classroom, and can also be done as homework.
Needs of Second Language LearnersAccepting Environment Recognition of culture ESL instruction Meaningful Context Academic Context Academic Language Content Instruction Consideration for Testing and Daily Assignments
Accelerators to English Language LearnersPurpose of using language is real and natural-focus is on communication Acceptance of all language attempts made-promotes confidence Modeling of correct grammar as students responses is restated Students speak only when they’re ready-not forced too soon Language has a purpose for the learner Roadblocks to English Language LearnersOveremphasis on correctness-“No, that’s not the right way to say it” Students are forced to speak-major cause of poor articulation and grammatical control, as well as stress overload Students are forced to complete work above their competence level-above their stage of development in language acquisition