Second Language Acquisition

ESLS 5301


Proverbs 4:13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.

Life is a learning process. Beginning teachers learning from experienced teachers, teachers learning from their principal, the parents learning from the staff, the staff learning from listening to the teachers, students and parents, students learning from teachers, teachers learning from students and students learning from other students. Every conflict has a lesson in it; every success has a truth in it; and every failure has a future purpose.

The key to learning is not just the lesson but, also, the student's willingness to learn. Those who run after wisdom and desire knowledge will soak it up like a sponge. They will learn. Even the worst principal, teacher, parent, or student has something to teach you. Sometimes our greatest lessons are "how not to do something" as we see others fail.

In the above Scripture, there is a sense of urgency. "Hold on…, do not let it go; guard it…” Students need to sense this deep desire for understanding and knowledge in those who lead them. Our students will begin to build a lifestyle of seeking the truth as they begin to pattern their lives after ours. As educators, we must never lay down our quest for truth. New information, new techniques, and new applications are available in conferences, magazines, books, online websites, articles, and evening classes. We should also remain students of the Word of God. We should approach church services with open hearts to learn more truth. If we become disinterested in sermons or in Bible study, we need to check to see if we have become proud, arrogant, and unteachable.

Let us again pick up our paper and pencil to take the position of student—a student of life. If we live long enough, we may even find ourselves learning from those who were once our students. We can learn from anyone. Truth is everywhere for us to grasp. Reach for it.

Dear God, It is my desire to be teachable. There is so much knowledge and understanding needed in today's world. May I never become the unteachable teacher--one who hardens my heart toward discovery, innovations and change. Help me to remain teachable and hungry to learn more about my profession, more about Your Word, and more about Your Ways.

Principles of Language Learning and Teaching

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Chapter 5: Individual Differences

What is the difference between a learning style and a learning strategy? p. 112

  • Discuss with a partner using the following sentence stem:
  • The difference between a learning style and a learning strategy is...

Learning Styles Table

  • In your groups, complete the table on learning styles (p. 111-121).
  • What do you perceive to be your most dominant learning style?

Left-Brain/Right Brain Dominance

  • Look at the list of differences between left- and right-brain processing on p. 116 and individually check the side that corresponds to your own preferences.
  • At your tables, compare your preferences and talk about examples in your lives in general, in educational contexts, and in language classes that you have taken.

Styles Awareness Checklist

  • Take the Styles Awareness Checklist (p. 134).
  • Do you think you should try to change some of your styles, as they are described on the checklist? How would you do that? (p. 136)

Chapter 6: Affective Factors

Affective Factors

  • In your groups, define each factor.
  • Agree on a generalized conclusion about the relevance of each factor for successful Second Language Acquisition (SLA).

Integrative vs. Instrumental Orientation

  • What are some examples of learning an L2 in an integrative orientation and in an instrumental orientation?
  • How does that affect motivation?

Next Week's Class: October 20th

Group Presentation- 100 points

  • Each group of students will be assigned one of the following three topics—Styles and Strategies and Personality Factors in Language Learning; Sociocultural Factors; and Cross-Linguistic Influence and Learner Language. The group will teach their topic to the class on the assigned night.
  • Each group will meet to divide and organize their topic so that individual students will work on their selected parts. Each student will be responsible for aspects of the topic that the group decides need to be taught.
  • Individually, students will do the research and write their own 3-5 page paper to be turned in. Each student will submit a copy of his/her paper to Blackboard for grading before class on their designated night. 90% of the grade will be individual and 10% will be for the group effort.

  • The group will work together to teach the topic to the class. Power points, handouts, and/or activities to teach the topic to the rest of the class are acceptable and encouraged.