Learning a foreign language may be a difficult task to undertake since one has to understand the language pattern as well as the cultural significance of that community. Moreover, learning a second language or a foreign language is target-based activity, which needs specific…
(Stern, 1983:1997, p. 10).
However, this statement was made a few decades back and does not hold true in today’s generation. There are challenges that students face while learning a foreign language. Yet these challenges can be met and over come through practises and constant emersion in the culture that one is learning.
The main aim of second language learners is to acquire interlanguage competence (Van Patten and Williams, 2006). Universal grammar plays a crucial role in language acquisition for second language learners [L2]. The main objective of this paper is to highlight some of the key aspects of second language acquisition [SLA] by using two activities, the first activity stresses on tenses, preposition and structuring sentences. The other activity is a conversational dialogue. In order for the L2 to improve their conversational skills this task is chosen. Both these activities are task-based activities; however, one is written while the other is verbal. Therefore, the language target is on both spoken as well as on written form.
Thus both activities have the following goals to achieve, conceptualisation (that is, the second language learner is able to understand the purpose and content of the message determined); formulisation (when the speaker is able to identify grammatical and phonological features in the dialogue); articulation (when the second language learner is able to express the correct pronunciation) (Ellis, 2003).
In order for the students to learn a foreign language they first need to understand the basic building blocks of a language which are words. When decisions are made on task-based activities, one must include sentence patterns, tenses, constructions, functions, topics, etc (Richards and Rogers, 2001). A leading American linguist Edward Anthony in 1963 identified three key concepts in learning language; they are approach, method and technique.
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