Role of Native Language in SLA
Language is the method of expressing ideas, feelings and emotions in heuristic form through symbols and signs, in fact it facilitates us to encode and decode any piece of information. First language learned is baby’s mother tongue, other than this language is known as the second language.
Here is distinctive definition of both languages:
Native Language (L1):
“The mother tongue, native or first language, is what a person has learned from birth or within a critical period.”
Second Language (L2):
“A non-native language officially recognized and adopted in a multilingual county as a means of public communication.”
“Man is a social animal.”
We as a social animal necessitate to communicate with each other to satisfy our needs. For this goal, we rely on our languages. Whether its first language or second language. Language dominates us in a way, we don’t appreciate its importance in toddler age but we gradually recognize the importance and weight of language in our lives. Learners acquire language through a subconscious process during which they are unaware of grammatical rules. This happens especially when they acquire their first language (babbling, one-word stage, two-word stage).
It is the systematic study of how people learn a language other than their mother tongue. The stages a learner goes through acquisition of second language are pre-production, early production, speech emergence and intermediate fluency. Throughout the stages, developmental eras, cultures and norms are followed and adapted. Our survival is dependent upon language and its efficacy in society and our cultures. Language is natural and necessary. Children that go through both first and second language acquisition at a young age are fortunate to be bilingual.
They normally go through following stages:
|For L1, initial state is considered as innate capacity that a child has capability to acquire a language or to communicate naturally. For a first language learner it is totally dependent on learner’s desire or capability for acquisition of language.||In L1, Maturational development is the basis of acquisition process at intermediate state. Because development is a spontaneous and largely unconscious process in child grammar of L1 leaner. As the child matures, so do their language abilities will mature, polish and excel.
|Output of both L1 and L2 fall in final state in which L1 is at its ultimate proficiency level and L2 proficiency varies individually and can’t be native like.
|For L2 this state is referred to prior knowledge of L1 which excel and facilitate the second language acquisition and language transfer.
It is not at all certain whether or not such natural ability is part of initial state in L2 leaners.
|Similarly, L2 also create such developmental skills for processing acquisition. It is because of the social interaction and largely the resultant of implication of prior knowledge being transferred as a result of language transfer phenomenon.||Native speaker of a language doesn’t know the language any better than any other speaker in terms of linguistic competence and it can never be totally same for L2 because of the respective mentioned competence factor.|
Written by: Bushra Ghayoor
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