First-language acquisition vs. Second-language acquisition?
Learning a language is a process that most of us have experienced. The pathway of learning a new language is not an easy and simple one and it is deeply connected with many components such as the culture, history, religions, and communication habits in the region of the language. In this article, we will point out the difference of processes between first-language acquisition and second-language acquisition.
During the phase of first-language acquisition, babies start gaining language slowly and comprehensively by linking those components and words surrounding them. As they gain vocabulary, they also gradually start acquiring long and complex grammar (2 words, 3 words, and more). It might be said that the acquisition of grammar and the growth of cognitive and thinking skills are interactive. In this way, while learning an important number of words, they use all their senses to acquire their first language.
On the other hand, when people start learning a second language after acquiring the first language to some level, they have the great advantage of being able to learn a language more efficiently and systematically, relating it to their first language and regularising it because their cognitive and thinking skills are already well-developed. Furthermore, if there is a high degree of similarity between the first and second language (for example, a high degree of commonality between characters and their meanings in Japanese and Chinese), second language acquisition can proceed more quickly. This can be seen as an advantage that only learning a second language can offer.
Those who are learning English in preparation for entrance exams can illuminate the path to language acquisition by developing a strategic learning plan that takes advantage of the benefits of being a second language learner while understanding that language is linked to a variety of factors such as culture and customs.