Second Language Acquisition Essay

2047 WordsDec 1, 20119 Pages
In the United States, the majority of Americans now speak at least two languages. An estimate of bilingual people in the United States of America, “According to the 1990 United States Census, one in seven or 31.8 million people speak a language other than English in their home” (ASHA, Children and Bilingualism, 1994). Research has been done of how a second language is acquired and when second language is acquired as well as the factors that affect the acquisition of a second language. When a person speaks two languages and understands all of the grammatical and linguistic rules that go along with that newly acquired language, then a second language has successfully been acquired. Second language acquisition is the acquiring of a language that is different than the one originally spoken by a person. In order for us to begin to understand second language acquisition, we must first understand first language acquisition in young life. Language acquisition is language and all the rules of communication that come along with that specific language that is acquired by a person. The process of language acquisition begins as early as in utero. Studies have shown that “… a normal human newborn tend[s] to fall into the rhythm with the sounds, syllables, words, phrases, and turn changes of adults who speak within the hearing of an infant…)” (Oller, Oller, & Badon, 2006). Furthermore, the baby’s mother’s voice which is the framework for the child’s future language is discriminated while the baby is still in utero. (Oller, Oller, & Badon, 2006). In terms of speech, a child “First, the word must have a sufficient resemblance to an adult for, or sufficient support from the context (for example, a novel form invented by the child may be used repeatedly until others catch on the meaning), so that someone else will recognize the word.” (Oller, Oller, & Badon, 2006); showing

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