Factors That Influence Adult Second-Language Acquisition

Factors That Influence Adult Second-Language Acquisition

  • Submitted By: choloficha
  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2009 5:26 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1431
  • Page: 6
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Factors That Influence Adult Second-Language Acquisition

“Each person's map of the world is as unique as the person's thumbprint. There are no two people alike, no two people who understand the same sentence the same way.  .  . so in dealing with people, you try not to fit them to your concept of what they should be."[1]

Factors such as culture, language, education, and the tracking of learners’ progress

over time are not easy when complicated by such a consideration as diverse populations

of learners, especially when they are constantly mobile. Those are some of the factors

which hinder efforts at research in the field of second-language acquisition (SLA). All the

same, findings from investigations that had been conducted on SLA can be constructive

to adult ESL teachers because the findings may also apply to their learning constituencies

and situations.

Despite those hindrances, the research I conducted demonstrates that there are, in fact,

factors that facilitate second-language acquisition. This paper is the result of a brief

examination of three of those factors and their influence on adults’ second-language


• The effect of learner motivation (e.g. integrative and instrumental motivations)
• The role of interaction (e.g. conversational and learner-to-learner interactions)
• The role of vocabulary

The first factor, learner motivation, plays a big part in the acquisition of a second

language. For the purpose of this paper, I will define motivation as the reason people

decide to do something, how long they are willing to sustain the activity, and how hard

they are going to pursue it. Through class discussions, books, and article readings, and

also by way of my own experience, I have found that one of the reasons that people

decide to learn a second language is what is known as “integrative motivation” (wanting

to learn a language in order to identify with the...

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