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Provider Accelerated TEFL
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1st language vs 2nd language acquisitionIn my studies of English philology I attended a course that dealt with the interesting topic of how and to which success young and adult learners acquire a new language. It is fascinating how quickly and naturally children absorb their first language with all its complex grammatical rules and come to master it, no matter if it is English, Arabic, japanese or Zulu. As adults we can not remember how we learned our first language, because it happened unconsciously. In comparison, learning a foreign language requires a conscious cognitive effort in order to understand its structures and rules. But what is learning a second language like for children? And how can the tefl teacher adjust their knowledge of children?s 2nd language acquisition to their teaching? The age is an important factor regarding the effort and success of language acquisition. Lenneberg?s Critical Period Hypothesis claims that there is a fixed span of years during which language learning can take place effortlessly and completely successful. According to him, that critical period ends around puberty, due to structural reorganizations that occur within the brain during puberty. Children seem to absorb a second language just as effortlessly and naturally as their first language.