Second Language Acquisition Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1252 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Communication - Language

Second Language Acquisition

The objective of this work is to examine how children acquire a second language through social interaction and environment through supporting Vygotsky's theory in second language acquisition with a focus on school age children seven years of age and older.

Vygotsky viewed language as a "critical bridge between the sociocultural world and individual mental functioning" (Berk & Winsler, 1995; paraphrased; as cited in Clark, nd) and held that the acquisition of language is the most important achievement in the cognitive development of children. If language is what forms a "critical bridge" between the individual's mental functioning and the sociocultural world then this must be true in the initiative of second language acquisition as well.

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Term Paper on Second Language Acquisition Assignment

The work of James P. Lantolf entitled: "Sociocultural Source of Thinking and Its Relevance for Second Language Acquisition" states that: "Second language acquisition research is coming to recognize the influence of the sociocultural environment in the L2 learning." (2007) Lantolf relates that "beginning with the early work of Frawley and Lantolf (1985), a group of researchers have been exploring the implications of L.S. Vygotsky's (1978, 1986) sociocultural theory of mind for the learning and teaching of languages beyond the first." (2007) the work of Steven L. Thorne entitled: "Second Language Acquisition and the Truth(s) about Relativity" states that in the study of second language acquisition several themes arise which are those as follows: (1) the interdependences between language and conceptual development, (2) language as the principal sign system carrying socio-historical-cultural presence into the moment, (3) language as a primary resource through which people interactively construct social reality, and (4) the reproduction of individual and community practices due in part to the inertia of language constructed social worlds. (2000; paraphrased) the work of Vygotsky posits that the "mind is socially constructed 'through mediation via semiotic systems, notably language, that are themselves expressions of socio=historical processes' (Cazden, 1993; as cited in Thorne, 2000) Thorne states that sociocultural approaches to learning "have gained some currency in SLA theorists' and researchers' recent work, but often as an add-on to otherwise epistemologically divergent approach to SLA. Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), for exampled is a popularized and onstensibility accessible dimension of Vygotsky's work that has been widely discussed since the mid-80s." (Thorne, 2000)


Virginia P. Collier presents in the work entitled: "Acquiring a Second Language for School" a conceptual model that has arisen from research in second language acquisition and states that this model has four major components which are those of: (1) sociocultural; (2) linguistic; (3) academic; and (4) cognitive components. Collier states that these processes are "inter-dependent and complex." (1995) the following figure illustrates the model proposed by Collier.

Language Acquisition for School

Source: Collier (1995)

Collier states that central in this figure is the "individual going through the process of acquiring a second language in school." (1995) the social and cultural processes in the students' every day life are central to the language acquisition of the student. This includes cultural processes in the students' life in terms of the past, present and future and includes all contexts of "home, school, community, and the broader society." (Collier, 1995) in terms of language development or linguistic processes which are a second component of the model Collier states that these consists of "the subconscious aspects of language development as well as metalinguistic, conscious formal teaching of language in school, and acquisition of the written system of language." (1995) Collier states that this is inclusive of both oral and written language acquisition. Academic development is a third component of this model and is inclusive of "all school work in language arts, mathematics, the sciences, and social studies for each grade… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Second Language Acquisition" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Second Language Acquisition.  (2007, September 27).  Retrieved March 3, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Second Language Acquisition."  27 September 2007.  Web.  3 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Second Language Acquisition."  September 27, 2007.  Accessed March 3, 2021.