Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Modern Aspects of Second Language Acquisition and the Role and Function of Mistakes

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Modern Aspects of Second Language Acquisition and the Role and Function of Mistakes

Article excerpt

Abstract

Language teaching and perspectives on second language acquisition have been changing to meet to requirements of the modern day. Therefore our study aims to find out the aspects of mistakes in second language acquisition within the concept of the cultural dimension of the language. In this paper, it is suggested that mistakes are not obstacles in language learning rather they can be really useful for the development of the process if evaluated properly. In this context the role and function of mistakes are discussed and their effects on second language acquisition are examined.

Keywords: Language acquisition, Intercultural learning, Language teaching, Mistakes

1. Introduction

In a more and more globalized world communication is a key asset. People who speak more than just their native language have better chances on the international market. But language is more than just words. There is also a whole cultural dimension of knowledge behind it. Therefore 'the Global Education' is very important (Florio-Hansen, 2010). So it becomes of greater importance that people are able to communicate together. Therefore foreign language learning is becoming more popular all over the world. But how should modern language teaching be like? What aspects are important to learn a second language and how do they work? Language teaching has been an issue in schools and other educational institutions for a long time. Compared to this, the study of second language acquisition is a relatively young field. This is why there are many aspects in second language acquisition that require a closer look. Second language acquisition (SLA) is the study of how a second language is learned. The question is how the knowledge and acquisition strategies of the primary or native language may apply also in the second language acquisition and how the learners create a new language system. Most learners acquire certain knowledge in a second language, but not to the degree of their first language. It is interesting to observe that some learners can build up a proficiency in a second language that is relatively close to their native language, while others seem to stagnate at a certain level without making any more process. That is why linguists focus on the process of the acquisition strategies under different aspects. There seems to be many factors and conditions that influence the acquisition process and the final level of language knowledge. There is a classic distinction between first language acquisition and second language acquisition. While acquiring the native language, children automatically take in the cultural and global knowledge of their language group. When acquiring a second language, the learners also revert to this kind of knowledge. This can cause several problems. Most of the time, second language acquisition is considered to be more difficult than native language acquisition by learners, because this process is influenced by more complex factors. One aspect is the new field of intercultural learning, because language and culture are closely connected to each other. Language evolves mainly from cultural conditions; it is creating them as well. In the process of Second Language Learning it can be a good idea to have a closer look at different models of language Acquisition. This can be very helpful to illuminate the very stages and single phases of the learning process. So it is possible to find out which principle is used for learning and acquiring a new language. Under this aspect it is especially interesting to focus on the function of mistakes in the learning process of second language acquisition and at how these mistakes are dealt within the classroom in the context of modern second language teaching. Therefore, the question is what role and function do mistakes play in second language acquisition. And also to what extent are those mistakes could be caused by the teaching methods. As a result the right question to ask is, in what way the teacher should deal with different kinds of mistakes. …

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