Major Factors Influencing Learners’ Achievement in Second Language Acquisition.

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Introduction Nowadays as a result of globalization, people worldwide have more reasons to learn foreign languages. Together with the spread of foreign language teaching and learning is the development of theories on second language acquisition. One of the main issues of these theories is the investigation into factors that can influence learners’ second language achievements. As a teacher of English, I find this an interesting issue as a good understanding of factors affecting learners’ achievements in second language acquisition can help me choose appropriate approaches and design suitable materials to facilitate my students. Perhaps it is almost impossible to list all the factors that come into play in second language acquisition. In the scope of a final assignment I would like to present only some main social and individual factors that I believe to have great influence on a learner’s achievement in learning a second language. 1. First and second language acquisition In order to investigate the factors affecting learners’ achievements in second language learning, it is important to understand what is meant by the term first and second language, and first - and second - language acquisition. The term first language refers to “the language one acquires in infancy” whereas a second language is “any language that is acquired after one’s first language” (Finegan, 2004: 557) According to Finegan (2004), typically there are significant differences between first - and second - language learning. To begin with, first – language acquisition involves an initial linguistic experience, while a second language is mastered only by someone who already speaks another language. In addition, a first language is usually acquired in a home environment by an infant in the care of parents and other caretakers. In such circumstances, language use is closely tied to the immediate surroundings and the context of language use. In contrast, second-language

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