Second Language Acquisition
“Language acquisition is a learning process like any other learning process but the cognitive elements of language is unique because the issues of representation and meanings across a series of speech flow are unique. Language competence and performance result from the dynamic system whereby, competence is strengthened through integration of performance and prior usage (Ellis, 2006c). In that case, the system is rational because of its optimal reflection of previous first language (L1) usage. First language influences the manner in which learners respond to language. After the language has been learned, information is transferred to second language. Therefore, first language influences the manner in which learners respond to the use of second language acquisition by influencing both associative and cognitive skills (Ellis, 2006a). Primarily, second language acquisition is a system involving interaction of different elements with people wanting to communicate and the world to be discussed.
Limitation to effective second language acquisition (SLA) is caused mainly prior L1 usage which limits end-state of SLA. However, Ellis (2006a) states that the limitations can be overcome through the recruitment of learner consciousness. That is, the second language learners can be put into dialectic tension that exists between the forces in conflict. However, through interaction with the new language, the learners increase their exposure to the new language leading to improvement in their language performance. According to Ellis (2006d), theories of cognitive grammar suggest that, associative learning can cause second language learners to acquire the new language with ease. More interaction with the second language increases the attention that the language learners give to the new language because their cognition of the new language is increased.
According to usage- based language theories, language acquisition suggest that, the creative linguistic competence of an individual result from association of memories of all the utterances that they have encountered throughout their language use life. That is, repeated usage of certain words or phrases contributes to language acquisition. In addition, high frequency constructions are processed more easily compared to low- frequency constructions because of associative learning resulting from usage. For example, the possibility of words such as won occurring is higher than words such as synecdoche (Ellis, 2006a). Similarly, Ellis (2006b) points out that, second language acquisition process is made easier when the individual has already used the word or words in the past. The history of use of the words thus, increases the acquisition rate…”
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