Challenges and Rewards of Learning a Secondary Language

Challenges and Axia College of University of Phoenix People learn languages in different ways, and it is important to consider various learning options to increase an individual’s potential for success. Learning a secondary language can improve quality of life Learning a new language has many benefits; career advancement, bridging communication gaps, and strengthening life skills. “What theory implies, quite simply, is that language acquisition, first or second, occurs when comprehension of real messages occurs, and when the acquire is not ‘on the defensive’” wrote Steven D.

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Krashner (1981) Many employers look for bilingual employees to enhance their business marketing and sales outreach. As the world shrinks due to the increase of electronic capabilities, employers look for employees who can help them bridge the communication gap. The United States itself is a melting pot of different languages and cultures. These employers are in different sectors of opportunities, they can be in the retail sector, transportation, tourism, administration, secretarial services, public relations, marketing & sales, banking and accounting, translations, or law, and teaching.

Each has its own unique set of business and customer needs revolving around authentic language communication. Optional ways to learn a foreign language Current language learning programs include immersion, computer programs, and formal classes. Each type of learning offers students strengths based on investment of time, money, and resources. By assessing and understanding one’s preferred learning style it is possible to affect the learning outcome positively and increase the investment return. We must have open minds to learn the way that is best for each individual.

One of the ways to learn a new language is through immersion into the cultural of the language of choice. The teachers use a vast repertoire of teaching strategies to help the participants to learn the new language. The participant spends most of their day speaking the secondary language and not speaking in their native tongue for a time. This allows them to learn the language more rapidly because they have to learn it or not speak. This way of learning can be done more rapidly, but can be quite expensive because normally the learner will need to travel to the secondary country or special school for the education.

Another way to learn a secondary language is by taking classes. Classes can be found at many colleges, online programs or “free universities”. These classes can be beneficial because a learner will get instant feedback about the inflection of the language and will be able to converse with others in the class while learning. Classes are also beneficial as they allow the student to ask questions of the instructor to make sure the inflection or dialect is correct. Teachers are normally fluent in the language and many come from the region of the language or have spent much time there learning about the language.

These classes will normally start with the basics of the language and build the language in stages. Computer programs, DVDs, or CDs are another way to learn a foreign language is. Many programs are available so it is necessary to research different programs to find the right one. Many people enjoy this way of learning because it is very convenient. A person can play a CD in their car, or download to a mobile device to learn wherever and whenever they want. Matching learning strengths and strategies with available options While many people will learn languages easily, that cannot be said for everyone.

Some people experience difficulties with learning a language because they go into learning a language on the defensive. They go into learning thinking they will not be able to learn, or will not speak it correctly. Some people will practice the language but forget what they learned quickly, or do not retain the information. Many of these difficulties come from the lack of exposure. If a person cannot practice what they learn, they cannot retain the information they have learned, or may not get the pronunciation correct. Many people also fear the use of the new language.

Some languages can be harder to learn in general. According to Wisegeek. com (n. d. ) the British Foreign Office recently conducted a survey on what is the hardest language to learn, and said it is Basque, followed closely by Hungarian because of its use of 35 cases or noun forms. The punctuation system of the German and Russian language makes them also difficult to learn. Learning another language also allows a person to enjoy communication advantages. They can read books of different writers, gain a deeper knowledge of different ideas, and do not suffer difficulties with languages when traveling.

They can fit in and see more of what they want to see by being able to ask exactly what they are looking for. Being bilingual also has cognitive benefits; a person whom is bilingual can use the flexibility of two or more words meaning the same thing to describe the same thing. They are better able to listen for the perfect word in any situation. The listening skills of a bilingual will allow them to speak to any one in their native tongue to describe certain instances. This in turn, increases bilingual’s self-esteem. According to Buzzle. com (n. d. ) bilinguals also do better academically.

They tend to have higher exam and test scores, and can learn three or four languages with ease. References Coffey, S. , & Street, B. (2008). Narrative and identity in the “language learning project”. Modern Language Journal, Fall2008(92), p452-464. Ehrman, M. E. (1996). Understanding second language learning difficulties. Retrieved October 6, 2009, from http://eric. ed. gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini. js Krashen, S. D. (1981). Second language acquisition & second language learning. University of Southern California .

Retrieved October 10, 2009, from http://www. sdkrashen. com/SL_Acquisition_and_Learning/index. html Noels, K. A. (2003). Why are you learning a second language? Motivational orientations and self-determination theory. Retrieved October 6, 2009, from http://search. ebscohost. com Wilson, R. (2000). How to find internet resources for learning any particular language. Retrieved October 10, 2009, from http://www. languageimpact. com/articles/rw/intrscrse. htm  (n. d. ). Wisegeek. com. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from http://www. wisegeek. com/which-are-the-most-difficult-languages-to-learn. htm


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