Second Language Acquisition

Language is a very interesting topic whether learning a foreign one as your second or third tongue, whether you are learning the complexity of the English language or even how non-native speakers learn English. It’s all fascinating. Of course my major is English and the concentration I have chosen is English as a Second Language (ESL). Why have chosen such major? Good question. It has been my favorite since I don’t how long. And when entering college as a Freshman I surfed my University’s website and read about the different majors and what could be best for me. So I adventured around for a year with the general classes trying to find my place in college. So, now I can’t imagine having another major, but a minor and additional classes that interest be would be of good interest.

The concentration of ESL, so far is interesting because I am start to see how non-natives are trying to learn English whereas I grew up with the language and developed it over time as an American. So far I have only taken one course dealing with language and this semester I will be taking another course dealing with ESL. Both are online classes. So I hope to ace this online course as I have done in the pervious semester. (I’m sure many many people are wondering what I can do with a degree in English… I’m wondering the same thing, too, but I don’t think it is a big deal).

The Methods and Teachings of ESL course has taught me a lot and very new words and given me a better perceptive of language learning. This is the online course I took during the spring semester and I enjoyed it, too. I have really gained a few experiences that I would like more of in the future. What I have obtain can help me in my teaching career or other areas of the humanities field if I may say so. The text we had was easy to follow and provided many theories, concepts, and vocabulary words dealing with Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Simply said, SLA is just the basic foundation of someone of a non-native speaker of any language that is trying to acquire a second language (other than the native tongue).

I am discovering that mostly everything that deals with ESL and second language acquisition (theories and practices) that relates to the learning process of English through immersion of being in the United States and their social and academic skills. At first when I started the class and getting more depth into my major I was not sure what I was getting myself into, but so far I’m enjoying what I’m learning. What I found interesting and cool is the terminology of ESL/SLA. In any instances, the terms read and used in the discussions online are applicable to every day life as well as learning a second language. The common features and thinking process, with experiences of ESL/SLA, has particular terms to name the practices, theories, and human behaviors. In simple terms, the many “colorful” words that can be located through the book that we had used and they research I did. Another thing is the fact that I am “wowed” to think back on amazing concepts and information that can help better my perspective on non-natives speaking English and trying to adapt to the American culture.

I believe that interactive teaching and learning methods are helpful when one is in any type of class; especially to those who are learning a second language. There is nothing like having fun and watching videos and doing group projects and oral presentations in the classroom versus sitting in class or some place and getting put to sleep and not being attentive while there is something going on. This can help with students and adults of any ages. There are many ways to help someone learn English and about our culture.

Since I have obtain so much knowledge so far, there are three areas I would like to focus and learn more about:

  • One area I would like to know more about is the experience of teaching English whether in a regular English class or in some type of special program. We can only read and hear and even talk to those teachers, but what exactly is it like to walk in their shoes and see why and how learning English can be a challenge for them.
  • A second area I would like to know more about is culture. I’m curious on how other languages are similar and different than English. The reason why I want to know more about culture is the reason that people are very interesting and good conversations can start with common interests and shared knowledge about different cultures whether talking about it in depth or just meeting someone else with other interests. I can remember that I enjoyed having conversations with my Conversation Partner about the culture and differences from her home country of Colombia and living here in Memphis and other states.
  • A third area could be more about the English language; especially more in depth from the non-native perspective since I am not in college. Sitting in classes observing for those who are learning English is interesting because I already know English, but I may not know the general information or anything that is taught to non-natives. But it is I thought it was interesting to sit and observe the classes because they are learning what we have learned back in elementary and we are still learning but just in a different manner.


  • Kelvin, this is so interesting! It’s nice to have found someone that is as fascinated with language as I am. I myself am a Spanish / Secondary Education major at my college. I actually recently wrote a research paper about the acquisition of first and second languages in children for my Educational Psychology course. Some of the information I came across was remarkable. I, too, have often thought about how many years I have taken Spanish classes in school only to have the vocabulary that a young child would who speaks it as his or her first tongue. Just the thought of ever having to learn English as a second language wears me out. It is without a doubt one of the hardest languages to learn, what with all of our exceptions to rules, odd phrases/slang and such. One of my cousins tried her hand at teaching English as a second language abroad and she absolutely loved it. I might start looking into the subject myself someday- it shines a whole new light on something previously taken for granted, doesn’t it?

  • Hello, Kelvin

    You might enjoy learning and using Esperanto, putting yourself in the position of those who are learning English.I don't think this is a topic are which has ever been written about.

    Take a look at

  • I know I certainly wouldn't want to be in the position of trying to learn English as a second language now. I'm attempting to learn some Japanese but that is going pretty slowly thus far.

    As for culture, I think it is amazing to observe the cultural differences between English speaking countries (or at least those in which English speakers are common), let alone throwing other languages out there.

    Looking at non-verbal communication might be fun as well. It's all you have to fall back on if you are in a group where nobody speaks the same language after all.

  • That website is amazing! I had never even heard about it before today.

  • hey Kelvin, I know a host of languages. But my major would be English and Hindi. I also do know 3-4 regional languages(survival only) and also survival German too..

    Thanks for the visit to my blog. Looking forward to more posts from you.. Have a nice one ciao;)

  • That's cool... I have heard the term ESL around me for the longest time and I always assumed it was some abreviation for Espanol. I know silly, right? But in my high school that's what the ESL students spoke as a first language and I never looked around to know any different.

    I always found it interesting the concept of a baby or child learning two languages at once in comparison to an older educated person person learning a new language and how they say it is so much easier for the baby. What a complex idea. I even get my American-English and British-English spellings mixed up some times just from using a British-English text book in a few classes. I can't imagine learning two at once and keeping them separate.

    Good luck with your courses, you seem to be enjoying them thus far.

  • Thanks for this essay...Your enthusiasm for study is infectious...Had I possessed your clarity when younger I too might have studied Language and or Linguistics...I'm reading your prose having just watched 'BABEL' the film by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarrito...It's an excellent film on so many levels...If you haven't seen it, may I suggest you do and soon...I can guarantee it will stimulate and motivate you to think more laterally about 'Language'...Not only oral/written and national but the international languages that shape and define our worlds... I am so glad that you've chosen a major that is going to be highly significant globally in the next few years/decades...There are 3 books to which I'd like to draw your attention...'Language and Time' Quentin Smith...'The Felt Meanings Of The World' Quentin Smith and 'Being Known' C Peacocke...All of them talk about the tensed theory of time and it's impact on language/development...The Felt Meanings book also suggests that there are ways of knowing our world(s) that cannot be transferred to language...Lastly, I'd like to ask for your thoughts on a couple of questions...
    1. Grammatically, why are there definite articles? And historically where did that thinking originate...

    2. Did you know that in some first nation languages there is no word for 'corner'...Why do think that might be?

    3. Why do you think English is one of the hardest languages to learn?

    4. Again grammatically, what do you think was the purpose of the Apostrophe...And what might happen if it becomes increasingly overlooked in modern vernacular?...Just thinking out loud really...Liked you blog.