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English Teaching TEFL
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1st Language vs 2nd Language Acquisition The means of learning/acquiring language is a complex process that is still debated. It has been suggested that due to biological factors, one?s first language is acquired, while a second language, as it might utilize different cognitive faculties in the brain, is learned. L1, or one?s native language, has biological connections. In her book Language Matters, Donna Jo Napoli states that a language gene was discovered called FOXP2 (5). This supports ideas that L1 occurs naturally: it begins in the womb with FOXP2, and is developed with the formation of the auditory system around the seventh month. Before the child is born, it hears its mother and can be calmed by her voice after birth. It can be concluded then that the acquisition of L1 begins before an individual is born. Not only do studies show that children who are exposed to ordinary speech learn at the same rate as those primarily exposed to ?motherese,? but even those children who do not receive any conscious language teaching still acquire language at the same rate of other children around the world. In some cultures, such as Samoa, children learn from overhearing adults speak rather than having adults speak to them or purposefully teach them language (Napoli 4). Theories suggest