Learning a second language (L2) can not only be a considerably challenging and daunting task for many learners, but also a rewarding experience (Lennartsson, 2008). It takes time for a learner to study and adequately develop a language. My journey of learning English has always been demanding but within the learning, I learnt to overcome its challenges. Having been brought up in Germany and studying German for most of my childhood, I did not start learning English until when I moved to a secondary school in Singapore where I struggled to cope with the language and saw it necessary. After my secondary level, I was sent to Australia to further my education where I passionately perceived the language as pleasurable to learn. In understanding my learning outcomes as an L2 learner in English, this paper aims to examine my personal experience in the study of English in the secondary and tertiary level of my education by critically reflecting on two major factors. It discusses the ‘social context’ and ‘motivation’ for my L2 learning in relation to the changes in learning environment across the globe from Europe to Asia where I was brought up.
Looking back at my extraordinary language learning experiences in Europe and Asia, I am grateful for learning two languages in two different continents. Born in Bavaria, Germany, I was brought up there for most of my childhood. My parents, my father in particular, spoke to me in German and I adopted it as my first language (L1). At times, my mother, of Singaporean background, would speak to me in English and thus I gradually acquired it as my second language (L2). Although my English was limited and I was never compelled into learning it, German was regarded as my primary language of instruction and communication.
When I was twelve years old, in the mid-80s my family moved to Singapore where my learning of English as a second language began. Having completed ...Show more