The Importance of Distinguishing Between Acquisition and Learning in Second Language Performance

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Learning a second language is not an easy task. Ask anyone who has done it and they will tell you it has been a long hard road of lessons and practise, of grammatical instruction and more than embarrassing attempts at utterance with native speakers. Not many people would describe the process as natural.


Yet we are now seeing greater importance placed on these issues and in turn a better understanding of the multiple and varying difficulties that a student of second language acquisition can face.
Differentiating between learning and acquisition signifies that these factors have a special place alongside that of the traditional problems of language learning. It is important to highlight on the word 'alongside' because differentiating between the two should not mean that either takes predominance or that there should be some kind of theoretical showdown, but rather that each term find its proper place and do its proper job. By taking into consideration both acquisition and learning and making a differentiation between the two we are better able to understand all sides of second language learning.
To better understand the nature of the discussion around the manners with which we learn to speak a second language it is important to first define the terms we are using. First and foremost it should be noted that 'acquisition' and 'learning' aggregate significant meaning to the word language. ...
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