Reaction Paper

Reaction Paper






Reaction Paper

One of the most amazing and interesting abilities in a human being is the capacity for acquiring languages and learning. People start acquiring language during their first years of life. One of the factors that have puzzled scholars is the process of learning, as well as developing words from when we are born. In the second chapter, Language and Language Acquisition found in the book Language Acquisition Theories, the authors explores the theories that people use in acquiring new languages. Specifically, this chapter explores how people use languages in different ways, depending on the context. For instance, he contrasts academic and social language. By this he argues that the context under which a language is learnt differs and determines how it is used.

I find this to be very true considering that people will not use the same words in an academic setting as ones used when talking to friends in a social setting. Context may have several categories in regard to language use and learning. The context can be peers, elders, academic, social or formal. These factors will influence how people learn and use language. A good example from the book that supports this argument is when talking to a child and during an interview. These social situations demand different languages for effective communication.

It seems that different contexts will determine the way people use language, as well as variation found within one language. I find that this argument helps in understanding why one language can have variations from different areas. For instance, English has the most variations around the world. People will use it in different ways and even mix it with other languages to create a new dialect. An interesting factor is that despite the different variations, people still understand what is meant by the speaker, depending on the context under which words are used. This is because languages have clear patterns and structure that people identify, such as how words follow each other to make sense.

In addition to language having different variations in different regions and countries, it serves to define and identify people. The author cites that language is dynamic, with its main purpose being communication and group identification. I agree with the author about language acting as identification tool because the different variations are associated to specific people. When it comes to learning second language in class, the first language or mother tongue is very influential. Majority of the variations in international languages such as English comes from the effect of mother tongue. For instance, African communities have a variation that matches their dialect while Italians will have a different one as well. This further proves that context is very influential when acquiring new languages.

Although the chapter does explain how people acquire languages, it is also clear that language acquisition comes naturally and one learns unconsciously. For instance, kids will learn the meaning of words without having to ask their parents or guardians of their meaning. This is because of the ability to associate words with actions, which is one way of learning. Furthermore, one does not have to attend schools to become proficient in languages except when it comes to writing. Human way of learning and acquiring new language is very complex and hard to understand completely.

In conclusion, I find the chapter to be very informative in terms of explaining how human beings acquire languages. In addition, it delves deeper to show how social context affects use and learning of languages. As the chapter shows, human beings have a complex way of learning different things. For instance, young children learn languages by associating the sound to actions. The ability of the brain to connect the two is one of the most interesting factors about how human beings learn.


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