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Motivation in Second Language Learning

Discuss about the Influencing Second Language Literacy.

Literacy is a very important term in a learner’s life because this is the way to get involved in the ability of communicating in a broader way. This literacy term provides the learners with the ability to judge and manage their behaviour and to maintain a proper decorum of their family as well as their community (Bernhardt, 2013). The literacy term is not only about the behaviour but it is also about the language that they use, which will be appropriate for determining the purpose of their life. Often there is a problem of learning of second language among the learners who pursue different L1 or first language. The learners either do not have interest on learning the second language and even if they have still their environment does not encourage them to learn. The factors that mostly influences the attitude of the second language learners are views of their families about literacy, view of the society they dwell in and view of the school towards the learning process of the second language or L2 learners (Arends, 2014).

Motivation plays an efficient role in the learning process of the L2 learners rather than the chosen learning process. Integrative motivation among the L2 learners will help them determine the reason as to why they want to learn the language. They must get accustomed to the reason whether learning the language will help them to get to know more people who have high knowledge about the language (Mackey & Gass, 2015). They also need to figure out whether they need to have more friends and it will be easier for them to speak with them in the language or do they need to learn the language to meet various people and have idea about various cultures with no language problem in it. There is also instrumental motivation, which will provide the students with a broad idea about the career opportunities they will get once they learn the language and which will be an important turning point for their future.

First languages are mostly taught with most care and effort and this does not only happen in schools but even in the learners family, surroundings and the society all plays an efficient role in the first language literacy among the learners (Genishi & Dyson, 2015). However, second language is never taught with the same efficacy and the second language literacy is a very concerning factor worldwide. The learning process of the second language learners differ from first language in three ways, which are:

Difference with First Language Learning

The teachers seems to have the knowledge of what the learners will write but for the second language teachers they do not clearly have the idea about what the learners will write and how they will write. This difference affects the way in which the students write and what they try to imply with their learning (Brinton & Celce-Murcia, 2014). The second difference is that the teachers of first language learners are able to share their own cultural values with the learners in a clear form but in case of the second language teachers they have to bring the balance between the oral and written genres in term of the culture and importance of language (Breen, 2014). For this, the teachers have to an idea of the attitude the L2 learners use while writing, experience they have about the subject and lastly how they utilize their writing skill. The teachers have to maintain an explicit way of learning. The third and last difference is that the teachers of L1 learners are well aware of the stages that the learners cover while writing and that the learners are well acquainted about their first language (Urquhart & Weir, 2014). However, L2 learners need both oral and written knowledge about the language. This measure can be fragmented with the help of encouraging and motivating the L2 learners to learn about the language and develop their knowledge in English or any other second language within a quick span of time (Cohen, 2014).

The exposure of the L2 learners towards second language will enhance their language skills as well as their non-linguistic approach. The knowledge of second language will not impede the second language learners’ ability of the first language as the first language is often noted as the mother tongue of the learner (Bygate, Skehan & Swain, 2013).

For getting a broader perspective of the issue of second language literacy, the study covers interviews of two people; first, one is a one monolingual English speaker and the other one bilingual speaker. The interview questions are provided in the appendix. Here the perspectives of the bilingual and monolingual speaker are provided as a supporting statement for the essay. The interviews were conducted to get a clear idea about what is second language literacy from the monolingual speaker’s perspective and to know about the experience of a bilingual speaker about the learning process of both the L1 and L2 languages.

Insight of the Subject

Firstly, an interview was conducted with a monolingual speaker and the findings of the interviews are discussed here. The information found stated that in the present phase of the world everyone requires to know many languages and be a multilingual, not necessarily in schools but also for any economic, social or personal reasons. There are many advantages of learning second language properly apart from the cognitive ones. Another main advantage of learning the second language is that it will allow the learners to reach a certain level of proficiency. All the schools across the world now practise incorporating many languages in the courses of the students and this is a way to amend the problem of the second language literacy of the learners. The learning of second language will increase the cultural awareness of the learners and offer them a bigger platform in every field. The learners must understand that they have to learn the worldwide cultural practices in order to make themselves talented enough. From the interview, another main aspect that can be noted was that it is hard to be judgemental about the learner than to judge their background. The interview also stated that there would be a change in pronunciation of the L2 learners and change their way of pronouncing the L1. It will only affect the pronunciation of the learners when they spend much of their time in speaking L2.

The interview of the bilingual speaker who had undergone both the learning process of L1 and L2 was conducted next and the information found was that the subjects with less proficiency often has the challenge of cognitive deficit. The performance of Bilingual children is much better than monolinguals as they have more self-control and not over confident in nature. The problem of learning second language is that it is a big challenge because the learners have to adapt themselves with an opposite language and thus it becomes awkward for them to learn another language with the same efficacy. The bilinguals have the problem of adapting to a new atmosphere as entering a class, which already has a new environment. According to the findings of the interview, it is found the learners while coming to school have their own comfort zone of language and thus it becomes a major problem for them to work on improving another language with the same efficacy. The person who was interviewed said that he underwent the same problem as he was needed to undergo the second language learning process and that made him suffer a lot of pressure. The interview quoted that learning one language is easier for learners but at times when they have to learn more than one language they lack in interest. This leads to less involvement of them in the learning process and often difficult for the teachers responsible for the L2 learning process. The learners often feel more comfortable in speaking their mother tongue in school rather than speaking the second language. The bilingual speaker marked the decorum of many school the best as they have initiated the rule that the learners have to speak in the second language more in school.

From the above there is a multidimensional perspective obtained about the second language literacy. The teachers need to be more careful while involving the learners in the second language learning process and in the pedagogical situation as well. The study shows that the second language learners needs to be given more attention so that they can get the same comfort zone that they get at home and which will eventually help them get accustomed to the learning process of the second language (Shum et al., 2014).

Conclusion:

It can be concluded that teaching English as a second language is tough but learning the same is more difficult for the learners. The help of the teachers and their support towards the second language learners can only sort this. They need to get the motivation  that will encourage them to learn the second language.

References:

Arends, R., 2014. Learning to teach. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Bernhardt, E.B., 2013. Second-Language Literacy. International handbook of literacy and technology, 2, p.355.

Breen, M. ed., 2014. Learner contributions to language learning: New directions in research. Routledge.

Brinton, D.M. & Celce-Murcia, M., 2014. Teaching English as a second or foreign language. Heinle and Heinle.

Bygate, M., Skehan, P. & Swain, M., 2013. Researching pedagogic tasks: Second language learning, teaching, and testing. Routledge.

Cohen, A.D., 2014. Strategies in learning and using a second language. Routledge.

Genishi, C. & Dyson, A.H., 2015. Children, language, and literacy: Diverse learners in diverse times. Teachers College Press.

Helman, L., 2016. Factors Influencing Second?Language Literacy Development. Literacy Development with English Learners: Research-Based Instruction in Grades K-6, p.1.

Mackey, A. & Gass, S.M., 2015. Second language research: Methodology and design. Routledge.

Shum, K.M.K., Ho, C.S.H., Siegel, L.S. & Au, T.K.F., 2014. First-language predictors of second-language literacy in young L2 learners. In Annual Conference of the Hong Kong Psychological Society, HKPS 2014. The Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS)..

Tabors, P.O. & Patton, O., 2014. One Child, Two Languages: A Guide for Early Childhood Educators of Children Learning English as a Second Language. Education Review//Reseñas Educativas.

Urquhart, A.H. & Weir, C.J., 2014. Reading in a second language: Process, product and practice. Routledge.

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