This thus makes second language acquisition difficult and slow. But a scientific factor as to why children learn second languages easier and quicker than adults is that children’s brains are flexible until they reach their teenage years in a process known as lateralization. Here the brain loses its flexibility by assigning specific roles to each side of the brain making learning hard and slow (VanPatten et al, 2004). This is also true in the learning of subjects as children catch up quickly and memorize unlike adults. This essay is going to review recent research findings related to how age affects the second language acquisition process mostly for English language learners that are new comers into the US.
The language acquisition process is process where language is observed, grasped and produced by a child, which is the first language (Clark, 2001). The same process is used in the second language acquisition. The second language acquisition process has steps that it follows to learn. That is the child must learn the word, retain them, recall them and apply them constantly to be perfect (Birdsong, 2006). This steps cannot happen on their own since the child needs to first learn the language and this the child does by following some set of steps. These steps include Imitation, repetition, memorization, drilling and reinforcement. When a child is at this stage reinforcement is very productive and rewarding the child when they make good sentences or the correct words will enhance quick learning process of language acquisition. When this achieved it means that the child can now talk. The acquisition of the second language now comes into play and a theory is that a child’s learning of the first language is an insight to his learning the second language.
This term was developed by a philosopher Noam Chomsky and it is abbreviated as UG. Chomsky in his theory suggests that human beings in general do not have to be taught language to acquire it but rather