Foreign language Vs second language

Language is basically a set of letters, words and rules for using those words as a means of expression or communication. Language is a part of development in humans. Language is a medium used by humans for sharing thoughts and interacting with each other. People often learn a number of languages after starting with usually their mother tongue. When it comes to absorbing a language context plays a pivotal role. Hence, people often get mixed up between a second language and a foreign language.

Second language is usually learnt after one has already learned a language. It may sometimes also be the case that a family is multi or bilingual. The significance of Second language is that it is usually learnt because it has cultural or business significance. One can get exposed to a second language, even outside the classroom or learning environment. Opposed to this, in case of a foreign language one hardly gets any conversation or interaction opportunity outside the learning environment. Foreign language is usually not an indigenous language. It is a language native to another country. The importance of foreign language is multiple and they are learnt for various purposes. It could be to get an idea about the culture of the people to whom the lingo is native. It could also be such that while travelling one not have communication issues in that country. Some people have a hobby of learning many languages.

A second language can be learned much faster as usually there is greater exposure to it for an individual as compared to a foreign language. A keen difference between foreign and second language is the grammar relativity quotient. Research has shown that whether it is learning in a classroom or outside, the learners must go through the various stages of acquiring control over the auxiliary and modal systems. However, when it comes to learning foreign languages, absorption and instruction thereof is focussed on manipulation of the output of the learner. Second language steps involve steps like using a word order which is canonical or where sentence elements are used with order alteration, adverbs are positioned at sentence beginnings. After that one goes to participle shifting from auxiliaries and finally to the inversion of verbs and subjects. Foreign language is learnt based on a well designed form or structure while the second language is periodically given meaningful and comprehensive input. One can also go for learning languages online, however, there is a certain advantage which one on one classroom teaching will always have over the virtual medium.

The process of learning a foreign language and a second language is based on a few elements such as the ability for phonemic coding, inductive learning of languages, associative memory and sensitivity to grammar. Phonemic coding is the aptitude for retention of code sounds. Grammatical sensitivity involves knowing the application of words in a sentence towards the desired objective. Foreign language experts often speak about inductive capacities when acquiring foreign languages. It involves learning a cache of matter in a new language. The key in learning any new language, especially a foreign language is to have good associative memory which is basically the capacity to be able to create linkages between the native and foreign language usages.


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