Acquiring New Language, Essay Example
When it comes to becoming a part of the society I am living in, I realized how important it was to first embrace the language of that society before I could actually be accepted fully by the people. In line with this, my personal question is what does it really take for a person to embrace new language acquisition in line with the requirements of globalization?In consideration with this, I also wonder, would my learning process actually affect how I learn how to acquire a specific language? Would it matter whether or not I accept my second language as my main way of speech in regular conversations? These questions continued to linger my head until I finally found the inspiration and motivation to learn and master my second language. My journey was not easy, my struggles were as real as they could get. The discussion that follows shall give an ideal presentation on what specific idealisms of education affected me into reaching my goal of learning and utilizing the English language successfully,
Importance of Language Acquisition
Language acquisition is basically the process of learning and utilizing a language in actual conversations whether it is verbal or written. According to Aya and Paul Matsuda, writing and speaking English are two different procedures of conversing through the language mentioned. Nevertheless, the practice that the students intend to undergo in doing both creates a massive distinction on how they develop towards becoming masters of the language they are aiming to learn. Hooks supports this claim as she intends to relate the learning of language to the pedagogical theory of embracing education to eliminate ignorance and promote freedom instead. Relatively though, Hooks continues that apart from being free [as education is expected to affect an individual], formal education on language often brings about a sense of stress rather than freedom especially to foreign students who are trying to engage in conversations using the new language that they are aiming to perfect. To support this, she mentions:
There is a serious crisis in education… educators are compelled to confront the biases that have shaped teaching practices in our society and to create new ways of knowing, different strategies for the sharing of knowledge (301).
Contradicting her own personal statement, she views some of the most institutionalized approaches to teaching language to be rather appalling rather than helpful in pointing out to the students the importance of what they are doing.
The process of language acquisition is then most often than not distressing and time consuming as Hooks described. Nevertheless, Erdrich tries to draw a different picture regarding the same matter. Instead of seeing it as a pressurizing and tedious task, she tries to share her own experience in learning the language known as Ojibwe. In her writing, she describes how her desire to learn the language as a personal source of inspiration became a good source of confidence on her as she tried to master the said form of speech. In writing or in verbal conversation, Erdrich found a better reason behind speaking the language properly. This made it easier for her to embrace this new form of speech. Nevertheless, not all students find it easy to embrace a new language as did Erdrich, specifically because they may not have established the same reasons that she did when she was learning Ojibwe. Hence, going back to what Hooks is trying to imply, not all students would be able to acquire new language as needed. This is because of the fact that education has become too much structured thus becoming more tedious than free for many students who are already pressured to live their lives in a new society, all the more learn a new language that they may not be that interested in.
The Need to Adjust
Nevertheless, no matter what the reaction of students or new learners of a second language maybe, it all boils down to one common ground. The need to learn and acquire the new language is a necessity and it should be responded to accordingly. The need to cope with the situation is an essential part of personal as well as social development. Lu tries to describe this situation through pointing out how she was able to survive a bilingual home. To this she mentioned:
From early childhood, I had identified the differences between home and the outside world by the different languages I used in each (LU, 438).
As she lived in a house where it was a requirement to learn English, she learned how to indulge herself in the process while she embraces the culture that comes with the language as well. This way, she was able to cope with the challenge, while also giving herself a chance to see what this new language could actually do for her personally.
Again, no two students are the same. While Lu might have found it amusing to have finally survived her struggles with the language she is trying to master, there would always be those who might find it difficult to get themselves indulged into the situation. With Hooks and Matsuda’s explanation on learning and education, it is rather clear that student tend to respond to lessons they are presented with depending on two specific factors. One is the perception they have on the subject and the other is the personal understanding they have with the importance that the lesson serves them. The same thing goes when it comes to the process of acquiring a new language.
Personally, I do think that when learning new language is required of a person, it pays to be more responsive to the need of finding a true meaning that the learning could serve the learner. As I have personally learned from my own experience in dealing with a multilingual class, it does not matter what or how a subject is presented. Instead, it matters how a student views the lesson’s importance as a whole. In a way, asking “what is the meaning of this learning to me” or “what is the result of this learning for me as a person”, are two among the most common inquiries that could provide one with the right inspiration he needs to be able to acquire a language successfully. As for me, my inspiration was my desire to become better and to communicate in a more effective way to make sure that I am able to express myself fully especially when it comes to sharing ideas that mean so much to me. Relatively, my experiences as a multilingual student studying with international learners made it clearer to me that acquiring a new language does not only allow me to become part of the society I am trying to enjoin myself in, but also opens the doors to several larger opportunities that improves my being as a person.
Erdrich, L. Two languages in mind but one in heart.Exploring an Event. Pp 121-125.
Hooks, B. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the practice of freedom.Conventional and Uncoventional Freedom. Pp 293-307.
Matsuda, A. and Matsuda, P. World Englishes and the teaching of writing. Teaching Issues. TESOL Quarterly. Pp 369-373.
Lu, M.Z. (1987). From writings to words, writing as struggle.College English. Vol. 49 No.4.
Time is precious
don’t waste it!