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Language Acquisition vs Learning

Language Acquisition vs Learning

Language Acquisition

  • Language acquisition refers to the process of natural assimilation, involving intuition and subconscious learning.
  • It is the product of real interactions between people in environments of the target language and culture, where the learner is an active player.
  • It is similar to the way children learn their native tongue, a process that produces functional skill in the spoken language without theoretical knowledge.
  • A classic example of second language acquisition are the adolescents and young adults that live abroad for a year in an exchange program, often attaining near native fluency, while knowing little about the language.
Language Learning

  • The concept of language learning is linked to the traditional approach to the study of languages and today is still generally practiced in high schools worldwide.
  • Attention is focused on the language in its written form and the objective is for the student to understand the structure and rules of the language, whose parts are dissected and analyzed.
  • The task requires intellectual effort and deductive reasoning.
  • The form is of greater importance than communication.
  • Teaching and learning are technical and based on a syllabus.
  • One studies the theory in the absence of the practice. One values the correct and represses the incorrect.
  • Error correction is constant leaving little room for spontaneity.
  • The student will be taught how to form interrogative and negative sentences, will memorize irregular verbs, study modal verbs, learn how to form the perfect tense, etc., but hardly ever masters the use of these structures in conversation.