The chief intent of this written assignment is to construe the incidents happening in my ain English larning experience in a foreign linguistic communication scene, based on the pertinent issues and theoretical positions of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( SLA ) . It besides aims, by pulling from the interlingual renditions of these incidents, at suggesting some recommendations for course of study development, schoolroom teaching method and acquisition pattern. The construction of this authorship is so divided into three chief subdivisions. The first subdivision begins with an autobiographical narration of my English acquisition experience, the 2nd with the commentaries on the critical incidents elaborated in the first subdivision and the 3rd with the deductions for SLA in my ain context.
Section ONE: Autobiographical Narrative
My experience of larning a foreign linguistic communication such as English in the context where it is non typically used as the medium of ordinary communicating was nil easy. Furthermore, larning the linguistic communication at an older phase of life was another ambitious experience, but non impossible.
I was born into a lower category household in one of the states in Cambodia. Born into the hapless household such as this, I truly valued the power of instruction. I believed that if I had a good instruction, I would hold a well-paid occupation and people around me would look up to and esteem me. To hold a good instruction, it means I had to utilize a foreign linguistic communication like English good, in add-on to cognition of other topics. However, throughout my primary schooling ( grade 1 to 6 ) , I did non hold any chance to larn the linguistic communication because no foreign linguistic communication was incorporated into the course of study. In my secondary schooling ( grade 7 to 9 ) , I had a opportunity to larn French for three old ages of a one-hour-per-week category, but it was merely so basic that I could non talk, nor could I compose. English so came to play in my life at the age of 16 when I began my concluding high school twelvemonth ( rate 12 ) . In fact, I should hold begun to larn this linguistic communication when I was in grade 10, but I was non able to get down, because I had to suspend my surveies for two old ages ( rate 10 and 11 ) due to fiscal jobs in my household.
Then in 2002 I resumed my formal schooling in class 12 in Phnom Penh after my household had moved to this metropolis. In high school, Khmer was and is still entirely used as the chief medium of direction even during English category. It was really hard for me to larn the linguistic communication because I had ne’er earlier been exposed to it. Fortunately, I had some basic cognition of French which enabled me to cognize the English alphabets and to read some words like book, auto, pen, and so on. My instructor would learn new vocabulary and interpret them into our linguistic communication. Reading and listening were conducted through the instructor himself who would ever read the texts aloud for us to listen. There was no communicative activity at all during the category clip, except for some juncture where a few braces of pupils were asked to execute conversation in forepart of the category by reading out loud the already-designed colloquial texts. Out of category, none would trouble oneself to pass on in English either. I had no chance to larn meaningful English at all. At the terminal of the twelvemonth, I came to recognize that my English was close to nothing. However, my idea of acquiring good occupations and being respected by my household and friends around me if I could utilize good English was still drifting about in my head, and this did force me up. I wished to go on my undergraduate grade in English literature at one of the state renowned linguistic communication Universities. However, my current inability and critical fiscal job, I knew, would non let me to win. Therefore, after my high school I took up a occupation to gain some money for school fee and at the same clip began an intensive preparatory English class.
During a twelvemonth, I tried every bit difficult as I could to fix myself. Asides from schoolroom acquisition, I spent two hours per twenty-four hours at place for self-study. I did all the work given by my instructors and would read any grammar books I bought. I tried chiefly to get the hang my grammatical and lexical cognition and reading accomplishments because merely grammar, vocabulary and reading were tested in the entryway scrutiny to my coveted University. Finally, I managed to go through the entryway scrutiny to go a fresher at that University in the country of English literature.
Although there was no individual native English instructor throughout my four old ages of surveies, I felt so proud being portion of the university and taught by the local instructors. The University has been recognized as the state most well-respected and celebrated linguistic communication establishment. Bing a member of it would do me look better than those who studied at other linguistic communication establishments. Furthermore, I was convinced that the instructors at this University would decidedly assist me to accomplish my ends in going a competent user of English and in acquiring good occupations in the hereafter.
The chief medium of direction was English and there were two Sessionss per hebdomad for Khmer surveies in which the local linguistic communication was used. For the remainder of the topics, we chiefly used English in the schoolrooms and during the break clip. In add-on to holding group treatments, brace plants, function dramas and single and group presentations in English, we besides created a civilization in which everyone had to talk in English. When anyone was caught talking the local linguistic communication, that individual would decidedly be fined to execute any merriment activities in the category. It seemed I had so much merriment in making so, and I tried to pass on in English really frequently with my schoolmates and instructors likewise. We continued to make this through the remainder of our surveies.
As clip progressed, I besides wished to win a scholarship to analyze abroad, in add-on to achieving my antecedently set ends. I saw it as another gap where I could both enrich my linguistic communication competency and derive a good image in my community. Therefore, I strived to analyze harder than I had done in the old old ages. I farther engaged myself in every acquisition chance I had, such as being a representative of my group, being the first individual in the category to react to instructors ‘ inquiries, being a voluntary for any activities, and so forth. Furthermore, I sought advice from my instructors on how to get by with peculiar jobs I had in order to larn better. I besides formed a little group survey with my friends so as to farther better our acquisition and portion our understanding with one another. It seemed I was so happy with and absorbed in such sort of chances. I did this right through my leftover old ages. Furthermore, many of my instructors would frequently praise me upon any occupations I had done absolutely and, most significantly, took my work as a sample for others to detect. Such reinforcement genuinely motivated me throughout my academic old ages. I saw myself as one of the respected scholars by my schoolmates and instructors likewise. My current accomplishment even drove me frontward until I accomplish more and more.
At present, I have been successful in all the ends I had set earlier. I managed to acquire a locally high-paid and well-thought-of occupation in my community, and to win a scholarship to analyze in the most esteemed and well-respected University in Hong Kong. Despite all these victories, nevertheless, I have still faced one critical job in one of the productive accomplishments. It is concerned with my inability to talk good English. Oftentimes, I am non truly satisfied with my speech production since I can non show myself sufficiently good to the degree I wish. This truly poses me a good concern. For the other accomplishments – authorship, reading and listening – I am ever satisfied with them. I can execute at an first-class degree for these three accomplishments. Possibly, I need to work more to happen out how I can farther heighten that unsatisfactory speech production ability.
Section Two: Comment on the Critical Incidents
In this subdivision, two critical incidents elaborated in the first subdivision will be further examined, by concentrating on the account of their function with mention to relevant issues and theoretical positions of 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( SLA ) . The first 1 is age and the 2nd is motive.
As can be seen from the autobiographical narration of my English acquisition as a foreign linguistic communication, it is evidently clear that a critical period has a function to play in my inability to bring forth speech patterns like those of a native talker of English. Many SLA research workers have frequently hypothesized that there is a critical period, or a sensitive period in Lamendella ‘s ( 1977 ) term, for SLA merely as there is for the first linguistic communication acquisition ( Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ) . The impression of this critical period, harmonizing to Marinova-Todd, Marshall and Snow ( 2000 ) , was foremost introduced by Penfield and Roberts in 1959. By and large, this critical period has frequently been claimed to get down from the age of three until approximately around pubertal phase, although some research workers argue it could stop even before scholars reach this pubertal phase ( Flege, Frieda, & A ; Nozawa, 1997 ; Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ) . Harmonizing to this critical period hypothesis ( CPH ) , it is argued that SLA can be instead easy and normally meets with a high grade of success if the acquisition commences during the critical period. If this period is over, it is most likely that larning is frequently hard and can non vouch a desirable degree of accomplishment ( Lenneberg, 1967 ; Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ; Patkowski, 1980 ; Penfield & A ; Roberts, 1959 ) . Asher and Garcia ( 1969 ) who developed the encephalon plastic theory likewise argued in support to this CPH that younger scholars have a ‘cellular receptiveness ‘ to linguistic communication acquisition, which enables them to happen it easier to get linguistic communication. They pointed out that the earlier the kids start larning a linguistic communication, the more likely that they can accomplish a native-like pronunciation.
Undeniably, many of these claims are true to me who began my English acquisition at the age of 16. I could non take the full advantages of geting the linguistic communication competency as that of a native talker. For illustration, sometimes I can non articulate the ‘ed ‘ stoping sound of several words, or I merely articulate this ‘ed ‘ or ‘s ‘ stoping sound unnecessarily. Possibly, my set mark of 6.5 in the IELTS ( International English Language Testing System ) Talking Test reflects this negative impact. However, the consequence of CPH on my pronunciation proficiency is non a complete truth. As described in my autobiographical narrative above, the status in which I learnt the linguistic communication could besides portion some consequence of this inability. My larning took topographic point in a foreign linguistic communication, as opposed to a 2nd linguistic communication, environment in which the mark linguistic communication is non typically used as the medium of ordinary communicating. I typically received input in the new linguistic communication merely in the schoolroom and ‘by instead unreal agencies ‘ ( Oxford & A ; Shearin, 1994 ) . This so means that my L2 ‘global pronunciation ‘ has been negatively affected ( Riney & A ; Flege, 1998 ) . Furthermore, since none of my instructors, who were viewed as the chief lingual input suppliers, was English talkers, this would intend that my exposure of reliable input was comparatively unequal. In bend, my full attainment of a native speaker-like speech pattern was limited.
Apart from that, it is arguable with the claim of CPH that SLA can be comparatively easy if the acquisition starts during the critical period, but most likely hard if this period is over. This statement seems to disregard the potency of older scholars. While younger linguistic communication scholars, who began their acquisition while they were immature, are seen as more likely to achieve eloquence and native-like pronunciation, grownup linguistic communication scholars are more efficient and overseas telegram in understanding complex grammatical system ( Krashen, Long, & A ; Scarcella, 1979 ; Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ; Olson & A ; Samuels, 1973 ; Scarcella & A ; Oxford, 1992 ) . Even though it was difficult for me from the really beginning, this is by and large true to everyone scholar who foremost learns a ( foreign ) linguistic communication. My acquisition, on the contrary, seemed to hold developed at a really fast velocity, compared to that of many other younger starting motors. That was partially likely because my meta-linguistic cognition, memory schemes, and problem-solving accomplishments, or higher-order thought schemes in Oxford and Shearin ‘s ( 1994 ) term had enabled me to do the most of the direction and acquisition ( Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ) . An deduction from this treatment could be drawn that although I had arrived at my English acquisition late, I would non hold had any job in pronunciation if I had begun my acquisition in an English-speaking scene or in the environment in which English was used as both the chief medium of direction and medium of general communicating. Therefore, if so, the consequence of CPH would be no longer true to my ain instance.
Furthermore, my success in larning English as a foreign linguistic communication, despite the drawback of CPH, is basically due to my strong motive. It is motive that determines the grade of active, personal engagement in L2 acquisition and that it is highly of import for L2 acquisition ( Oxford & A ; Shearin, 1994 ) . Motivation is so defined as the ”individual ‘s attitudes, desires and attempt to larn the L2 ” ( Gardner, Tremblay, & A ; Masgoret, 1997, p. 345 ) . Mitchell and Myles ( 2004 ) edifice on Gardner and MacIntyre ( 1993, p. 2 ) argue that “ the motivated person is one who wants to accomplish a peculiar end, devotes considerable attempt to accomplish this end, and experiences satisfaction in the activities associated with accomplishing this end ” ( p. 26 ) . Harmonizing to the given definitions, when an L2 scholar has positive attitudes and desires toward larning the linguistic communication, and puts much attempt to put in that linguistic communication, it is most likely that she or he is destined to success. As for my ain instance, I desired toward larning English because I perceived it as something that would gain me both self promotion and regard from my community. In other words, I was convinced that with English cognition, I would hold a better hereafter and gain myself a another degree of societal position, which in Bourdieu ‘s ( 1991 ) term, more economic, societal, and cultural capital, in my society. Bourdieu argued that the more lingual capital 1s possess, the more advantages such as economic, societal and cultural capital, they will hold. Lin ( 1999 ) mentioning Pennycook ( 1994 ) has pointed in a similar manner that for many kids and grownups, entree to or deficiency of English frequently shapes the societal mobility and life opportunities of these persons. My investing in English is therefore a key to using my skylines, or my ain societal individuality in Norton ‘s ( 1997 ) construct.
My motive toward larning English in this sense can besides be described as, in Oxford and Shearin ‘s ( 1994 ) perceptual experience, an instrumental motive orientation, or in Ehrman and Oxford ‘s ( 1995 ) impression, an extrinsic motive, or a material investing in Norton ‘s ( 2001 ) term. These research workers argue that scholars invest in L2 acquisition, for they recognize that they will, in return, gain assorted material resources. These resources are by and large believed to augment the value and position of these scholars in their wider community and societal universe.
Apart from this, my motive besides stemmed from my old achievement. Harmonizing to Oxford and Shearin ( 1994 ) citing McClelland, et Al. ( 1953 ) , a individual is likely to affect in achievement behaviours in a similar state of affairs in the hereafter due to his or her success in a peculiar state of affairs in the yesteryear. Conversely, if he or she has experienced any failure, it is less likely that he or she will develop those achievement behaviours, but stifle them. To set it in another manner, it is predictable that when an L2 scholar manages to achieve something he or she has done antecedently, he or she will be motivated to accomplish more in the hereafter. In relation to my ain instance, I saw accomplishment as something that I had made and that I would go on to do with farther attempt. I continued to prosecute more in other schoolroom undertakings every bit good as out of it because of my past success. I engaged myself in assorted larning chances, for I saw them as some other things that could assist me to get the hang my acquisition and to accomplish my ends. I found myself joyful and positive in so making and at the same clip I learned. This peculiar behaviour besides appears most likely in Ames and Archer ‘s ( 1988 ) command end orientation. They argue that with a maestro end orientation, scholars are chiefly concerned with larning to develop new accomplishments, valuing the acquisition procedure and comprehending command as dependant on attempt. In this sense, attempt and success go manus in manus. Furthermore, the fact that my instructors rewarded me on what I had done good was another stimulation for me to anticipate for more attainment. It was a motivation feeling that I had done good things which my ain community acknowledged and rewarded me. The more I was given wagess and awards, the more I wished to accomplish. This sort of behaviour seems to besides reflect in the support theories developed by Oxford and Shearin ( 1994 ) . These theories emphasize that with support such as congratulations and physical awards from instructors, pupils can go more bucked up to larn. Then, when pupils are motivated to larn, larning is therefore seen as gratifying and success is merely in front of them.
Probably, this larning behaviour can besides be translated from the socio-cultural position. Harmonizing to the socio-cultural position of linguistic communication acquisition, acquisition is perceived foremost as societal and secondly as single. Learners are the active builders of their ain acquisition puting through which they use it to organize their choice of ends and operation ( Donato & A ; MacCormick, 1994 ; Mitchelle & A ; Myles, 2004 ) . From this position, it is evident that because my instructors acknowledged my engagement in their schoolroom, my engagement, value and motive increased. As an single scholar, I so created my ain acquisition chances and environment within this societal scene in which I engaged myself both actively and continuously. I used these conditions to develop my ain acquisition schemes, so as to farther make my already-set ends until the dream turned into world. In other words, through ‘the located larning ‘ ( Lave & A ; Wenger, 1991, as cited in Norton, 2001 ) , I developed myself from the novitiate to the competent member of my community ( Donato & A ; MacCormick, 1994 ) .
Section THREE: Deductions for SLA Curriculum Development, Classroom Pedagogy and Individual Learning
Pulling from the incidents and readings of those events in my ain English acquisition experience and context, a figure of deductions or recommendations for SLA course of study development, schoolroom pedagogical pattern and single acquisition degree can be made suitably.
First, it is concerned with the consequence of the critical period hypothesis ( CPH ) and the status in which my acquisition took topographic point. Harmonizing to the above-named readings, CPH and the acquisition environment impacted significantly on my pronunciation proficiency, but non on the three other accomplishments. Therefore, on the course of study development degree, elements of learning should include a more communicative course of study such as task-supported linguistic communication instruction. This is being so because this sort of course of study focuses both on the grammatical facets and communicative undertakings, which help advance the scholars ‘ cognition of both lingual or grammatical competency and communicative competency ( Ellis, 2003 ) . More peremptorily, this type of course of study is besides more suited with the larning status in my state in which English is taught as a foreign linguistic communication and in which the alleged structural course of studies such as the grammar interlingual rendition method has been dominant ( Vira, 2003 ) .
On the schoolroom pedagogical degree, instructors, in add-on to the communicative course of study they are utilizing, should make emotionally relaxed larning chances for the pupils to prosecute in. They should do certain every pupil has a opportunity to affect in and lend to communicative undertakings such group treatment, presentation, mini-debate, etc. On the single degree, the scholars themselves should utilize assorted larning schemes to better prepare and equip themselves with necessary proficiency competency. On history of the fact that echt input informations are deficient, they should seek to expose themselves to comparatively reliable input by, for illustration, listening to and watching any plans which English from native talker is used. More unusually, they should pass on in English more frequently and guarantee that they check with the lexicon on how to articulate peculiar words, so that their speech production ability will heighten well over clip.
Second and eventually, as the deductions from my larning experience have revealed, my success in larning English as a foreign linguistic communication resulted from my intense motive every bit good as the acquisition atmosphere itself. In this regard, on the course of study development degree, course of study authors should sequence undertakings for larning carefully, taking into history the degree of trouble. For illustration, any undertakings that are normally seen as easy should be presented first and those that are hard should come in the following row. Learners will experience they have achieved something in their old acquisition and accordingly they are more motivated to larn and to accomplish more.
On the instruction degree, since different scholars have different ends in larning a foreign linguistic communication, instructors should do some attempt to place what motivates their pupils to larn this linguistic communication. When they know their pupils ‘ aims, they should admit these varied acquisition ends, provide proper feedback on those ends and make the acquisition conditions which stimulate the pupils ‘ motive ( Oxford & A ; Shearin, 1994 ) . Oxford and Shearin ( 1994 ) continue to propose that to assist cultivate the highest possible motive within the pupils, instructors can make up one’s mind which portion of L2 larning are peculiarly meaningful to the pupils and can incorporate those facets to accommodate the pupils ‘ demands. Furthermore, instructors can increase their pupils ‘ motive by agencies of praising and honoring for their engagement and parts in the lessons, and doing the pupils realize that there is no restraint in their engagement in the schoolroom. In other words, the instructors should make their schoolroom as a community of pattern where full engagement from the pupils is assured.
On the single degree, the pupils should put their learning ends as high and approachable as possible. At the same clip, they should value the old attainment they have made. This is a critical key to hiking up their assurance to accomplish more things in the hereafter. The more the anticipation of victory and the more value the pupils place on this triumph, the higher the motive will be ( Ehrman & A ; Oxford, 1995 ) .