Major Factors Influencing Learners’ Achievement in Second Language Acquisition.

3021 Words Jan 19th, 2013 13 Pages
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 …show more content…
That children outpass adults in the mastery of second languages can be partly explained by the plasticity of the young brain and adults’ slowing effects of ageing. However, this assumption is not entirely convincing since there are strong evidence that older learners are more efficient than younger learners in the early stages of the L2 development, or adults and adolescents can make more rapid progress than children toward mastery of an L2 in contexts where they can make use of the langue on a daily basis in social, personal, professional, or academic interaction. In spite of all such controversies over learners’ age, it is widely agreed by all that age is one of the very first things that need taking into account into when teaching a second language as people of different ages have different needs, competences, and cognitive skills. 3.1.2. Gender Many studies on sociolinguistics have indicated that gender plays an important role in the way learners approach the task of second language learning and that female learners generally do better than male. Burstall (1975), for example, reports that girls had significantly higher scores than boys on all tests measuring French achievement in her study of approximately 6,000 children studying French in a British primary school. Esktrand (1980) reports on two large scale studies in Sweden, one involving