The world has become a web of interlinked independent components. While we have many countries scattered across the various continents on the planet, one thing that cannot be denied is that there is increasing globalization and the effect of this is the constant mix and assimilation of different cultures of various countries and nationalities. With a mix in culture comes the need for individuals to acquire skills in the languages of different countries.
Learning institutions nearby, such as the UK Language Project, offering a variety of language courses in and around Reading, are often places individuals, as well as companies will look to for help in this area. Today, we have a lot of people that can speak more than their native or first language. However, there are some interesting issues to be looked into when it comes to learning a new language with the help of Flex Campic . One of those things is the influence of prior language learning experiences.
How difficult is it to acquire a new language?
Learning a language is like learning any other craft in the world. The experience of every individual is almost always distinct and this is why some will find the process easier and faster than others. It is not uncommon for someone to struggle to properly understand a language throughout their entire lifetime while another would master such language in just some years.
However, it is noteworthy that a lot of big factors come into play here. In other words, there are certain factors, apart from a natural flair for languages, that can make a person find learning a language easier than how another individual does. Under this post, we will be emphasizing on prior learning language learning experiences and how they impact a person’s quest to learn another language.
What is a prior language learning experience?
A prior language simply means a language that has already been learned before attempting to learn a new one. Therefore, a prior language learning experience connotes such the experience that an individual might have gained in the course of learning their first language. It should be noted that in almost all cases, children learn their first language informally and this is in contrast to how second, third or more languages are learned. However, the fact that an individual has successfully learned a foreign language in addition to their first language seems to be influential in how well they acquire skills in another one.
Language teachers and language strategies
One mistake language tutors tend to make is make considerations of the prior language learning experience when teaching a new language to a group of individuals. The strategies used by a teacher go a long way in impacting how easy their students will acquire skills in a language. These strategies involve determining how students see and understand the concepts of languages as well as the styles that will help each student enhance their level of comprehension. What we are trying to highlight here is that many language tutors and learners fail to consider the impact of prior language learning experiences when creating strategies for learning. Some strategies a better adapted when the person already has previous experience learning one or more languages.
How research lends credence to the impact of prior language learning experiences in acquiring a new one
There is more than enough research that gives evidence of the fact that learning a foreign language and understanding it properly makes learning another one a lot easier. Indeed, when subject to the same learning environment, people with experience learning one or more foreign languages tend to do better in acquiring a new one than other people.
Indeed, learning a foreign language as a grown-up is always easier for people that acquired a second one in childhood. It is also always easier for those that learned a second language as adolescents or adults in a school.
In a lot of European countries such as Benelux, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, the settings are designed in a way to allow students to learn multiple languages at a time and this is a common expression that the average European must have been through.
Nevertheless, in the United States, what we have is the deliberate adult third language instruction and it has been primarily in use in US government training institutes. This is what accounts for the average learner’s knowledge of other foreign languages.
Now, in such training institutes, two types of third language instruction are put into practice and they are conversion and cross-training. On one hand, conversion means the retraining of persons by using demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language into another language that is closely related. For example of this is a second-language speaker of Russian who is learning Serbian/Croatian.
On the other hand, cross-training means L3 (third language) instructions wherein learners learn an unrelated language. Once there is a prior language learning experience, language learners can translate skills from a language to another because they can recognize the patterns and rules of language even if the vocabulary is different.