EDUCATION THEORIES 8
Theacquisition of a first language is different from the acquisition ofa second language. There are various reasons as to why people learn asecond language or a foreign language. There are some methodologiesof the foreign or the second language learning as well as teaching.This ranges from the social cultural theory to the grammartranslation theory, and they have been developed in many differentfields which include linguistics, education and psychology. The quickgrowth of the global community has pushed people to see the need oflearning foreign languages so that they can understand other peopleand also communicate with other people. As a result of the interestby people in learning a foreign language, the planning and theproducing of the language learning programs has become quite animportant aspect with time. Discussed in this essay is the appraisalof an advertisement for a language program. The essay, therefore isinclusive of a summary, an evaluation and as well some suggestionsfor the advertisement to be revised so as to confirm how thesetheories have been applied in the language learning programs so thatthey can be developed in a better and easier way that is precise andunderstandable.
Themain purpose of this advertisement is to offer a self study programthat will enable a learner to learn a foreign language. Theadvertisement is much more of a study guide that has been broken downin a manner that is easy to understand for someone who is interestedin learning a second language or a foreign language. The programs inthis advertisement mainly focus on the spoken language, and thelearners are therefore able to acquire foreign languages the same waythat they were able to acquire their first language. The learnersinterested in learning another language thus transform their way ofthinking towards the second language that they want to learnautomatically. This advertisement criticizes the old way oftranslation as it impacts comprehension. The journey of acquiring asecond language involves an approach that is totally based on theNobel Prize winning research. The brain has therefore been harnessedto learn in a quick way as the series of learning the language hasthe ability to activate all the senses of the learners at the sametime. The senses that are activated include the auditory and visualsenses, and the physical learning as well. The learners are thereforefully exposed to a natural conversational language that incorporatesvarious techniques which include mnemonics, name games, linguisticassociations, real life dialogue, and learning maps just to mention afew of the techniques. The learners are able to practice thelanguages that cover every situation through the acts of repetitionand imitation. A learner can opt to learn through various methods.For example, a learner can choose a method that best suits theability that he or she has to learn and these methods include the useof an entertaining video, games, word cards, puzzles, and interactiveaudio cassettes among other methods. By learning using thesematerials, a learner has the ability to speak a foreign language in avery short time estimated to be about three weeks, which is quiteimpressive. Each program that there is to be learnt includes abouttwelve audio cassettes, an action guide book that is comprehensiveand well detailed, a physical learning video, a packet that is filledwith games and cards to make the learning a bit more enjoyable and tokill monotony as it can get hard and boring.
Theapproach of grammar translation was used back in the day would mainlyfocus on ensuring that the rules of grammar were translated andcomprehended appropriately. These rules established the acquisitionof the foreign language. This resulted to the learners not being ableto communicate in the foreign language. This advertisement does notin any way support the old translation of the grammar. This approachdescribes the importance that is given to the old ways and how strictit is on learners as they read, write and comprehend. In the socialcultural theory, there is a recommendation for the learners to usethe first language so as to mediate the second language learning, ascompared to the theory of behaviorism, which mainly focuses on theidea of only using the target language(Celce-Murcia,2013Saville-Troike,2006).
Theemergence of the audio lingual’s that is based on the structurallinguistic theory and the behaviorism theory is as a result of thereaction that has been brought about by the grammar translationapproach. In the audio lingual’s the learning of a language isviewed as the formation of habits and the stressing of oralinteraction. It is said that the learners simply need to listenkeenly and incorporate repetition so as to build an accurate andautomatic habit formation. It is important to note that sentencepatterns are practiced in a mechanical way. The main and the mostimportant features in learning a new language include the use ofactions and pictures, not using the first language, and the use ofdialogues to enhance comprehension. The activities that are carriedout in the classroom have put an emphasis on memorization, theimmediate correction of errors and also on mimicry. Therefore, theadvertisement I actually supported by the audio lingual method andthis is because its materials as well as its learning approachclearly show a lot of supporting features which include: repetition,imitation, the use of dialogues, and focus on speech, drills of majorpractice, the use of actions and also the use of pictures. However,the advertisement has put a lot of emphasis on learning through bothactive and dynamic duplication, which is a feature of the socialcultural theory.
Thisadvertisement shows how important it is for learners to learn a newlanguage in a way similar to the one that they learnt their firstlanguage. There is a relation in this statement to the model byKrashen on the acquisition of the second language. The monitor modelof the acquisition of the second language has been described byKrashen in terms of five hypotheses has also given the differencethat exists between acquisition and learning in the hypotheses. Itexplains that the same way that a child acquires a first languagewithout being conscious, without having any intention of learning atthat point and with no instructions given to the child, that is thesame way that acquisition occurs and that is why it is regarded tooccur naturally. On the other hand, learning is a process thatinvolves acquiring knowledge about a language through being attentiveand making an effort. The acquisition of a foreign language takesplace once the learners are exhibited to an input that is easilycomprehensible without necessarily being keen. The learnt languageis therefore used to invigilate the efficiency of the right results.According to Krashen, the model explains that learning occurs in asimilar manner as the accretion of the first language and the waythat the learners become fluent speakers does contradict the languagelearning approach. This is due to how learners actively indulge inthe learning activities and in a keen manner. Therefore, it is notpossible for the acquisition of a second language to take place insuch an approach. The hypotheses of Krashen’s model indicates thatconsciously learnt knowledge only invigilates accuracy and notnecessarily communicate fluently and so the learners could end up notbecoming fluent speakers through the learning programs. The socialcultural theory states that language acquisition involves an inputthat is intentional, meaningful, and conscious and goal oriented.Language fluency is automated with a lot of practice in the approachof information processing. However, language behavior is not changedin the relativity of the behaviorism theory. This work thereforecriticizes how the learners are required to slowly learn words whileusing the traditional methods, and that this would lead to thelearners’ lack of understanding in real life. This criticism issupported by the cognitive relativity explaining how language shouldbe learnt in units and not gradually learning one word at a time(Lightbownand Spada, 2006).Learning a language in chunks does help the learners to quickly andautomatically communicate through the comprehension of strongconnections between the contexts and the language features. However,this advertisement has only put an emphasis in learning every word ofthe language in a way that is effective and unique instead oflearning strings of words frequently.
Thereare some approaches in this advertisement that are not in agreementwith the theories in the second language acquisition. Such approachescan lead to the learners feeling confused in regard to the quality ofthe learning programs. I have come up with some suggestions that willhelp revise the advertisement effectively as explained. There shouldbe an emphasis on learning by strings of words instead of learningonly the single vocabulary and therefore the provision of the meritsand the demerits of learning the language based on chunks. Thereshould also be substitutes for the statement that states a foreignlanguage can be learnt in a period of about three weeks as extremeemphasis can lead to negativity. The introduction of grammar learningshould be emphasized as a means of upgrading communicationproficiency and so learning about the difference should be provided.
Thesummary, the evaluation and the revision by this advertisement hasbeen used to show the application of the theories in the languagelearning program. There are some theories that are in support of theadvertisement while there are those theories that are against it. Itis therefore important to revise the suggested points as no theory isfully perfect and so the designers of the language learning programand the teachers as well should analyze the advertisement carefullyby finding an approach that fits the program depending on the purposeand the situation for learning the language.
Lightbown,P.M.,& Spada, N. (2013).Howlanguages are learned (4thed.). Oxford,UK:Oxford University Press.
Saville-Troike,M. (2006). Introducingsecond language acquisition.New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.