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Differences in First and

Second Language Learning


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Differences
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1. Success
2. Strategies
3. Goals
4. Intuitions
5. Instruction
6. Positive and negative evidence
7. Affective factors
1. Success in first language learning
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Differences in how well they use it


 Better public speakers
 Better writers
All normal children master their first
language
1. Failure in second language learning
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Most second language learners fail


 More learners try to learn a language and fail than
learners who try and succeed
 Learners fail in different degrees
 Learners progress stops before complete success
2. Strategies
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All learners make generalizations


 Simple past: played, walked, waited, comed
Only second language learners generalize from
their first language when they are learning a
second language
 One sound, /r/, in Japanese
 Separate sounds, /l/ & /r/, in English
3. Goals
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First language learners have no goals


 Learning a first language is not under a child’s control
Second language learners have a variety of goals
 Work & study
 Enjoy music, movies, travel, etc.
4. Intuitions
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First language learners rely on their intuition (sense


of what sounds right) to decide if a sentence is
grammatical
Grammatical intuition for second language learners
never develops completely
5. Instruction
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Children never have formal lessons in their first


language
 Children’s first language develops through communication
Most second language learners must have some
instruction
6. Positive and negative evidence
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Children only hear


 Language that has no mistakes (positive evidence)
Second language learners hear
 Language that has no mistakes
 Explanations about mistakes and corrections of their mistakes
(negative evidence)
7. Affective factors
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First language learning is independent of affective


factors
 Personality, motivation, attitude, etc.
Second language learning is dependent on affective
factors
Differences
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1. Success
2. Strategies
3. Goals
4. Intuitions
5. Instruction
6. Positive and negative evidence
7. Affective factors