Cultural Exposure Affects Second Language Learning

700 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
Cultural Exposure Affects Second Language Learning Socio-cultural factors have an important effect on second language learning. In particular, cultural exposure plays a significant role in the language learning process. Cultural ignorance and prejudice may cause difficulties for language learners and the degree of exposure also determines how fast a second language learner can acquire a new language. In this mini research essay, I will first examine how people from China and Middle Eastern will be stereotyped. Next, I will discuss why people have similar cultural background with the native speakers learn a new language better. Moreover, I will show different learning strategies people used and finally, how these factors affect second…show more content…
Although every country has unique culture, some cultures are more similar than the others. People learn better in a culture they know well. According to Schumann (1976), “If the two cultures are similar, then integration is facilitated and social distance is reduced (p.137). People are more willing to stay longer in the “target language area,” so that they will have more frequent contact with the native speakers. The lack of time to stay in a new country will create “social distance between the two groups and makes it unlikely that the 2LL group will acquire the TL group's language” (Schumann, 1986, p.381). The frequent exposure to a culture can reduce the unfamiliarity with a new culture, during which process a second language learner will gain confidence and learn better. 3 Because people do not have enough contact with other cultures, students from different backgrounds will choose various strategies to learn a new language. Based on the research, “the Jordanian and the Turkish participants use memory strategies” whereas “the Spanish students are the poorest in applying the memory and the affective strategies”, showing that people from a certain culture prefer some strategies than the others (Deneme, 2010, p.87). Only when people are aware of the strategies they use can they “repair and improve the weak points in their
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